Maryland junior Evan Smotrycz was forced to sit out Thursday’s ACC tournament loss to Florida State, plagued by back spasms that had been lingering since Maryland’s win Sunday over Virginia.
But the pain appeared to have lessened, making his absence a last-minute scratch. Head coach Mark Turgeon explained after Wednesday’s loss to Florida State.
“Well, it happened Sunday in the game [vs. Virginia],” Turgeon said after the game. “He sat out Monday and Tuesday, did a little bit yesterday, but we all assumed he was playing.
“About 40 minutes before the game, my trainer told me he wasn’t playing or didn’t want to play, so I met with him, and he said his back was tight, so we didn’t play him.”
Without the floor-stretching Smotrycz, Maryland shot 8-of-23 from behind the three-point line. Sophomore Jake Layman began the game 2-of-2 from long range, but his 33 minutes seemed to wear on him as most of his jumpers appeared short and he finished 2-of-7 from deep.
Smotrycz’s absence also affected the team’s rotations. Freshman Damonte Dodd played seven minutes and senior John Auslander saw the floor in the first half. Guard Roddy Peters played 16 minutes as Turgeon experimented more with of Seth Allen at the shooting guard spot.
Turgeon did not elaborate on Smotrycz’s possible availability for the team’s remaining games, which would assumedly be in the NIT.