Two weeks done with the Nike EYBL, so how’s the road been treating you?
Brian Bowen Yeah things seem to be going good, I’ve been playing with a new team and have been working on fitting in with them, it’s going to be a great rest of the year for us.
How did the move to Meanstreets happen?
When I moved for school, them and a couple other programs from Indiana that I could play on asked me if I was willing to play with them and they asked me to check the team out, so I did and joined up with them. We’re doing pretty good, we’re 4 and 3 all together, we’ve picked up one big guy already that has helped us a lot.
What kind of role have they asked you to play?
Really just a scoring role, pretty much doing a lot on the court with trying to be the best defender, best scorer, show my overall game and then go from there, just doing anything I can do to help the team. I think I’ve improved my ball-handling a lot and just being a more efficient and complete scorer. I’ve also been taking a lot of pride in my defense, I’ve wanted to guard the best guy on the court and also rebounding, that’s been really important to my growth as a high school player is being able to rebound from the guard position and just being versatile. I just want to improve, get stronger all the time and work on my ball-handling a lot.
Are you running pretty similar offensive and defensive sets between playing with Meanstreets and La Lumiere?
I think we’re similar on defense because we both stay in our gaps. Offensively, we are pretty similar, I think that’s a big reason why I like it so much with Meanstreets since it’s a little similar to what I did at La Lumiere.
How did this past season with La Lumiere go for you?
Yeah it went well, I really enjoyed myself last year there, it’s a great group of guys with great coaches and it’s a great school overall. I’m looking forward to next year, we had a great season and I personally had a great season and I’m looking forward to more while also knowing that there’s always something you can improve upon. One of our goals next year is to compete for a national championship.
I spoke last week with Gary Trent and his dad and they mentioned they had come and visit La Lumiere during the season. What do you remember about the visit?
Oh yeah, Gary’s a great guy, I’ve known him for a couple of years now. Never been on the same team before but we’re hoping to make that happen because I think he would help our team improve so much more if he came with his scoring ability and his overall ability. We showed him a lot about the school including the overall family atmosphere and all the benefits of La Lumiere not just athletically but also academically and the facilities. It was a great visit overall, I think we showed him it could be like a second home for him. We’ve talked to each other on the circuit when we’ve seen each other since then and I’m always telling him, “c’mon man, let’s do this, let’s make the move and play together.” He still has some other schools to visit as well so I haven’t pressed him all the time about it, but he’d be great to have.
If he were to go to La Lumiere, how do you two fit together? What does that look like from your perspective ?
I think to be honest we are two completely different players and it’d be cool because us two together would make a lot of noise and it would things harder for the teams we play. It would improve our team so much more.
Since you mentioned you feel like you two are two completely players, what are the differences in your games?
We’re both scorers and we can both score in different ways which is great, we don’t just score in one main way. We could play on the same team because we both do a lot of different things and we would make each other better.
How is your role projected to be different next year?
The big thing is he’s just expecting me to keep doing a lot more than even what I did last year. Like becoming a primary scorer, being a senior leader, making the effort defensively, being more vocal.
What’s that like for you knowing you are a senior next year and you will likely be making your college decision within the next year or even less?
Yeah man, time flies so fast, it’s amazing how quickly this time has come that I’m going to be a senior. It’s a blessing to be in the position I’m in and there’s still a lot of room for improvement and I definitely have more looking to do with these colleges.
With checking out colleges, are you and your family lining up any visits for in the near future?
Yeah I think we have a couple we’re looking at, there’s schools asking me to come check out their campus when I have time. Michigan, Michigan State want me to come check things out and Iowa State as well. UCLA, Villanova, Kansas, Duke and some others. Some of those are I just haven’t had time to come visit the campuses.
Which ones from that group would you say are most recent requests to come visit?
Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA as well, Villanova too. All of these schools are recruiting me pretty hard.
Which programs at this point that are recruiting you have not extended a scholarship offer as of yet?
Kentucky hasn’t offered and Duke as well, those are really the two and Michigan as well, but they just want to get me on campus and I think they will offer me when I visit Michigan. Kentucky’s been on me for a little while now and Coach Calipari has come and seen me and all the coaches from the Duke assistants have come to see me as well and I think Coach K came to see me before. Coach Cal has probably seen me a few times. When I was out there on campus for their last game, we were able to talk with him for a little while and he told me he liked my game and how hard I played. With Duke the main guy I really talk to is Coach Scheyer, he’s seen me play a good amount and all their assistants have been at my games in EYBL.
What’s been the feedback from the Duke staff up until this point?
They’ve told me how hard they like I play and they tell me to keep my motor up. Coach Scheyer has told me he loves my game and he’s going to talk with Coach K about seeing me play.
Have they asked for a recent visit?
They had asked like earlier in my high school season.
Sounds like a lot of schools are asking for visits to be setup, are you and your dad likely to wait awhile before getting anything setup?
I’m not sure, we’ll have to see. I’ll probably get back up so we can see Michigan and Michigan State. I have to check my schedule and see what we can work out.
Are you and your family looking at the next steps in your recruiting process at this point, or is that a ways away?
Definitely yeah we’re looking at my list for cutting it down, there’s some newer schools coming in that I need to see what’s happening there, then depending on what happens with a couple other schools, that’s when we’ll look at actually cutting my list down.
Is it fair to say that Kentucky and Duke are two programs you are waiting to see what happens with their interest in you before doing the list cut-down?
There’s definitely a lot going on with the decision to cut down my list in talking with my family, so I’ll be keeping different things in mind with the list cut-down. We’re not sure when the list cut-down will happen at this point.
Big picture, if Kentucky or Duke offers you or both, how do you see that affecting your overall recruiting decision-making process?
I wouldn’t say it would affect my decision-making process, but it would certainly be a blessing because both are great schools with great staffs. I really like those schools, I’ve watched them play a lot and they are great schools with great people, so if they offer it’d be a blessing and then we’d have to take it from there.
What’s the big things you are looking at relative to your decision as you figure out the best fit for you?
A big thing is looking at the role they project for me in their program, would I be able to be a playmaker in their offense, do they play my style of play, I really like to play an up-tempo style and I like fast paced, but there isn’t anything wrong with a program that runs different kinds of offenses. Like with EYBL, we definitely run up and down the court, but we also run plays and different actions.
Based on what you have seen this past season, did you notice any programs that had players that were really similar to you or that just did a really good job in your opinion with how they used their guards?
Yeah I definitely looked at that and watched how their two guards and 3s and even their point guards played from the programs recruiting me just so I could see how I might fit with those programs and see what they did with their guys. A lot of the schools did a great job with them. My big thing is winning, I want to win and I want to play on a team that has a chance to do that.
Is there a point in time in the future where if you don’t have offers from any of the programs recruiting you who haven’t offered that it’ll be time to move forward with the list cut down and look at the programs that have offered?
We haven’t thought about that at all, I’m really not even sure with that.
Are you likely to take all 5 official visits?
Once I get down my process that far, I definitely want to take all 5. I’m not sure yet who I want to visit officially.