Smotryczs Stock Remains Hot
For 45 minutes every night Evan Smotrycz works on his ball-handling, not in his high school gym, in his backyard, or even in his driveway, but in the basement of his parent’s house.
Those 45 minutes are symbolic of Smotrycz’s approach to the game. While other rising juniors have spent the majority of their time competing in as many AAU tournaments, showcases, and all-stars games as possible, Smotrycz has been content to work on his game and skill set without any regard to who was watching him.
“He was new on the scene this summer,” said Vin Pastore, Smotrycz’s AAU coach with the Mass Rivals, “and what makes him so intriguing is the fact that his skill package is unbelievable. He’s 6’8” and can shoot it, put it on the floor, or post up.”
In the last two weeks alone Evan’s skills have warranted an unofficial visit to the University of Georgia as well as a host of other schools coming to Reading Memorial High School to see him work out. So far the list includes the likes of Virginia, Northeastern, URI, Delaware, and BU with Georgia and Pittsburgh set to be in this week.
“I really liked my visit to Georgia. I got to see the campus and watch their football game against South Carolina,” Smotrycz said. “Virginia wants me to go down there for an unofficial visit later this month, and I am looking forward to that too.”
If that weren’t enough schools like Notre Dame, Penn State, and even North Carolina have expressed an interest in Smotrycz. In fact, UNC coaches are expected to be in to evaluate the talented forward before the end of the month.
“The difference between Evan and other 6’8” players his age is Evan is naturally a guard and not someone who is trying to learn to play the perimeter,” Pastore said. “He is more skilled then any other 16 year old player I have ever seen.”
That is quite a statement coming from Pastore as he has had plenty of experience working with talented players including former McDonald’s All-American and University of Connecticut/University of Rhode Island star Scott Hazelton.
“Evan is only beginning to realize how good he can be,” Pastore continued. “He will probably wind up as a 6’10” wing player. Plus he’s an extremely hard worker and an honors student”
So what does Smotrycz think about going from a player who most people had never heard of to someone who is getting recruiting calls from places like North Carolina in less than six months?
“I am just trying to take it all in and enjoy it,” he said.
And that’s probably exactly why he will be back in the basement for another 45 minutes tonight.