Evan Smotrycz reportedly has no regrets about leaving Michigan, happy for ex teammates
One season later, the team he left has elevated to No. 1 nationally and is considered a national title contender, while the team he joined (Maryland) is in a fight for its NCAA tournament life.
But the former 6-foot-9 Michigan forward says he has no regrets.
“No. Not at all,” Smotrycz told the Washington Post recently. “Everyone asks me that: ‘Aren’t you [upset] when Michigan was ranked first and stuff?’ I talk to the guys still, and I’m happy for them. At the same time, I wasn’t leaving because the team wasn’t good. I was leaving to do something for me, and to better myself.
"I’m happy for them. They could win a national title and I’d still be happy for them. I wouldn’t disappointed at all, because I know I made the right decision.”
Smotrycz -- who is currently sitting out this season at Maryland due to NCAA transfer rules -- began the 2011-12 season in Michigan's starting lineup, playing power forward alongside Jordan Morgan in the post.
He started out hot, hitting an incredible 57.1 percent of his 3-pointers before the start of Big Ten play.
Once conference play began, though, his numbers started dwindling. He eventually fell out of the starting lineup in favor of senior guard Stu Douglass, and never seemed to regain his stride as a shooting big man who could play inside.
He made 18 starts on the year, averaging 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. During his two years at Michigan, he averaged 7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 69 games.
His final game at Michigan was the 2012 NCAA tournament loss to Ohio, a game he performed well in -- scoring 15 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. A week later, Michigan announced his plans to transfer.
"He was kind of assessing things along the way, things he needed to work on and things that he felt would make him a stronger player, not just at Michigan but moving forward," Smotrycz's mother, Charleen, told MLive.com at the time. "He's not an impulsive guy, he's pretty methodical. He did a review at the end of the year and just felt this was the right decision for him.
"He wasn't happy and he felt that he needed to take a pause, head home and kind of re-assess what he was looking for in the next step of his life, and we supported him."
No. 4 Michigan (23-4, 10-4) visits Penn State on Wednesday (6:30 p.m., BTN).
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