The 2011-12 NCAA basketball season isn’t even officially over yet, and already, a number of players from programs around the country have announced their intentions to bail for new schools. A few of them are from areas relatively local to Boston College. Who knows if that will make a difference in the end, but one would imagine that BC is doing its best to get in on some of these guys in hopes of landing a solid piece for the 2013-14 season. Connecticut’s Alex Oriakhi — well, nobody has quite figured that one out yet, but assuming he is headed to one of the big basketball powerhouses currently pursuing him, who is left?
One name that has come up repeatedly is Michigan’s Evan Smotrycz, a sophomore who announced his intention to leave Ann Arbor following their stunning one-and-done in the NCAA Tournament. This season, Smotrycz averaged just over 21 minutes per game, made 48% of his field goals, and averaged almost eight points and five boards in each.
Unlike with the Oriakhi quasi-drama, we know Boston College is in on him:
BC, Clemson, Colorado, USC, Butler, Baylor, Bama, Xavier, Oregon, Temple, Bonaventure, UMass, PC & GW on Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz.
— Alex Kline (@TheRecruitScoop) March 23, 2012
There are some good programs on this list, but few that truly blow anybody away. Now here are two other interesting factors to consider regarding Smotrycz:
• He is from Reading, Massachusetts. According to MapQuest, that’s a 39-minute drive from main campus (though with the way some people drive on 128, maybe less). If Smotrycz came here, he would get to compete against ACC opponents and be able to play in front of his hometown crowd.
• Prior to college, he played for New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire. Boston College has a New Hamptonite coming aboard next season by the name of Olivier Hanlan. Given that Smotrycz is a sophomore in college and Hanlan is a high school senior — a two-grade difference — they may or may not have been teammates in high school, but they definitely went to the same joint at about the same time. Thing is, Baylor is one of the schools on the aforementioned list and another of his old New Hampton teammates, Brady Heslip, is there.
One thing you may be wondering: how can a program which went 9-22 this season convince a guy to come on board? Remember, Smotrycz (or any inbound transfer except Oriakhi, for that matter) would have to sit out a year. By the time Smotrycz is eligible to play as a junior, the current freshman class will all be juniors. What is currently a young and largely-clueless team will by then hopefully be a seasoned and much-improved bunch. This assumes that they make reasonable progress in the 2012-13 season, but it would not be unreasonable for BC’s coaches to tell Smotrycz that by the time he suits up in maroon and gold, this team will be experienced and better.
If Boston College has an advantage here, it’s that the school is a major-conference program close to home. Without the benefit of Miss Cleo’s foresight, one would imagine BC’s raw freshmen will steadily improve as a whole over the next few years, so perhaps he will listen, or perhaps he will not.
Should he choose BC, it is impossible to project Smotrycz’s role two seasons ahead of time, but be careful of saying that he would not be important based on his numbers this season. Smotrycz’s two years starting over half his games at Michigan were better than Matt Humphrey’s two years at Oregon playing off the bench, and he certainly has a role to play at BC. Like Humphrey, Evan Smotrycz is a respectable player and would be a fine fit at Boston College — if he wants to play here.