AAU Weekend Wrap (4/27/2009)

Dylan Burkhardt

(Note: I added two links to the “Other Notes” section regarding Moses Morgan, Carlton Brundidge, and Amir Williams)

Evan Smotrycz

The last two weeks have taught us that Evan Smotrycz can play ball. He followed up his strong play from last week with another stellar performance at the Providence Jam Fest. Smotrycz led the Mass Rivals to a surprise trip to the 17U finals. It’s hard to find a negative scouting report about Evan. The highlight of the weekend for the Mass Rivals was a win over, former Michigan recruit, Nate Lubick’s New England Playaz team. Here’s what the leading east coast scouting services had to say on Evan this weekend.


Good height, but needs to get physically stronger before the Big 10. His size and skill away from the basket makes it look like he was made for John Beilein’s system and he should get the most of his strengths at Michigan. Showed ability to slash to the basket, but needs to finish more often once in the paint, as evidenced by failing to convert on an easy lay-up. Added strength will help.

New England Recruiting Report:

Evan Smotrycz was the catalyst as the Michigan bound forward really brought his game to another level.  Not only was he making shots from the perimeter, but he also showed a much improved dribble drive game, as he was able to break his man down with a right to left cross-over on more than one occasion.  But it wasn’t just his ability to score off the dribble that was so impressive as he also passed the ball tremendously well, acting as a facilitator in the second half with his ability to create open looks for his teammates.

Evan Smotrycz picked up right where he left off a day earlier as he was outstanding for the second consecutive day, making shots, breaking people down off the dribble, and passing the ball very well.  It was his consistent excellence throughout the course of the weekend that helped propel the Rivals all the way to the finals before finally losing to a New Jersey Celtics team that featured top 50 junior Kyrie Irving and the nation’s top sophomore Michael Gilchrist.

Will Regan

Will ReganIs he off the radar?

Will Regan, of the Albany City Rocks, told NBE this weekend that he is currently considering offers from Maryland, Virginia, Stanford, Arizona State and Providence. Regan is a 6-foot-8 forward who plays at the Nichols School near Buffalo (NY).

It sure looks like it. This has become clear over the last couple weeks and this update might be the icing on the cake. The same article has an updated list from Carson Desrosiers, a lanky big man that has been getting some Michigan interest, but it doesn’t appear that Michigan is in his top 8 right now.

Ray McCallum and Trey Zeigler

Rivals’ Jerry Meyer was fond of the Michigan duo at the adidas Nation event out in Vegas. Short but sweet:

Trey Zeigler has an impressive first step.

Ray McCallum has all the markings of a coach’s son when he is running the point. And over the past year, he has developed a great deal physically.

Scout also has an update from the adidas event with some more on McCallum ($).

Other Notes

  • Sam

    In my opinion it’s a little unfortunate that we completely stopped recruiting Regan. It sounded like Beilein had him in the bag if he wanted him and he seems to be a more-than-capable low post scorer that is very helpful in the college game, maybe not so much in our system. Let’s hope this means that Beilein feels confident in his chances to land two of Prather, Zeigler, and/or McCallum.

  • Bluebufoon

    The list for Carson Desrosiers is his top schools that have offered
    him a scholarship. I would bet if Michigan offers, they would be a player in this battle, the question is do they have enough scholarships

    The new name to keep an eye on is 2011 prospect 6-8 PF Dan Chilcote of Jackson Lumen Christian. According to Lou Dawkins at BOTB Scouting
    Michigan really likes the kid.

  • ToBlav

    I don’t know if it is having this site, or Coach Beilein’s recruiting efforts or a combination of the two, but it sure seems like we are in on higher quality recruits than has been the case for quite a few years. It is exciting stuff.

  • Tom Too

    I can tell you that he is recruiting the highest caliber players in his career. Way better players than when he was at WV. I think it takes some time to adjust and tweak your approach to recruits when you change schools.

  • Tom Too

    And UM is a better school than WV…so he has a lot more to work with.

  • jim

    I think it’s too late in the game for Desrosiers. Unlike his aau teammate Smortycz he’s been highly recruited right along. The true test for Beilein will be Ziegler/Prather imo and especially Ziegler and to a lesser degree McCallum.

  • If Beilein were to somehow pull Zeigler and McCallum that would be a ridiculous class. There’s ground to make up and it’s probably a long shot but wow. Just thinking about that should make any U-M fan excited.

    Landing one of Zeigler or Prather is huge though, no doubt.

  • Tom Too

    I am hoping that Zeigler’s Father is fond of the way Beilein coaches and develops his players, as well as JB’s “system.”

  • Added two links to the other notes section. Brundidge, Moses, and Amir.

  • Kenny

    Does Ernie Ziegler know Beilein well from his days under Howland at Pittsburgh, and how this will play out with Trey’s recruitment. Is it going to be a UCLA/Michigan fight? Ernie should know very well under whom his son will do better.

  • jim

    If that’s true Dylan about Regan, too bad. Accoring to NJ Rivals, njhoops.rivals, he was one of the top 5 uncommitted junior performers last weekend at the Providence Jam Fest. Desrosiers was as well along with super-studs Kyrie Irving and Tobias Harris.


  • James

    Did Beilein drop Regan after getting Smotrycz?

  • That’s what it looks like. I can’t think of another reason why Michigan wouldn’t be on Will’s list. Especially when they reportedly led all winter long.

    Projo Hoops reports a similar list for Regan (without Michigan)

  • Beast1530

    It sounds like Smotrycz is blowing up in the AAU circuit. Big name schools like UNC reportedly are going after him in hope of him decommitting from Michigan. Sounds like JB got him before it happens. If he continue to play well, he could very well end up in the top 100 by the time he’s done with basketball.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Dylan, what do you think would be a few worst case scenarios if we don’t land Zeigler, Prather, or McCallum. Isn’t this a likely scenario? We will assume that Morgan and Regan are completely out of the picture. Are there players like Hardaway that would definitely jump at a scholarship if we offered? We haven’t offered him yet right?

  • Jay

    Ken nobody said Morgan was completely out the picture except YOU. I think if we can land one of the 3 before mentioned soon, it could help tremendously in the recruitment of the others. The foundation is in place, but I see alot of the so called “big stars” not ready to be that lench pin commitment for this program. The mid guys are ready, but the top tier arent believers yet. If we can get one, it will be a domino effect going forward.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Jay, I’m not stating that as fact. I’m just assuming that as a perameter for the question I asked. I believe that he will pick Indiana due to his ties there. You aren’t related to Morgan are you? Perhaps one of his boys? I think you are correct about the domino effect, but in the end I think we just need another year of success and high visibility under our belts. Playing most of the year in the top 25 would help that.

  • steve

    I guess there’s good and bad with this news. Bad news is obviously Regan isn’t going to happen. But it seems to me Belein has come to the realization that the ’11 class is where it’s at and he’s only going to offer 2 more guys and obviously one of them NEEDS to be a “Manny” type player and he already got his size with Evan. So that leaves one more schollie and with Grady transferring I think a true point guard has become a need now too. If he pulls Ray and Trey along with Evan that has to be the best class UM has had in quite some time. Let’s grab Brundidge and Amir to start for the ’11 class, maybe getting Ray would entice Amir that much more. Go Blue!

  • gpsimms

    I think Sam Webb said that things were looking very good for Tim Hardaway’s kid last week. The one thing we can say about Beilein is it seems like he has done a really good job about lining up “plan B” types (unlike Tommy ‘All my eggs are in the legion basket’ Amaker). It’d be sick if we pulled McCallum and Zeigs, but really, Smot + Hardaway + load up for monster ’11 class doesn’t sound too bad.

  • gpsimms

    I think Sam Webb said that things were looking very good for Tim Hardaway’s kid last week. The one thing we can say about Beilein is it seems like he has done a really good job about lining up “plan B” types (unlike Tommy ‘All my eggs are in the legion basket’ Amaker). It’d be sick if we pulled McCallum and Zeigs, but really, Smot + Hardaway + load up for monster ’11 class doesn’t sound too bad.

  • Paul

    Love to get Hardaway and Prather too. Dancin in the Street if they commit to Michigan.

  • Jim

    More from the too bad department….Here’s an evaluation from Clark Francis of HoopScoop regarding the Providence Jam Fest.

    “The best player that we saw during the first two days of the tournament was 6’8 Jr Will Regan from Buffalo (Nichols) NY, who had 26 points and 24 points in back-to-back games. However, what really separated Regan from everybody else were his great hands, toughness on the boards, knack for always being around the ball, willingness to dive for loose balls, and 100% maximum effort. He also was surprisingly fluid and mobile for somebody his size, was excellent at blocking out on the boards, and even stepped out and hit a pair of 3-pointers against the New Jersey Bulls. Regan also is an excellent student, so it should come as no surprise that Stanford is right at the top of a list that also includes Arizona State, Maryland, Virginia, and Providence. What may surprise you is that Regan reminds us in a lot of ways of Christian Laettner, who ironically is an alumnus of the same high school, back when we first saw him as a rising junior at the Five-Star Basketball Camp back in the mid-80’s. And, if Regan grows another two or three inches, he could end up playing in the NBA for 14 years just like Laettner did.”

    He rated regan as the 3rd best player right behind Kyrie irving and Michael Gilchrist for the weekend. Evan also made the list as did Desrosiers. Here’s his top 40…

    “Our list of the top 40 players based on performance in the 17-Under Division at the Hoop Group’s Providence Jam Fest includes 1) 6’1 Jr Kyrie Irving from Elizabeth (St. Patrick) NJ (New Jersey Celtics), 2) 6’8 Jr Michael Gilchrist from Elizabeth (St. Patrick) NJ (New Jersey Celtics), 3) 6’8 Jr Will Regan from Buffalo (Nichols) NY (Albany City Rocks), 4) 6’6 Jr J.J. Moore from Brentwood (H.S.) NY (New York Panthers), 5) 6’6 Jr Joel Wright from Brooklyn (Thomas Jefferson) NY (Long Island Lightning), 6) 6’8 Jr Nate Lubick from Southborough (St. Mark’s) MA (New England Playaz), 7) 6’1 Soph Sterling Gibbs from West Orange (Seton Hall Prep) NJ (New York Panthers), 8) 6’4 Jr Malik Thomas from New York (Wadleigh) NY (New Heights White), 9) 6’6 Jr Travis McKie from Richmond (John Marshall) VA (Boo Williams Summer League Team), 10) 6’2 Jr Matt Brown from Northfield (Northfield-Mt. Hermon) MA (Mass Rivals), 11) 6’10 Jr Carson Desrosiers from Lawrence (Central Catholic) MA (Mass Rivals), 12) 6’3 Jr Taran Buie from Albany (Bishop Maginn) NY (Albany City Rocks), 13) 5’11 Soph Shabazz Napier from Groton (Lawrence Academy) MA (Metro Boston), 14) 6’5 Jr Alex Francis from Plymouth (Holderness) NH (New England Playaz), 15) 6’5 Jr Andre Dawkins from Chesapeake (Atlantic Shores Christian) VA (Boo Williams Summer League Team), 16) 6’1 Jr Jordan LaGuerre from Manchester (Trinity) MA (Mass Rivals), 17) 6’2 Reginald Lewis from Bedford (H.S.) OH (Donyell Marshall Foundation), 18) 6’9 Soph James McAdoo from Norfolk (Christian) VA (Boo Williams Summer League Team), 19) 6’5 Jr Nick Moore from Haddonfield (Paul VI) NJ (Dajuan Wagner Rising Stars) NJ), 20) 6’7 Jr Evan Smotrycz from New Hampton (Prep) NH (Mass Rivals), 21) 6’5 Jr Brian Voelkel from New Rochelle (Iona Prep) NY (Westchester Hawks), 22) 6’1 Jr Billy Baron from Worcester (Academy) MA (Expressions), 23) 6’4 Jr Kendall Marshall from Arlington (Bishop O’Connell) VA (Boo Williams Summer League Team), 24) 5’11 Jr Najee Forte from Briarcliff Manor (Briarcliff) NY (Connecticut Flame), 25) 6’4 Lamont Samuels from Brooklyn (Boys & Girls) NY (Brooklyn Ballers), 26) 6’5 Dion Waiters from Newark (NIA School) NJ (Brooklyn Ballers), 27) 6’7 Jr Jefferson Lora from Wallingford (Lyman Hall) CT (Connecticut Basketball Club), 28) 6’3 Jr Deshawn Murphy from New Haven (Hyde) CT (Connecticut Select), 29) 6’5 Jr Trenity Burdine from Reading (H.S.) PA (Donyell Marshall Foundation), 30) 6’8 Jr Nick Sergio from Medford (Patchogue-Medford) NY (Long Island Avengers), 31) 6’5 Jr Josh Turner from Waterbury (Sacred Heart) CT (Connecticut Select), 32) 6’4 Jr Allen Harris from Suffield (Academy) CT (Metro Boston), 33) 5’10 Soph Sean Grennan from Tom’s River (Monsignor Donovan) NJ (Shoreshot Select), 34) 6’8 Jr Majok Makok from South Kent (Prep) CT (Connecticut Basketball Club), 35) 5’9 Soph Jamie Spears from Southborough (St. Mark’s) MA (Mass Rivals), 36) 6’8 Jr Ryan Rhoomes from Bayside (Cardozo) NY (New York Panthers), 37) 6’8 Jr Luke Cothron from Red Springs (Flora MacDonald) NC (Boo Williams Summer League Team), 38) 5’7 Jr Luke Matarazzo from Wallingford (Choate School) CT (Connecticut Basketball Club), 39) 6’7 Jr Dwayne Brunson from Bayside (Cardozo) NY (Long Island Lightning), and 40) 6’1 Soph Ramon Mejia from Durfee (H.S.) MA Fall River (Greater Boston Lions). A special thanks to Rob Kennedy and the Hoop Group staff for making the Pittsburgh Jam Fest and the Providence Jam Fest two of the most enjoyable events that I’ve covered in a long time.”

    Interesting stuff!

  • Adam

    I really wish we were able to find room for Regan! I’ve always really liked his film and he seems to keep getting better and better!

  • gpsimms

    Interesting to see some Regan love, over on mgoblog there is something about how all this Smotrycz craze is somewhat biased.

  • Bluebufoon

    I saw that on mgoblog, which was just total misinformation. The homesite for Scott Hazelton.com bookmarks the positive threads from various websites on Evan Smotrycz but that site isn’t the originator of all of the positive comments in recent weeks– and to mistate the facts regarding the origination of info regarding Mr Smotrycz shows how clueless Mgoblog is on this subject.

  • Kenny

    Interestingly, I found the following comments on Will Regan given by Matt Whitfield of NBE on the providence Jam fest. (New England bias?)


    Will Regan
    Good size and speed for a 6’8 player. On one play Regan found an open man for an open three-point shot, got the rebound off the miss and drew a foul before making both free throws. Is good under the boards, but other than that, was not a major presence in the AAU environment.

  • Sid

    14 pretty quiet NBA years for Christian Laettner.

  • Jim

    Kenny, I saw that too. Kind of strange isn’t it? Or perhaps not. Read that link a little further and you’ll see something that provides an explanation I think.


    Michael Gilchrist
    Very, very fast hands. Holding his own versus a bigger and older Will Regan in the quarterfinals. Against Boo Williams, the class of 2011 star poured in 32. Had a nice stop on James McAdoo’s attempted dunk. Gilchrist, himself, had an explosive dunk a little while later despite being around multiple defenders.

    Sounds like that review came against Michael Gilchrist, who may be the best prospect that isn’t in the pros or in college yet. “Holding his own versus a bigger and older Will Regan in the quarterfinals.” Sounds like this reviewer had it backwards as if regan was the standard and not Gilchrist. I think hoopscoop said Gilchrist had 4 against Regan and then 32 against Boo Williams. Very interesting.

  • Kenny

    Jim, Does it sound even more strange for NBE to say “other than that, was not a major presence in the AAU environment” after watching Regan handles Gilchrist, the #1 guy in 2011 classes.

    So how could, Clark Francis of HoopScoop, and Matt Whitfield of NBE, after watching the same games, come away with such a different conclusion? I would rather believe that both give their honest opinion.

  • Tom Too

    Most of the time when I want to see a player’s clip, I can just type in their name on YouTube and find a least one or two clips of that player. Most of the time it is a highlight reel done by the player’s boy or fan. Nothing on Evan Smotrycz on YouTube. Doesn’t the guy have any stockers or fans or boys with some computer savvy?

  • jim

    No reason to think otherwise Kenny. Francis couched his review though this way, “The best player that we saw during the first two days of the tournament was 6′8 Jr Will Regan from Buffalo (Nichols) NY” whereas it sounds like Whitfield’s evaluation was the last day when Gichrist and Regan went head to head by these accounts. This is the only reason I can think why you’d have such seemingly opposed evaluations. And I would think any prospect would love the comparison to Gilchrist, with it only being to be said that Gilchrist only “held his own” especially since Whitfiled then says, “[a]gainst Boo Williams, the class of 2011 star poured in 32. Had a nice stop on James McAdoo’s [who is also regarded as one of the top 5 prospects in the 2011 class] attempted dunk. Gilchrist, himself, had an explosive dunk a little while later despite being around multiple defenders.” Regardless, it seems as though this ship has sailed into the night as Francis provides a list without UM, which is consistent with what Dylan already provided.

  • KJay

    Future lineup:
    1 McCallum
    2 Brundidge
    3 Zeigler
    4 Smotrycz
    5 Williams

    Would be a fun team to watch!

  • Dave

    i like your style kjay that would be insane if that actually happened

  • jim

    Kenny, did some more research on my lunch hour. Check out these links.


    According to Richard Coren of ScoutFriar.com:

    “Will Regan: A 6-8 post player (Albany City Rocks), Regan had a good showing at JamFest. Regan is a worker in the post, and finishes well around the basket. He has good ball skills for a big man, and is extending his range on his jump shot out to three point line. He needs to add bulk, but flashes a lot of toughness. Providence likes Regan’s versatility, and his involvement with the Friars may be heating up.”

    Also on Desrosiers:

    “Carson Desrosiers: All of 6-10, the Mass Rivals big man has a lot of potential. He has very good timing on shot blocks, can run the floor, and shoots very well for abig man out to the three point line. He is a face the basket player. He should be able to add weight at the next level, but he’s going to have to add some aggressiveness to his game too, as he’s going to have to be more physical in the paint at the next level. His parents toured the PC campus and facilities yesterday, and appear to like the idea of Carson playing college ball within driving distance. Providence continues to have Desroisers very high on their list.”


    According to Jay Gomes of New Jersey Rivals:

    “Will Regan 6-foot-8 Post
    Nicholls School NY – Albany City Rocks

    Hustles and battles hard on both ends

    Rivals.com #139”

    On Desrosiers:

    “Carson Desrosiers 6-foot-10 Forward
    Central Catholic HS MA – Mass Rivals

    Long big more comfortable on the perimeter. Helped lead Mass Rivals to championship game.”

    According to Gomes both these prospects were among the top 5 available junior performers at the Jam Fest.


    According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal:

    “Two other big kids PC is chasing: Will Regan of Buffalo. Not as big as Desrosiers or as skilled, Regan gets it done with toughness. He said he likes PC, Maryland, Virginia, Arizona State and Stanford. He’s the type of high post big man Keno Davis is after.”

    On Desrosiers:

    “The one kid who clearly is a high-level player is Carson Desrosiers. The 6-10 forward from Lawrence, Mass., runs well for a big kid, catches the ball and knows what to do with it. He can swish threes or score in the post. Carson has Providence on a long list that he said currently includes Syracuse, Marquette, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Stanford, UNLV and Arizona State. Asked why Providence is the only local school, Desrosiers said “Coach (Keno) Davis and coach (Pat) Skerry are recruiting me very hard. Out of my list they’re the closest but I have no problem moving somewhere around the country.”

    If PC were to land Desrosiers, he’d be the most skilled big man the Friars have added since Austin Croshere and the most skilled post player in at least a decade.”

    Not sure what you think Kenny, but seems like my theory is porably correct on Whitfield. Either way, Whitfiled’s assessment is the minority view.

    Really like what I’m reading on Desrosiers. Wonder if Evan would have any influence on him should Beilein move in that direction.

  • JRose5

    Nice lineup…Would Novack, Stu, LLP, Vogrich, Cronin, and Morgan, also be on that squad? That would be some serious depth! It is nice to have an offseason worth following! Great work, as always, Dylan

  • KJay

    Well JRose, Brundidge/Williams would be freshmen when Novak/Stu/LLP are seniors. So you could conceivably have this kind of depth:

    1 McCallum/Morris/LLP
    2 Brundidge/Vogrich/Stu
    3 Zeigler/Novak
    4 Smotrycz/McLimans
    5 Williams/Morgan/Cronin

    Serious depth indeed.

  • JRose5

    KJay, I do agree, that would be a very solid squad…again, it is all wishful thinking, but just the fact that it is even a remote possibility, shows that Coach B is handling recruiting very effectively. A class of Smotrycz, Zeigler, and Hardaway would be very nice as well! I am afraid that we are dreaming about Prather!
    Go Blue!

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=4105841

    Did anyone else see this revised top ten from Katz?? He has us ninth. Wow, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to handle being the favorite next year.

  • jim

    Kenny, here’s another link to last weekend’s Providence Jam Fest.


    A very nice review of Evan Smortycz and once again a glowing review of Regan. Staring to sound like Whitfiled had a bit too much in the way of beverages.

  • Peter Gordy

    Mass Premier winning the Silver Brackett (17)-losing the first game and winning 5 straight with a convincing 65-49 championship win. The shortest team and youngest coach in the tournment. Placed 3rd last year in Div2 Nationals-automatic bid for Orlando this summer; sweet 16 the previous year. A pleasure to watch.

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  • Great review. I’ve heard great things about Will Regan. He’s still a little off the radar nationally but that will change soon. My guys Kyrie and Michael ran things up in Providence. Looking forward to next year as they should be the top 1-2 combo in high school ball.