In some relatively unexpected news, Evan Smotrycz has decided to join Carlton Brundidge and Colton Christian on their way out of Ann Arbor, departing the Michigan Wolverines basketball program.
In the official press release, John Beilein said, “We never like to see players leave the program, however, Evan, Colton and Carlton have made the decision to transfer and continue their careers elsewhere,” said Beilein. “All three are fine young men with bright futures. We wish them and their families nothing but success going forward.”
It isn’t a huge surprise that Brundidge and Christian are leaving. Brundidge, the freshman from Southfield, Michigan, just didn’t look ready to excel in the rigors of Big 10 basketball. Christian has some nice attributes but was about to get even further buried on the depth chart with the likes of Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskus, and Mitch McGary coming to town.
The shocker is Smotrycz. The 6’9’’ sophomore, though struggling mentally at times in his 2nd season, has all kinds of upside and appeared to be in the perfect program given his skill set. He reeled off 3 straight double-doubles during the most recent season and had a stellar game against Ohio in the NCAA tournament.
Smotrycz was going to receive substantial playing time as a junior but might have feared a reduced role with the high credentials the 3 incoming freshman bring to the table.
Michigan’s rotation next year now looks like this:
PG – Trey Burke (no discernible backup)
SG – Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Matt Vogrich
Forwards – Robinson, Stauskas, McGary, Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford, and Blake McLimans
The 3 departing players join seniors Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, and Corey Person in what is amounting to a major roster turnover. John Beilein now has some unexpected scholarships to work with. Don’t be surprised if a sleeper point guard joins the mix soon to give Burke some help.
More from the press release:
Smotrycz played in all 69 games over his two seasons in Ann Arbor, averaging 7.0 points, 3.6 rebounds while playing in 19.4 minutes per game. Christian came off the bench in 45 games, averaging 3.8 minutes, and posted a career-best two points on five different occasions while pulling down a career-best six rebounds against Gardner-Webb (Nov. 29, 2011). Brundidge played in 15 games in his first season, averaging 2.9 minutes. He saw his most significant game action against Alabama A&M (Dec. 17, 2011), playing 13 minutes and scoring a career-best three points.