It’s been more than four months since point guard Anthony Cowan (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.) committed to Maryland, the Terps’ lone class of 2016 recruit thus far, and since then his affinity for the hometown school has only grown. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Cowan said he’s in College Park, Md., at least two or three times each week, while he’s in daily contact with assistant Dustin Clark and head coach Mark Turgeon.
In fact, Cowan just returned from an impromptu pickup session inside Xfinity Center June 10, allowing him yet another chance to connect with his future teammates and coaches.
“I’m always up at Maryland, always around the program, and honestly I can’t wait to get there,” said Cowan, who committed Jan. 26. “Sometimes I just go up there by myself just to hang out or shoot around, even when no one is there. I just want to be around the campus and around the team.
“And actually [June 10] I just had a long talk with Coach Turgeon again, and it was a really good meeting. We were talking about strategy, what he wanted me to get better at this summer, things like that. He said to keep working on my mid-range game, floaters in the lane, becoming more vocal – things like that. And, you know, it’s a great thing when your head coach is just 10 minutes from where you live. Most recruits don’t have the opportunity I have, being able to visit their [future] coaches and [future] teammates whenever they want. I’m lucky, and I’ve built a really strong bond with everyone at Maryland.”
In addition to his chat with Turgeon, Cowan said he played “a little pickup ball” with current Terps Melo Trimble, Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brantley, among others. Cowan has already established a rapport with Trimble, Wiley and Nickens, but June 10 was his first time meeting the class of 2015 signee Brantley.
“Jaylen is really going to help Maryland a lot; I love his game,” Cowan said. “He’s going to be a big-time benefit, just giving Melo a break at point, bringing the ball up and just his overall basketball IQ. I can tell he’s going to be special, and I personally can’t wait to play with him when I get there.
“But every time I go up there for pickup, it’s great and it just strengthens the bond I have with the team. Melo and I, we go against each other and he’s making me a better player. I always talk and text with him, Jared and Dion. They already consider me part of the team.”
Cowan called his rapport with the program a “true brotherhood.” He said he truly appreciates how welcoming the Terps have been, even though he hasn’t even signed a letter of intent.
“How everybody is brining me into the family, being as young as I am, it’s special. The coaches and players there, they really find ways to connect with me,” Cowan said. “They have a close brotherhood there, and it means a lot how much they’ve reached out without me even having to do anything. They text me all the time, tell me to come up and play with them, they pull me aside and tell me how they do things – things like that. I just couldn’t ask for a better situation to be in.”
The St. John’s point guard said he’s “excited” to see the Terps in action this year, especially since some polls have them a preseason No. 1. Cowan lauded the addition of five-star center Diamond Stone (Dominican/Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) and Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, and said he’ll be at every home game he’s able to attend.
“It’s going to be such an exciting year. What Coach Turgeon is doing there and who he’s bringing in, it’s really special,” Cowan said. “I can’t wait to sit back and watch, and also learn as much as I can. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Speaking of who Turgeon is bringing in, apparently the Terps’ headman has urged Cowan to help in the UMD recruiting effort. Cowan said he continues to talk to elite local talents like DeMatha’s (Hyattsville, Md.) Markelle Fultz and D.J. Harvey, in addition to top Philadelphia, Pa., point guard Tony Carr (Roman Catholic).
“Coach wanted me to reach out to some guys, so I’ve been talking to Tony, Markelle and D.J. I kind of let Tony know me and him could be a great tandem in the backcourt, because he’s a point guard like me,” Cowan said. “Right now everyone I talk to is just telling me what I want to hear, so I can’t really say what like D.J. and Markelle are doing, but I’ll keep talking to them. But I think Coach Turgeon is doing pretty well on his own; Maryland is in there with some top guys.”
As far as his own game is concerned, Cowan said he played well on the Adidas circuit during the three April live sessions in Indianapolis, Ind., Dallas, Texas, and Hampton, Va. He said he averaged a combined 17 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals per game for D.C. Thunder.
“I think I did a good job getting my teammates involved, I think I played well defensively and I think I did a good job seeing the floor,” said Cowan, who will participate in the upcoming NBA Top 100 camp and the Under Armour All-American camp. “But I have to be more consistent with my shot. I don’t have a bad shot, but I want it to be even better. So that’s why I’m in the gym every day shooting, making sure when I put the ball up I’m confident it’s going in. And then I’m working on my footwork, agility, quickness and whatnot too.”
Even though he’s committed, Cowan said he still has much to prove. He’s not one to worry about rankings, but admitted he’d like to boost his stock nationally.
“I don’t know if you saw the latest rankings to come out, but I glanced at them and didn’t see my name as high as I thought it should have been,” Cowan said, chuckling. “So at this NBA Top 100 and the Under Armour event I’m hungry to show what I can do and prove I’m one of the top point guards out there.”
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