PF – 6’7, 230lbs – Born 2nd August 1991
Back in the day, there was a stretch in which Michigan decided to run the offence through Smotrycz. What a time that was. Things were different in the Michigan programme back then, and they were also different for Smotrycz, who transferred out of the Wolverines program to avoid having to play the centre spot only to go to Maryland and find he had to do it there as well. But then the Terrapins also ran the offence through him, for an entire season. What a time to be alive.
Smotrycz’s college career was defined by inconsistencies on both ends, mixed with intrigue in how he seemed to always do a little bit of everything, however sporadically. A good outside shooter for a big man, Smotrycz slightly undercut that by being far too aggressive with his jump shot at times, and also missing a very large amount of layups. This is not ideal when you’re playing centre. Also not much of a ball-handler unless he is able to look at the floor while doing it, Smotrycz’s abilities to drive the close-outs his shot would draw, or pump-fake and get to the cup that way, were always a bit hit-and-miss. When he pulled these things off, he was versatile and new-age. When he didn’t, he was a turnover-prone shooter who got blocked a lot.
Regardless of the results, Smotrycz would always play hard. Too hard, sometimes, yet he put forth the energy to mask the fact that with a small wingspan and little athleticism, he did not have the physical tools to thrive defensively at a higher level. Smotrycz has made improvements in his man -to-man defence over the years and is surprisingly good when playing in the post against physical bigs, but in being slow-footed defensively, and somewhat positionless, prone to reaching and not so good on the perimeter, his defensive inconsistencies and need for very specific circumstances to be effective mirror those of his offence. Four years of professional basketball completed, and having turned 28 in August, it still seems as though Smotrycz finds it hard to hold down work
– 20th June, 2019
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