Checking In with Evan Smotrycz

Dylan Burkhardt

Evan Smotrycz’ prep career is coming to a close but the 6-foot-9 forward gave us a quick update before New Hampton’s final home game of his career.

My last home game is Friday. We play Tilton whose is a rival a couple exits south of us. We have had a long solid week of practice, we had a game scheduled for Wednesday but it was cancelled because of a huge snow storm. We have been staying sharp in practice and have really competed. Our legs are fresh and it should be a competitive and fun game for our fans to watch.

We have prided ourselves on not taking it easy in practice. “You are either getting better or getting worse, never staying the same,” our coach tells us. That’s why we feel confident about our position going into the NEPSAC Tournament. The first game is Wednesday. The seedings are not finished so we don’t know who we will play. Winning the tournament would be hard, but not impossible. If we could get that done it would make the rest of the year that much better, knowing we as a team hung up a banner in our gym.

smotrycz1 smotrycz-3

New Hampton lost the game, 82-81, but Smotrycz provided another quick update after the game:

I don’t really know what to say. I guess we just weren’t ready to play the game. We lost by one. It’s disappointing because that’s the last game we get to play at our gym, ever. What I can say is this, the thing that allows you to move past these games mentall, is knowing that you did everything you could to help your team. The tournament starts Wednesday, and I don’t want to look back on the year and say “I wish I played harder”. I know my team feels the same, so we will be ready.

Now that New Hampton’s regular season is over, they shift their focus to the NESPAC Class A tournament. New Hampton received the seven seed, with a 6-8 record in conference play, and will face Winchendon (12-5). It sounds like New Hampton got a bit of a rough draw, as their first round match-up will likely match-up two contenders. The linked article also has a nice breakdown of the other teams in NESPAC Class A which should give you a better idea of the teams that Smotrycz has been facing all year.

New Hampton lost to Winchendon twice in overtime this year, but they won the most recent match-up fairly easily and Smotrycz had 21 points and 8 rebounds. The tournament tips off Wednesday and New Hampton’s game is scheduled for 8PM. The semis are scheduled on Friday with the championship on Sunday.

Rivals’ Jerry Meyer recently answered a question ($) about whether Smotrycz was a comparable player to Florida’s Chandler Parsons. The conclusion was that Smotrycz is similar in build and shooting ability but might not be quite the athlete that Parsons is. Meyer hypothesizes that Smotrycz is ranked correctly but might be one of those players “who overachieves based on his ranking”.

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  • Alex

    Sounds like he’s got the right attitude. Can’t wait to see him on the tube next year.

  • AG2

    Can’t wait to see him defending Crisler’s home court.

  • michigan4204

    Having never seen Evan play, I’m not sure how accurate this is, but being from Indy, he reminds me of Butler star Gordon Hayward. Dylan, how would you compare the 2 players games?

  • I haven’t seen Smotrycz play more than a couple clips. Gordon Hayward is definitely one of my favorites though. Smotrycz is versatile but I don’t think he is as versatile as a guy like Hayward, maybe he could get there though.

  • AG2

    Wow, tie game, Louisville drives the lane with 12 seconds left and 3 UConn defenders standing in the lane just…move over for him. Big East basketball at its finest.

  • michigan4204

    Yeah, Gordon is a special talent, and just imagine, he is supposively better at tennis. I remember the Indiana 4a semistate which was Stu’s Carmel team, which was #1 in the state, against Hayward’s Brownsburg team, which was unranked. I don’t remember the exact stats from the game, but I remember telling my buddy that Gordon was a NBA talent. He finished the game with something close to 20 points and 20 rebounds, compared to Stu, who had 6 points if I remember correctly. I definitely left that game thinking Michigan was recruiting the wrong guy, no offense to Stu, but Gordon could do it all. Brownsburg won the game and went on to win the state championship, beating NC State recruits Juilius Mays and Scott Wood on a buzzer beater by, you guessed it, Gordon Hayward. If Evan is anything close to Hayward, we’re getting a hell of a player.

  • michigan4204

    Michigan State is playing horrible, but still lead by 3. Purdue definitely looks out of sorts with no Hummel. I think MSU has 19 turnovers and 15 field goals thus far. Kalin Lucas with 6 turnovers and no assists.

  • i hate state, go blue!!!!!!!1

  • Paul

    Anyone know how Evan Smotrycz has done against better competition – such as AAU ball?

  • Smotrycz tore up AAU ball this summer hence his fast rising through the rankings.

    I would say that NEPSAC ball is probably more competitive than AAU ball in terms of coaching and defense though. Did you read the article about his competition and come away thinking that the league wasn’t very strong?

  • Bluebufoon

    The conference that Smotrycz plays in features some of the top prep schools in America and players in America. The league doesn’t get a lot of publicity because most of the recruiting services are based much furhter to the South.

    Telep lives in N.C., Prepstars in Chapel Hill, NC, Bob Gibbons North Carolina, Clark Francis Kentucky, Rivals is based in Nashville, Tn.

  • hes going to help us alot i think i’ve seen evan’s highlight tape he’s really good!!!!!!!!1

  • Brian W

    Dylan, thanks for providing another update from Evan.

    Any idea if Evan’s still growing (height-wise)?

    I’m looking forward to seeing him play next year.

  • GrandChamp

    Cannot wait for Evan to get here. How is McLimans looking in practice and do you think he’ll make an impact next year??

  • Kevin P

    Not worried about Evan’s height. He is already around 6’8. I’m more worried about him and his weight/muscle. I’d like him to come in and play right away and not sit. Can he come in and play right away? Please say yes he can!

  • Brian W

    On the Coach Beilein show last week, Coach Mahoney was on, and he talked about how McLimans and Morgan have improved. Evidently the guys that don’t play in the games get to play three-man basketball, aka the “all-star game,” every week to work on their games. Mahoney said that McLimans had dramatically improved from the beginning of the season and had been getting better every week.

    Without seeing practice, it’s hard for me to say how McLimans would fare in the regular rotation, but watching him in the shoot-arounds before the halves of games, it looks like he can shoot the three without a problem. He nails them on a regular basis before games. His hand placement looks a little weird sometimes to me when he shoots it. It appeared to me that he needs to work on the dribble-and-shoot part of his game, but that’s just watching him shoot in warm-ups.

    Evan had said previously that he was going to work on his strength to get ready for next season. I’d plan on him being part of the rotation next season. I’d think that Morgan/McLimans (and possibly a yet-to-be-determinde recruit) would play center, and Evan could play power forward.

  • Paul

    Dylan – ok his league/competition there looks plenty tough! I’m excited now that we’ll be getting Evan :)

  • Not much info on how he played in these games or his development. If anyone has stats for those games please post!

  • W3

    McLimans, Morgan, Smotrycz and im sure Novak for a little will be the “big” rotation. MOrgan is really the only true center we have. McLimans and Smotrycz are pure 4’s.

    I guess on in certain situation you could move Blake or Evan to C but I wouldnt do it much.

    BTW…last I heard Evan was still growing…in the summer he measured in at NBA camp at 6’9.

  • we need McCallum and zeigler and horford we should sign 5 recruits this year…………Now that would be really good!!!

  • Michael P

    Dylan I know this is off-topic. Just wanted to say I love the blog and the valid/source-backed information you (and others)provide. Have you ever thought about incorporating a forum for q&a or link posting or whatever?

  • Michael p wat u think about them 3 players i just listed ?

  • Pingback: Recruiting Roundup (3-1-10) | UM

  • Michael P

    McCallum doesn’t have Michigan on his radar, but I think he’s the best player in the state of Michigan. Great stroke, fast, explosive athlete. I think he ends up going out of state…
    Horford has upside because of his family history with late growth spurts. Al wasn’t rated very highly coming out of hs either…I think Beilein offers if Ziegler falls through the cracks…
    Zeigler should be priority one. Great all around player, multipositional, good shooter and finisher.

  • KDavis

    In tvell’s world, schools have unlimited scholarships available and every high-major recruit wants to go to UM. I like it!
    : /

  • they think of us a dominate football team but they dont give us credit in basketball….(does anybody remember the fab 5???????)

  • Drae

    Sure would be nice if Morgan can come in next year and bang with the biggins… If he could be half the player Dejuan Blair I would be happy!

  • mitch

    Hopefully Evan is more ready than Vogrich was this year. The competition he is playing with and against is unbelievable. That top team has 7 D1 recruits? Cant wait to see him next year.