Turgeon, Clark, Terps Resonate With Cowan

One of Maryland’s foremost point guard recruits, class of 2016 floor leader Anthony Cowan, continues to impress on the hardwood.

One of Maryland’s foremost point guard recruits, class of 2016 floor leader Anthony Cowan, continues to impress on the hardwood. The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder has his St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) squad off to a 13-3 start, and said he’s averaging 21 points, 7.5 assists and three steals per game.

“To be honest, this year has been going really well. I think a lot of people were thinking we [St. John’s] wasn’t going to be up there this year, but we’re playing really well together, and individually I’m doing pretty well too,” Cowan said. “I’m getting my teammates involved, I’m scoring the ball, I’m playing good defense and I’m seeing the floor well. I actually think I’m leading the WCAC [Washington Catholic Athletic Conference] in scoring, which is pretty cool.

“But there’s always things you can improve on, and one thing is I definitely have to work on is my free throw shooting. I definitely have to get that down, and then just being more consistent on my three-point shooting, too.”

Evidently college programs have taken note of Cowan’s stellar start. He just picked up an offer from Illinois right after the New Year, while Vanderbilt could be on the verge as well.

In addition, Cowan said current offerees like Maryland has been pushing hard, along with George Washington, Kent State, Xavier, DePaul, Georgetown and Miami. He noted that interested programs such as Georgia Tech, Louisville and Michigan have picked up the pace too.

The Terps, for their part, have been after Cowan for more than a year. Maryland was the local point guard’s first offer back in September 2013, and head coach Mark Turgeon and assistant Dustin Clark have maintained close contact since then.

“Oh yeah, I have a great relationship with [Clark and Turgeon]. They’re always at the school, watching me play and inviting me up for games,” Cowan said. “Those guys are like some of the coaches I have the best relationship with. I’m very familiar with them, and I think Coach Turgeon is a great coach; he’s doing a great job this year.”

Turgeon and Clark were both out to see Cowan’s game against Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) in early January. Cowan said he definitely noticed both coaches in the stands for a game in which the St. John’s star dropped in 12 points, recorded eight assists and swiped three steals.

“Coach Turgeon had to leave right after the game, but I said, ‘Hey’ to Coach Clark,” Cowan said. “Coach Clark, he’s always telling me to keep working and he likes the way I play. He’s always telling me how I’d be a great fit at Maryland.

“And, yeah, when a school like Maryland sends two coaches to your game, you know they mean business. I mean, I love that; it shows they really want you. It always opens my eyes when [multiple] coaches come to see me play, and it definitely increases my interest level in them.”

Cowan has been a regular at the Xfinity Center in years past, but he hasn’t been up to College Park, Md., since a random offseason visit back during the summer. He said he’s trying to attend at least one Terps game this winter, however.

“I’ve actually watched Maryland on TV a bunch, and I really like the way they’re playing,” Cowan said. “They’ve had a lot of success so far, ranked 11th, beating some good teams in the Big Ten. They’re breaking out this year and showing people they can compete at a high level. It’s been good to see compared to last year.”

The St. John’s product went on to comment on UMD point guard Melo Trimble. Cowan competed against Trimble when the Terps’ freshman was at O’Connell, and the two still talk every now and again.

“I think Melo is doing great, just transitioning from being a scorer in high school to both a scorer and distributor this year,” Cowan said. “Just having to guard him last year, and knowing how great of a scorer he was, and then seeing how this year at the college level he’s become both a scorer and dropping assists, it’s been cool to see.

“And I definitely can see myself playing with Melo if I went to Maryland. I think me and him, we could build off each other. Like, I’m more of a distributor, a pass-first guy, and I think me and him could work together with Melo scoring and distributing and me finding open guys.”

While Cowan remains particularly high on Maryland, he said he’s not ready to call the Terps a definitive “leader” just yet. He said UMD is “still at the top,” but he thinks highly of his other interested suitors as well.

As far as visits are concerned, Cowan hasn’t been able to take in any games live this year. But he mentioned that he’s been watching Maryland, Miami, Georgetown, George Washington, FSU and Kent State on TV.

“When I get some time I definitely want to get back to Maryland, and then I’d like to visit Miami and get back to Louisville too,” Cowan said. “Miami and Louisville are kind of two that stick out as far as schools I want to get back to, and of course Maryland.”

Cowan said he hasn’t thought too much about when he’d like to commit or sign. But he mentioned it won’t be anytime soon.

“I’m not really leaning any way right now as far as when I want to commit or anything like that,” Cowan said. “I’m just focusing on my season right now and getting better.”

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