Evans Ready for a 'New Chapter' at Maryland
"Me and him, we're the same type. We've got heart big like a lion and we always want to give 150 percent on the court," he said. "We're going to be roommates next year.
"He feels like I feel – if it's three in three in the morning and you feel like you need to get some work in, you do it. There's nobody who doesn't need some work on their game."
Evans, who averaged 23 points per game last year at Motlow State (Tenn.) Community College and 29.9 per game as a senior at George Wythe (Va.) High, will bring instant offense to a Maryland roster in need of another scoring threat.
"He can shoot out to 35 feet. He's just an incredibly gifted, NBA-caliber scorer," said Motlow coach Bobby Steinburg. "He brought us back from 20-point deficits on several occasions."
Evans said his range extends to where the ‘Comcast Center' tag is painted, several feet past NBA 3-point range. But he's not worried about what type of numbers he'll put up or how many shots he'll get.
"I just want to be a leader. I'm the type that they wanted to come in and get those guys motivated and get them amped up," Evans said.
For Evans, there was no lack of options. Arizona, Kansas State, Tennessee, Florida State and other major programs offered him scholarships. His final choices were Maryland and Arizona. In the end, it came down to his overnight bond with Vasquez and comfort with Driesell, who'd quietly been recruiting him for the better part of two years.
"I felt like that was the place to be for me as a player and as a person. Me and coach Driesell, we've had a good relationship for years, and that's the thing to have when you're trying to make the next step. You've got to be somewhere that's family, and that's why it's the spot for me," he said.
"He believed in me and I believe in him. He always checked up on me just to see how I was doing in life and basketball and school. A lot of schools I was being recruited by, I just met them," he said.
Evans expects to have a shot at starting at shooting guard, but doesn't expect anything to be handed to him on a platter.
"I have a shot. I don't want anyone giving anything to me. I just like to earn stuff. If you earn it, you feel more proud about it," he said.
Evans grew up playing against eventual Terps standout Bambale Osby. The two always wanted to play together, so Osby was excited to hear Evans had committed, but disappointed he'd missed him by a year. Osby also gave him the lowdown on Gary Williams.
"He's a great guy. I appreciate that he gave mea scholarship and I'm going to make sure they never regret giving me a scholarship. I'm thankful for everyone in College Park giving me this opportunity," he said. "I don't mind being yelled at by a coach. You have to listen to what the coach is saying, not how loud he's yelling."
It's been a long road to College Park for Evans, 23. He originally committed to Cincinnati in 2004 but was denied because of grades. He also pleaded guilty to assault and battery in 2005 while at a prep school in Massachusetts. He's an entirely different person now, though, he said.
I've never had a single problem with him on or off of the court," Steinburg said.
"Everybody, when they're young, make mistakes. You can talk to any of my coaches. I'm not a bad guy or a troublemaker. Sometimes you're in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. "When you're young, you don't really think about what's going to happen, you just do it. I'm mature now and that's behind me. The past is in the past. Like my grandma always told me, you get older and wiser.
"I'm starting a new chapter."
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