Poor Brian Bowen. Bowen was the number 14 recruit in the country coming out of high school, and was committed to play at Louisville. Now for those that may not have heard, the Louisville basketball program got into a little trouble recently. Bowen was one of the main players associated with the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption. Not even Brian Bowen himself, but his family, was accused of taking $100,000 from Adidas to commit to Louisville. Luckily, Louisville is a classy program, so they threw down a suspension on Brian Bowen. Because of this he decided to transfer to South Carolina so that he could play basketball.
From everything that I heard, all Brian Bowen wanted to do was play basketball. He didn’t really care about the scandal at Louisville, or the NCAA. Brian Bowen loves basketball and he wanted to go to a program where he would get a chance to shine playing under a coach like Frank Martin. Unfortunately for Brian, the NCAA had other plans. They decided that because of the scandal at Louisville they were going to give Brian a one year NCAA suspension. What a load of bullshit. Brian did nothing wrong, but the NCAA needed someone to make an example out of and they chose Brian. Despite that ban he continued to practice and grind with the South Carolina basketball team (who really could have used him).
Then Brian had a huge decision. He could return for a full season at South Carolina, or try to live his dream and make it to the league. Brian decided not to waste his time with the NCAA anymore and he declared for the NBA draft. Everybody from the fans, to his teammates, to coach Frank Martin agreed that was the right choice for Brian.
That’s honestly such sad stuff. Brian Bowen just wanted to play college basketball and he was never given that chance.
Unfortunately, no NBA team wanted to take a shot on Brian because of his lack of experience at a high level. The saddest part is these new NCAA rules put in place for this season would have allowed Brian to return to South Carolina after not getting drafted. If you’re wondering, Brian Bowen is aware how badly the NCAA screwed him over.
So, Brian is forging his own path and becoming the first player to participate in the NBL’s Next Stars program. He will go out to Australia and play for the Sydney Kings for a season then take another shot at the NBA next year. Last year, top recruit Terrance Ferguson signed with the NBL for a year just like Bowen is doing and Ferguson was a first round draft pick this year. Hopefully Brian Bowen can take that same path because he deserves his shot at the NBA.
Maybe the most exciting part of this is that Brian Bowen gets to play alongside Andrew Bogut. I don’t know why but I think Andew Bogut is really cool. Any seven foot, Australian with an NBA title has to be cool. Also, realistically having an NBA vet on his team should help him get ready for the league.