Brian Bowen, colloquially known as “Tugs,” is one of the nation’s top uncommitted players and a perfect example of how college basketball recruiting is like a game of Tetris meets a crossword puzzle. You have certain pieces in place already, here comes the next piece, can you make it fit? If so, how do you make it fit?
You have some of the clues already, but how do you find the rest of the information to make it all fit together? It’s all a domino theory. Brian Bowen is rated #19 in Scout, #15 in 24/7 Sports, and #12 by ESPN, so he’s a consensus blue chip prospect.
Where he ends up depends on what slot he would see as the best fit for him.
“I was thinking about committing a while ago, months ago, but I’ll just take my time, it’s a big decision,” Bowen said at Media Day.
“So I’m seeing where guys are going, staying, leaving.”
See it all hinges on early NBA Draft entry/returning to school decisions for some of the top players currently in college basketball. What they decide to do creates a domino theory.
The 24/7 crystal ball predictions “experts” see the Tugs Bowen decision as a toss up between Michigan State and Arizona. Scout puts those two schools with a much higher chance as well, but tells us not to exclude Texas, Creighton and N.C. State. The 6-7 small forward from Saginaw, Michigan will let us know by the end of this month.
Brian Bowen says on ESPN he's still down to 5 schools (MSU, Zona, Texas, Creighton, NC State) and will "definitely" make decision in April.
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) April 1, 2017
Arizona will lose Lauri Markkanen and Kadeem Allen next year, but should return Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Dusan Ristic, and Chance Comanche. For Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins and Kobi Simmons, a big decision awaits, and that could have ripple effects all over the nation. These decisions could affect whether or not Bowen goes to Tucson.
Up in East Lansing, Miles Bridges is almost certainly gone, but Nick Ward, Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford, Lourawls Nairn Jr., Matt McQuaid, Kenny Goins will almost certainly be back. Jaren Jackson is an incoming 5-star big man who will join them.
Sure, it seems like it’s down to just MSU and Arizona, but don’t rule out the dark horses just yet.
“I’m still talking to Texas, I’m still talking to N.C. State a little bit, the assistant coaches, they have a new coaching staff,” Tugs Bowen revealed, before hasn’t talked to Kevin Keatts yet.
“Once I get sick of it is the time I’m going to commit. I’m really enjoying it,” Tugs responded when asked if he getting sick of the process yet. Don’t expect a decision until after the Jordan Brand Classic, at the earliest.
Also, never underestimate the home state advantage the Spartans have. Brian Bowen is from the same hometown as MSU legend, and NBA star Jason Richardson. The former MSU All-American is Bowen’s cousin. Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo is definitely playing up the “staying home” angle as much as he can.
“He (Izzo) keeps pushing the home factor and that’s big time cuz I love my state and my city,” Brian Bowen said.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and NBC Chicago.com, contributes to Chicago Tribune.com, Bold, WGN CLTV and KOZN.
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