Bowen Blowin' Up

Freshman wing Brian Bowen is already showing why he's being pursued by many of the nation's top schools. He talks about who all is after him and what he's been doing this offseason.

Brian Bowen is one of several talented freshmen playing up this spring for their respective AAU teams. Playing on an Arthur Hill High School team with 2015 G Eric Davis in Saginaw, MI, Bowen is used to being around top talent, but now he knows he has to step up his game when the competition is just as talented.

"It's a lot faster pace and a lot faster guys from all over," he said. "I know I have to play harder here."

Bowen has a lot of tools in the skills department as well as a frame that will enable him to be both an effective defender and a mismatch for opponents. One way that Bowen is testing himself already is by playing in an older age division, even if it means taking a few hard knocks here and there.

"I really need to work on getting stronger," he said. "Playing up is more difficult. I want to shoot better and improve my dribbling."

But Bowen's combination of size and skill make him a threat from more than just the wings. He is extremely effective in creating offense from the top of the key, either for himself or for his teammates.

"Yeah, I can play anywhere around the perimeter or inside. It doesn't matter," he said. "But I like being around the perimeter with the ball in my hands."

Bowen has some work to do still, but he's improving quickly. The work he's doing in practice is starting to pay off.

"I like to shoot in practice. I need to keep shooting and work on tightening up my ball handling," he said. "I think playing up is making me a lot better. Everybody's bigger, faster, and stronger, so it's helping me a lot."

And the experience Bowen is getting now should pay dividends in years to come as he begins to play other prospects his age.

"It's a blessing. Not everyone can travel the country and play against the best competition in the country. I'm just glad I can get better. I think it will be better later on because I'll be used to the competition and some of the other guys might not," he said.

Bowen may be a freshman, but he's already garnering plenty of attention from schools across the nation. Already with a handful of high-major offers, Bowen could be on the verge of several more already.

"I'm hearing from Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, NC State, Missouri, Florida, UCLA, and North Carolina," he said. "Michigan State offered, Michigan is close, and Ohio State is close. Missouri and NC State have also offered. I think Florida, UCLA, and Illinois could be close to offering too."

Bowen has taken some time already to evaluate a lot of those programs, and Illinois is one of those programs he's broken down a bit.

"I like the playing style," he said. "We've talked a couple times when they were at my open gyms. They said they're going to keep watching me. When they saw me at school, Coach Groce came and one of the assistants, I think it was coach Walker.

The freedom in the Illinois offensive system might be something that Bowen looks for. Ultimately, though, Bowen wants to have a successful college career, both individually and as a team.

"I want to play on team that lets me do what I do," he said. "I like playing the two. Also, I like to win, so I'd like to go to a winning team. Really anyone that treats me like I'm family and be close to them."

Illini Inquirer Top Stories