It’s been almost a full year since point guard Anthony Cowan (St. John’s/Washington, D.C.) committed to his hometown school. The 6-foot, 170-pound four-star recruit has been on board with the University of Maryland for so long, some have even forgotten he’s part of the Terps’ 2016 class.
“Honestly, I’ve even felt like I was already part of the team. I mean, I’m up there like every weekend,” laughed Cowan, who is set to sign with UMD Nov. 11, the first day of the early signing period. “I’ve been ready for this for a longtime now. I already feel like I’m part of the family, and it’s going to be an even better feeling when I sign my name on that [Letter of Intent]. I’ve been talking to the coaches for forever, and Coach [Mark] Turgeon and Coach [Dustin] Clark are ready for me to step on campus and fulfill my potential. And I’m definitely ready to get it going in College Park, Md. It’s time to make this [signing] official and get things started.”
Cowan said he and fellow Maryland 2016 pledge Kevin Huerter (Shenendehowa/Clifton Park, N.Y.) plan to sign at the same time Nov. 11, although the St. John’s point won’t “celebrate” the occasion until Nov. 13. That’s when his school will hold a ceremony for Cowan and two other St. John’s players, who will also be inking Letters of Intent.
“I’m really excited about the ceremony, because I get to celebrate with my teammates and there’s going to be a lot of people there,” Cowan said. “I was playing phone tag with the Maryland coaches all weekend to see exactly how they wanted me to handle [the signing], but it really doesn’t matter. I’m set to go no matter what. Like I said, I’m already part of the family, basically. I’m close with the entire team – Melo [Trimble], Jared [Nickens], Dion [Wiley], Jake [Layman], Robert [Carter], even the new guys like Rasheed [Sulaimon], Jaylen [Brantley] and Diamond [Stone]. Whenever I’m there, it’s just love. The guys treat me like I’m basically another piece they already have.”
Since Cowan’s been in College Park so often the last couple years, he pretty much knows the current Terps inside and out. Outside of those in the program, no one’s received a more in-depth look than the St. John’s senior.
“I’m really excited about Maryland’s potential this year. I love the leadership on the team and how well the team works together,” Cowan said of the nation’s No. 3-ranked squad. “Obviously they have a lot of skill and talent, but just how hard they play and the chemistry, that really stands out to me. Honestly, I can’t see many flaws in this team. I guess the only thing I can say is they have to make sure they don’t take any nights off with all the expectations they have. A lot of teams are going to be coming for them, so they have to make sure they’re always ready. But I’m excited for them and I can’t wait to see them play.”
Cowan will attempt to make UMD’s season-opener Nov. 13, but if he’s unable to do so he said he’d “definitely” be at the Georgetown affair Nov. 17. He’ll also attend numerous Terps’ games throughout the season, possible since he lives just 10 minutes from campus.
“I want to see a lot of games, just so I can continue learning and evaluating,” Cowan said. “It’s one thing for me to watch practice and things like that, but it’s another to be right there and seeing the team in action against [an opponent]. So I’m excited to be up there and just be in the atmosphere.”
In terms of his own game, Cowan said both Turgeon and his recruiter, Clark, have dolled out their share of praise and constructive criticism. All of which Cowan has readily taken in.
“Mainly, they want me to be more vocal and take on more of a leadership role. They say they like my skills and potential, but they want me to speak out more,” said Cowan, who saw his stock skyrocket on the Adidas and Under Armour circuits this summer, where he averaged 18 points; seven assists; and three steals for D.C. Thunder. “And I totally agree; I do need to be more vocal. Also, I want to be a more consistent shooter from the outside and a finisher around the rim. But beyond that, I like where I’m at with distributing, seeing the floor and running the offense.
“But I do have to keep getting better so I’m ready when I get to Maryland. I already know pretty much what [the Terps] like to do and how they run things, so now I have to make sure I’m definitely ready to get into it when I get [to College Park].”
Besides Turgeon, Clark and the Maryland team itself, Cowan’s been touching base with fellow soon-to-be-signee Kevin Huerter as well. He said the two have discussed their roles at Maryland, as well as other recruits they’d like to play alongside.
“Me and Kevin talk a lot, and we’re both really excited. We actually worked out together when he was down here, so we’re getting a taste for each other’s games and developing chemistry. Kevin’s a great shooter and has a great feel for the game; I can’t wait to play with him,” Cowan said. “We’ve been talking about some other recruits we want to see come in too. I know there’s still a chance with [2016 wing] Mario Kegler, who is signing [Nov. 11]. I was talking to him on his [Maryland] official [Oct. 17], and I know he likes Maryland a lot. But even if he doesn’t come, me and Kevin bring a pretty good class, and we’ll see what other pieces [the Terps’ coaches] bring in in April. Either way, it’s a great class and I like what me and Kevin can bring to the table.”
Cowan’s focused on aiding his high school squad this winter, but admitted he’s already envisioned what it’ll be like to don a Maryland uniform. He said he can’t wait to finally take the floor at Xfinity Center.
“The Maryland fanbase is amazing. They’re already so excited for me and have been hitting me up on Twitter,” Cowan said. “The excitement and passion they have, it’s awesome. And I’m just telling them I’m excited to get up there and play in front of them.”