Smotrycz, Brundidge, Christian All Exit

Submitted by Brian on March 21st, 2012 at 3:19 PM

I had these tweets up from Sam Webb that hinted at some attrition from the basketball team but that's all irrelevant now:

University of Michigan men's basketball head coach John Beilein announced today (Wednesday, March 21) that sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz (Reading, Mass./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]),sophomore forward Colton Christian (Bellevue, Wash./Hargrave Military Academy) and freshman guard Carlton Brundidge (Southfield, Mich./Southfield HS) each decided to leave the Wolverine basketball program and transfer to another school.

Smotrycz is the headliner here. He started the first half of the year before Michigan went to Stu Douglass in the starting lineup; playing out of position the rest of the year at the five he still saw 20 minutes a game and was Michigan's best three-point shooter over the course of the season. He was projected to start at the four next year. His loss is both inexplicable and harmful. Unless Smotrycz was flat out told that McGary and Robinson were going to eat his minutes I don't understand that departure.

Brundidge only saw a few minutes spotting Trey Burke; Christian was also an end of the bench type.

Michigan's scholarship crunch just got blown away: Michigan could bring in two additional guys in the 2012 class and still have room for their three guys in 2013 without any further attrition. They only have one active target, 6'5" Findlay Prep PG/SG Amedeo Della Valle. He's got a top five Michigan is a part of along with Texas A&M, Ohio State, Arizona, and Gonzaga. They could also get in on the Trey Ziegler transfer sweepstakes now.



March 21st, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

Personally, I didn't see Smotrycz starting next year.  I thought it would be Trey, THJr, GRIII, McGary and Morgan/Horford.  This means that Bielfeldt just got a promotion and GRIII will get a good amount of time at the 4 when we go small. 

Also, Mr. Donnal, keep practicing.  We'll need you sooner than later, thanks.


March 21st, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

I'm also in the belief that Smot transferred due to the fanbase running him off campus.  My facebook wall mentions how happy they are he's leaving.  I mean, really?  You are happy you ran off a guy who was projected to be a key contributor next year?

I don't think Michigan will land Trey Ziegler.  According to the CMU student newspaper he is eyeing Duke.  Although, I don't think Duke would take him.



March 21st, 2012 at 3:58 PM ^

to the people who were worried about how "boring" things would be now that Michigan football has already locked up its 2013 recruiting class.


March 21st, 2012 at 4:03 PM ^

A player also ought to be able to put up with crap from fans, blah, blah, blah, but there were a lot of people who jumped right off the bandwagon on Friday night and showed themselves to be (at least at that time) just the sort of sh*t fans who should go root for Michigan State.


March 21st, 2012 at 9:26 PM ^

If I remember correctly...Smot has two huge three's and literally kept us in the game.

And people single him out for one silly mistake. Sure, it sucked at the time, but we shouldn't have been in that position being down by 3 or w/e in the first place. That was a team (or DJ Cooper going HAM) loss.

He has a twitter post:


"Blessed to be in a position where people take so much interest in my life tht they want to tell me how bad I am at it..."


That may say it all about why he left...





March 21st, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

With Evans abilitity to spread the floor and shoot the ball (something next years team desperately needed) and the fact that he was going to finally play his natural position at the stretch 4, this really hurts next years team. Going into the offseason, I thought that the weakness of next years squad would be defense and shooting, and with the losses of Novak and Douglass already, we will lose 3 out of our 4 "pure shooters" without really adding shooter outside of stauskas. Looks like Beilein's style of shoot a million threes may be on the back burner for a while, But on a positive note, a Lineup of Burke, Hardaway, Robinson, McGary, and Morgan sounds very exciting

San Diego Mick

March 21st, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

But not so much the other 2, Brundidge was down right scary when he entered games, very pedestrian player IMO.

Coach B, please go get a good PG  to back up Burke, this is very important.

As far as Evan is concerned, maybe he was worried about his minutes waning cause of the incoming and leftover talent. Biefeldt might be able to fill that role and add more toughness, I heard he has a really good outside shot too.


March 21st, 2012 at 4:23 PM ^

The concern is that this will force an adjustment of the offensive system he's coached for his entire career, given that we will have 0 post players with an outside shot.

It is SOMETHING like asking Al Borges to run an offense with Denard Robinson. It's possible, and it can work out - but it may take the better part of a season to iron out the wrinkles.


March 21st, 2012 at 4:30 PM ^

1.  Beilein adapts.  He never had players like Morris and Burke and he managed. He's maximized production from people like limited-skil-set players like Morgan. Beilein adjusts to the talent he has.

2. Playing small.  Beilein's not afraid to do it, obviously.  Robinson's potential to play minutes at the 4 just went up.  Maybe Vogrich ups his Novakiness.

3. McGary and Horford are skilled players who can shoot a little bit too, maybe a lot bit.


March 22nd, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

But a lot of that system consists of older systems that he modified to produce more outside shots--cutters who would have gone to the hole or posted up are now diverted to the three point line (like the first cutter in the shuffle, who used to go to the basket and then return on the opposite side but now heads to the 3-point line in the near corner).

It would be easy to reverse-engineer this, if you have fewer outside shooters.

True Blue Grit

March 21st, 2012 at 4:06 PM ^

There goes a good chunk of depth next year.  We're going to need another point guard ASAP. I can't see us using Akunne for a lot of minutes without seeing a negative impact.  Hope I'm wrong though.  But Smotrycz leaving is very strange.  Although he looked unhappy on the floor  frequently, so there was a good clue.  His play clearly indicated he was not fully focussed on the game.   I'd love to know why 3 guys left all on the same day.  That is also very strange.  


March 21st, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

Smotrycz leaving really hurts, personally - I'm a big fan of his and I was really optimistic about him going forward. Ouch.

Best of luck to all three young men.


March 21st, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

Our bigs will be Mitch, Morgan, and Horford.  They can rotate those three at the PF and C spots.  We definitely lose out on the 3-pt shooting from Smot at the 4, but we can agree he couldn't matchup on defense there.

Hardaway, Robinson, and Strauskas will round our the 2 and the 3.

My only concern is the backup to Trey.  I think the 3 point shooting that Smot provided, which IMO is the only harmful loss in his departure, will be covered by two of the guys coming in.  I hope we can find a ball-handler to back up Trey.

Grit McGritterson

March 21st, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

Wow, definitely a surprising turn of events, especially with Smotrycz.

I'm also wondering how Zack and Stu feel about this; they must be pretty disappointed, given all the work they put into this team and what they had envisioned going forward.

Definitely dampens the momentum we had coming out of a very successful season.

On the bright side, we are still 8-9 months away from next season, so hopefully that'll give us enough time to land someone in an area of need. I think even before this, I was worried about who could back up Trey and/or handle the ball; perhaps now we'll get the chance to address that.

Born Blue

March 21st, 2012 at 4:26 PM ^

As with others, can't say I saw this coming.  Smotrycz's comment about out of respect to the coaches he will not say more at this time sounds REAL ominous!!  Hopefully it's nothing bad or personal...we will see.  I wish all of them the best.

As for his departure due to the fan base, perhaps people need a refresher.  I suggest going back to the ESPN "30 on 30 - Fab Five" documentary to see what the Michigan fan base can do to the players and coaches!  Those were REAL ugly comments and threats from Michigan supporters.  Let's hope it wasn't anything approaching that.


March 21st, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^


Shocked and saddened here. Never thought Smotrycz would transfer. He's a Beilein 4-man all the way, had contributed some good play, had afew things to work n, and was likely to be a contributor going forward. Where did that come from?

I also thought Brundidge had said to a newspaper in the last month that he would definitely be back next year. We have minutes to be won in next year's backcourt ... What happened?

I get Christian trying his luck elsewhere, but still sad to see him go. I appreciated his play when he got on the court. That was just overly often and looked unlikely going forward, so i guess that makes sense.

Seriously, best of luck to each. Thanks for what you've given. You will be missed.