McDonald's All-American Brian Bowen confirms pledge to Louisville
Five-star prospect Brian Bowen announced Saturday that he has committed to the University of Louisville for the 2017-18 season, confirming a move that had been expected since earlier in the week when he enrolled at U of L.
Bowen, a 6-foot-7 wing player from Michigan, enrolled in summer classes at U of L on Thursday but wanted to make his college decision public through his social media accounts.
He picked Louisville over a host of schools, including Arizona, Creighton, DePaul, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Oregon and Texas, among others.
"Happy to announce my commitment to the 'Ville," Bowen tweeted Saturday. "Let's get it."
After Bowen's announcement, U of L confirmed that Bowen has signed a financial aid agreement and indeed plans to take summer classes at U of L.
"We are extremely excited to have Brian with us," U of L coach Rick Pitino said in a prepared statement. "He’s extremely versatile and can play almost four positions. He’s an outstanding scorer, a terrific passer and someone who just really knows how to play the game. This gives us a deep, talented team, and we look forward to playing another exciting schedule."
Bowen's pledge comes after a surprise twist in his recruitment over the past week. After the May 24 NBA draft deadline, Bowen reassessed his options as Arizona, Michigan State and Texas announced the returns of key wings who had entered their names into the draft pool.
Bowen, who played for La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, visited U of L's campus earlier this week.
Pitino said at a May 23 press conference that Louisville did not plan to add any more players to its 2017-18 team, but Bowen expressed interest after that.
Bowen, who is ranked between 12th and 20th nationally by each of the four major recruiting sites, will fill U of L's last available scholarship. The Cards signed freshmen Jordan Nwora, Darius Perry, Lance Thomas and Malik Williams and landed Connecticut transfer Steven Enoch.
They also awarded a scholarship to UNC-Asheville transfer Dwayne Sutton after he spent last year as a preferred walk-on.
Known for his scoring prowess, Bowen immediately boosts a Louisville roster that was already expected to be one of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He plays a similar position to sophomore V.J. King and junior Deng Adel, who opted to return to school after testing the NBA draft waters.
But Jerry Meyer, the director of basketball scouting for 247Sports.com, said Bowen has a skill set that any school would have a hard time turning down.
"They’ll have some depth at the wing position," Meyer said, "but he’s more of a stretch-the-court, catch-and-shoot guy. ... A 6-7 guy who can shoot the ball like he shoots it, that’s a highly valued commodity."
Bowen averaged 20.4 points and seven rebounds per game this past season at La Lumiere, which won the Dick's Sporting Goods High School Nationals in March.
He averaged 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last summer as a rising high school senior on the fiercely competitive Nike AAU circuit.
"He has great potential," Meyer said. "He’s a very good shooter. He can make tough shots and has improved his ability score off the dribble. He’s a fantastic catch-and-shoot guy, too."
Meyer said Bowen, like most young prospects, needs to improve his physicality and strength. He has already made significant strides in those areas, though, Meyer added.
Bowen is considered a potential one-and-done prospect who could play in college for one season before entering his name in the NBA draft.
"I think there’s potential for that, and I think that’s how he views himself," Meyer said. "We all know how it works. I expect him to have a good freshman year. I expect to have an impact early."