As a freshman at Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill a year ago, Brian Bowen burst onto the scene as an emerging talent, carving out and embracing his roles on both ends of the basketball court.
Now a sophomore and already one of the most highly regarded 2017 college basketball prospects in the state of Michigan, as well as nationally, Bowen’s responsibilities have only increased.
“I’m handling it really good actually,” Bowen said. “My coach told me I’d have a bigger role and need to step up. I’m just trying to get better at it with the ball in my hands.”
So far, so good for Bowen who says he’s notching a double double on a nightly basis, even going for 30-points in a win over crosstown rival Saginaw high school.
“This season is going good so far,” Bowen said. “I was improving my ball handling and that’s getting better. I’m just getting stronger and this season is going so far.”
Already visiting Ann Arbor on several occasions, Bowen made his way to Crisler Center Sunday for the Wolverines upset win over No. 24 Ohio State.
“The atmosphere was, it was a wild game,” Bowen said. “The fans were really into it and everybody on the bench.
“It was a good win for them. A lot of guys are stepping up right now and contributing to the team.”
The one constant for Michigan right now is the leadership and tutelage of John Beilein and his coaching staff.
“Coach Beilein is a great coach and we went down there Sunday,” Bowen said. “He was talking to me about how he was going to come to a game and see me during AAU season. He’s been recruiting me well.”
Michigan’s offer policy differs from most other college programs across the nation, Beilein electing not to offer any student-athlete an official scholarship until June 15 after their sophomore season.
With June now just a few months away and Bowen nearly through season number two, the Wolverines are tipping their hand at good news to come.
“They haven’t really mentioned it yet but you can tell that they are on their way to doing that,” Bowen said.
Bowen hasn’t yet had a chance to venture over to East Lansing to see Michigan State play this season but that is expected to change Thursday when the Spartans host Minnesota.
With Bowen unofficially visiting Michigan State against the Golden Gophers, Tom Izzo and his staff will have the opportunity to impress.
“The relationship with them is good,” Bowen said. “Coach Izzo and the assistant coaches treat me like family. They’ve come to a lot of my games. They’ve been checking up on me.”
Up to 6-foot-7 and 185-pounds, Bowen has an early idea of what he’s looking for at the next level.
“I’m just seeing how they would play me,” Bowen said. “I would prefer the two guard so how they would play me, see how they treat their players and might treat me. I want to see how the teams are doing too.”
Bowen is also considering visits to Ohio State and Illinois.