RMHS Product Makes Move from Michigan to Maryland
Basketball standout Smotrycz will sit out this season and have two more years left to play in the ACC.
He won the team's Sixth Man Award as a freshman and averaged 7.7 points point per game as a sophomore last season as the Wolverines were 24-10.
But Smotrycz, a three-year player at Reading, was not satisfied after two years at Michigan.
"I wanted a place that could help me improve my game and be successful," he told Patch.
So the 6-foot-9 forward left Michigan and enrolled this semester at the University of Maryland. He will have to sit out this season due to NCAA rules but will have two more years of eligibility.
"It was pure basketball," he said of the move. "I looked for a place I could extend my game. I think I can improve; I want to be a guy that can make plays off the dribble."
He wants to be more than a catch and shoot player and Smotrycz hopes making the move to Maryland will help him as a player.
The RMHS product said he enjoyed being part of Midnight Madness earlier this month at Maryland. He said that pre-season hype was not part of the program at Michigan under head coach John Beilein, who is 91-77 in five years at the school.
Smotrycz averaged 20.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists as a junior at Reading and then played two seasons at New Hampton Prep School in New Hampshire, where he averaged 14 points in his second season.
"He's been to the (NCAA) tournament so he knows what it takes, so he has been a great addition," Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said of the Reading resident.
Smotrycz said Turgeon, getting ready for his second season in College Park, called him soon after he was granted his release from Michigan. Smotrycz had no prior connection to the Maryland coaching staff; he called off a plan to visit the University of Colorado after he committed to attend Maryland.
He is the son of Charleen and Zee Smotrycz. His father, Zee, played basketball at Middlebury College in Vermont and his sister, Erica, was a member of the swimming team at Northeastern.
Smotrycz, a big fan of the Celtics, said his father has relatives in New Jersey who hope to make the drive south to see him play when he is eligible for the 2013-14 season. For now he will have to cheer on his teammates when Maryland begins the season Nov. 9 against defending NCAA champ Kentucky in Brooklyn at the new home of the Nets of the NBA.
"It has been really good. I enjoy being a Terp," he said. "I love the coaches and the guys on the team. It will be tough to watch knowing I could be out there."