AAU Weekend Wrap (4/20/2009)

Dylan Burkhardt

Evan Smotrycz

As I mentioned Friday, this was a big weekend on the AAU circuit with two big tournaments. There was understandably plenty of eyes pointed in Evan Smotrycz’ direction. This was after all, his first big tournament since making his Michigan commitment. The early returns on Evan’s play are definitely positive. Scout.com’s Evan Daniels was impressed ($) with Smotrycz’ play and ESPN’s Reggie Rankin echoed his sentiments:

Smotrycz was a pleasant surprise but more of a standout player this weekend. This super skilled combination forward has all the tools on the offense end of the floor. He is a perfect fit for the offensive system he will play in at Michigan. Smotrycz is a terrific 3-point shooter with NBA range. He has a quick trigger and the size to shoot over smaller defenders with ease. Smotrycz runs the lane in transition and does a great job of stretching the defense with his ability to make shots. Making plays off the dribble is also strength of Smotrycz’s. He is a very good ball handler and does a great job of creating space with scoring dribble moves that include a step back pull up jumper going to his left. He would be perfect in pick and pop situations as well. His skill set doesn’t stop with his scoring he is also a very good passer. He can drive, draw and kick in transition or in the half court where he has the ability to pass with either hand. Smotrycz is a good area rebounder but must add strength to prepare for the physical Big Ten but his upside is tremendous.

Most scouts point to the same qualities: a skilled ball handler who can shoot the ball. Beilein preaches skill and length, at 6-foot-9 Smotrycz appears to be the perfect “four man” for this offense.


  • Mass Rivals Turn Heads at Pittsburgh Jam Fest
    6’9″ New Hampton Prep Junior Evan Smotrycz showed why he is Michigan bound as he made several big threes, and was able to get the basket off the dribble with ease.  Smotrycz like Brown has a great weekend as he mixed it up with some of the best in the country.
  • New England Men’s Rankings
    Smotrycz moves up to fifth in the latest NERR 2010 rankings

Team Detroit

Evan Daniels caught Team Detroit in action in Pittsburgh. Daniels was impressed with not only Trey Zeigler and Ray McCallum but Detroit Southeastern power forward (2011) Percy Gibson as well.

We only caught a half, but it was enough time to know that he deserved some print. A 6-foot-7, 215-pound sophomore, Gibson is a guy that has a nice set of hands, soft touch inside and the ability to maneuver on the block to score.

Scout also posted an updated school list for Trey Zeigler:

Trey Zeigler claimed scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, LSU, Miami, Arizona State, Providence and Dayton. Kansas and Texas are showing interest as well.

I don’t think there is a scout in the country that doesn’t love Ray McCallum. The issue for Michigan is that when you’re that good, every school wants a piece. Michigan is showing Ray the love but the odds aren’t great in that recruitment to say the least. For more on McCallum, here is a recent Rivals update ($).

Other Notes

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    Beilein’s recruiting style reminds me a fair bit of Ben Braun, who coached at EMU during the Earl Boykins/Derrick Dial/Brian Tolbert days. He was used to coaching and recruiting in situations where his ability to bring in top-level talent was somewhat capped. When he moved to Cal, he did a decent job of stepping it up recruiting-wise (I think he snagged Sharif Abdur-Rahim among others) but he could never take it up to the next level. Hopefully Beilein can use his good eye to spot talent early, but also do what Braun wasn’t able to, that is, take his team to the next level with a combination of smart pick-ups and highly touted pick-ups.

  • UMDC

    Wow, Smotrycz sounds really good. Robbie Hummel, maybe?

  • GregGoBlue

    Uh oh, sounds like Regan is blowing up. Considering we’ve already got a commitment from a similar type of player (though there is speculation that Regan is inside and Smotrycz is outside), I’d be worried about Regan looking elsewhere.

  • Meredith

    Jordan is 1st Team All-Detroit (notice his stats were better than Nix…interesting), 3rd Team All-State, All-Catholic, All-League. Not bad :)


  • Giddings

    Congrats to Jordan! You should be very proud, we’re all excited to see him in Maize and Blue.

  • Tom Too

    Fired up to have your boy on board next year. Tell him we need a banger with a soft touch!!!

  • Jim

    Good luck to your boy and you Mom!! Best wishes!!

  • Bluebufoon

    Thanks Mrs Morgan or can we call you Momma Morgan ?

  • Sounds like IU is also getting involved with Moses Morgan

    Also, let’s try to to stay away from a Q+A session with Jordan’s mom.

  • Brick

    I didn’t know that we were considered the “leader” for Morgan.

    Also, what’s wrong with a little Q+A? I just want to know what she feeds him so maybe I can get my kid to grow to 6’8″ and 265 :)

  • Meredith

    At this point he eats whatever he can and I am pretty powerless to stop him!! :) I always joke that I should have stopped feeding him a long time ago! Although he has always been a big milk drinker, I am sure genetics does play a part in the equation!

    We are very excited about Jordan joining the team and look forward to some great moments in Michigan basketball in the future! In him you have your “banger” Tom. He enjoys working the paint and working opponents with his post skills. His time playing baseball has also made him a good passer. He is continuing to work on his game and has a strong desire to deliver for the UM fans! Keep the faith…

    GO BLUE!

    p.s. Momma Morgan, Mrs. Morgan, Meredith….whatever works for you!

  • Paul

    Momma Morgan welcome. Good to have you aboard. I like having
    family around. I talked with a couple Detroit Lions players Families. Nice to chat football with them and it will be nice to chat basketball with you.

  • Paul

    And other stuff too Momma. :)