Evan Smotrycz sat out Maryland’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge loss to No. 7 Virginia on Wednesday night and is not expected to play on Saturday night against Winthrop, according to Dan Martin of CSNBaltimore.com.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon updated the status of his senior forward to a group of reporters on Friday, listing Smotrycz as “day-to-day”.
“I just told him to do the best he can every day and try to get healthy,” Turgeon said. “I think he’s getting better, but I don’t think he’s ready to really try it on the court. When we spoke this morning, that’s kind of where we were.”
“Get back as quick as you can,” Smotrycz said, recalling the conversation. “When you’re 100 percent healthy physically and mentally, just get back. If it’s tomorrow, just make it tomorrow. If it’s Sunday, make it Sunday. If it’s Monday, make it Monday. If it’s January 30th, let’s make it January 30th, but just get yourself healthy.”
The 6-foot-9 forward fractured a bone in his left foot during practice back in mid-October. He has appeared in only two games — against VMI and Monmouth — playing a total of 30 minutes, scoring four points. He missed Wednesday’s 76-65 loss to the Cavaliers after rolling his ankle in the win over VMI.
The Terrapins are also without Dez Wells, who is out with a wrist injury.
A shorthanded Maryland team follows Saturday’s home game against Winthrop with meetings with North Carolina Central (Dec. 10) and USC Upstate (Dec. 13) the following week, also at the Xfinity Center.
When it was first announced that Maryland senior forward Evan Smotrycz would sit out the program’s Maryland Madness event Friday evening as a result of an injury suffered in practice, the hope was that there would be good news when Smotrycz was re-evaluated the following day. Unfortunately for head coach Mark Turgeon, that wasn’t the case and the injury will sideline one of the members of his front court rotation for the next month or so.
Sunday afternoon it was reported that Smotrycz actually broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, an injury that according to Daniel Martin of CSN Baltimore is expected to sideline the forward anywhere from four to six weeks. with Maryland’s lack of experience in the front court, with fellow senior Jon Graham and sophomore Damonte Dodd being the other returnees, losing Smotrycz hurts for a team that struggled with consistency in the paint last season.
“We are really disappointed for Evan, but knowing his high character and tireless work ethic, we have full confidence he will return and finish strong in his senior season,” Turgeon said in a statement according to CSN Baltimore. “We have confidence that our front court players will step up in Evan’s absence.”
Smotrycz averaged 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season, and his injury likely speeds things up for freshman Michal Cekovsky. Cekovsky was already expected to compete for minutes, but with Maryland’s leading returning rebounder having to sit more will be asked of the 7-foot-1 newcomers. Unfortunately for Maryland, Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter has to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules.
As Maryland continues the process of preparing for their first season as a member of the Big Ten, one of the key players for Mark Turgeon is senior forward Evan Smotrycz. Smotrycz, who began his college career at Michigan, averaged 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest in 2013-14 for a team that finished 17-15 and missed out on postseason play.
Unfortunately for Smotrycz and the Terrapins, his prepartions for the 2014-15 season hit a bump in the road Friday afternoon.
According to Daniel Martin of CSN Baltimore, Smotrycz suffered a sprained left ankle at the end of practice. As a result he’ll miss out on the team’s Midnight Madness scrimmage, with the basketball program stating via its Twitter account that Smotrycz will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
Smotrycz is Maryland’s leading returning rebounder from last season, with Jake Layman (5.0 rpg) and Dez Wells (4.3 rpg) being next in line. Among the other front court players Maryland will look for contributions from this season are senior Jon Graham, sophomore Damonte Dodd and freshman Michael Cekovsky.
Barack Obama has made it known that basketball is his sport of choice. There are countless pictures and videos of him playing the game, and every March he fills out his own NCAA Tournament bracket with ESPN’s Andy Katz from the Oval Office.
With Oregon State in town playing Maryland in College Park on Sunday evening, Obama will see his brother-in-law — Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson — coach against the Terps, Daniel Martin of CSNBaltimore.com reported. Robinson is the older brother of First Lady Michelle Obama.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon commented prior to learning that Obama would officially be attending Sunday evening’s game: “I think it would be great. It would be pretty cool for everybody, for our team and for their team…Hopefully it makes the teams play even harder than they were going to play. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”
This isn’t the first time that Obama will have made an appearance at a college basketball game as President. In 2012, Obama attended the First Four in Dayton, OH with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Predictably, security will be at an all-time high at the Comcast Center. Maryland forward Evan Smotrycz said, “The loading dock will probably be shut down, high security. But it’ll be cool. I’m sure people are excited.” The university has instructed fans to “arrive as early as possible,” and also included a list of items that are prohibited.
Maryland and Oregon State both enter the game with 1-1 records.
According to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz has committed to coach Mark Turgeon and Maryland after visiting the campus this past weekend.
Smotrycz averaged 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this year as a sophomore for the Wolverines, a team that went 24-10 overall, before losing to Ohio in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament.
Colorado and Providence were also in the mix for Smotrycz. He will have to sit out one year, in compliance with NCAA rules, which will make him eligible in the fall of 2013.
Turgeon has Maryland on the upswing, due in part to the four-man class he has entering in 2012, led by Texas big man Shaquille Cleare.
In other recent program news, guard Mychal Parker announced last week that he was transferring. He averaged 4.3 points and three rebounds per game last season.
The Terrapins went 17-15 on the year.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_