Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Three players leaving Michigan
By Michael Rothstein
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Three players, including sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz, who was a starter for the first half of the 2011-12 season, have left the Michigan basketball program.
Additionally, freshman point guard Trey Burke is exploring his options with the NBA.
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Smotrycz, freshman guard Carlton Brundidge and sophomore Colton Christian all are leaving the team and intend to transfer to other schools, Michigan said in a release Wednesday afternoon.
"We never like to see players leave the program, however, Evan, Colton and Carlton have made the decision to transfer and continue their careers elsewhere," Michigan coach John Beilein said in a statement. "All three are fine young men with bright futures. We wish them and their families nothing but success going forward."
Burke sent paperwork to the NBA advisory board asking where he might stand when it comes to this summer's NBA Draft.
"He's waiting on that and going from there," Burke's father, Benji, said Wednesday. "He's heard some things that he could be a possible first round (pick) so that's what triggers wanting information about this. Of course, he's heard all the good things about the draft, being a weak point guard draft this year."
Benji Burke said if it was up to him and his wife, Ronda, their son would be returning to Michigan for his sophomore season. Benji Burke also stressed his son has not declared for the draft and not made up his mind on what he will do.
Trey Burke split the Big Ten freshman of the year award with Indiana forward Cody Zeller after leading Michigan in scoring (14.6 points per game) and assists last season. He also set a freshman record with assists at 156, breaking a record held for over two decades by Gary Grant.
Smotrycz played in 69 games his first two seasons, starting 42. He averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season. He also leaves as the fifth-best 3-pointer shooter in school history, making 40.5 percent of his 3-pointers.
Smotrycz said he planned on finishing the semester at Michigan and did not have a timetable for his decision of where he'll go next. He told WolverineNation he made his final decision to transfer Wednesday.
"It's just a matter of what I thought was the right fit, something my family agreed on," Smotrycz said. "I don't want to say too much right now in being sensitive to the coaching staff. But it was a decision I had to make to be somewhere I was happy."
Smotrycz had one of his best games of the season in the second-round NCAA tournament loss to Ohio, shooting 6 of 7 (2 of 2 from 3-point range) and posting 15 points and seven rebounds.
Brundidge played in 15 games as a backup to starting point guard Trey Burke. He averaged 0.4 points. Christian played spot duty in 45 games over two seasons.
The move opens up three scholarships for Michigan for the 2012-13 school year -- slots at which the Wolverines believed they were set.