South Carolina has landed basketball recruit Brian Bowen, the five-star Louisville recruit linked to the scandal that brought down Rick Pitino.
USC coach Frank Martin announced on Wednesday that Bowen, a 6-7, 195-pound freshman forward from Saginaw, Michigan, has enrolled at USC and has joined the Gamecocks.
"I'm really excited to get an opportunity like this with a terrific coach like Frank Martin and a program like South Carolina," Bowen told ESPN.
Based on NCAA transfer rules, Bowen will have to sit for two semesters before being eligible to play.
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“Brian is an exceptional young man and a basketball player with a very high IQ for the game,” Martin said. “He brings a high-level skill set to the court and will make an immediate impact on our team with him joining us on the practice courts this week. He is a strong, athletic small forward, who can really shoot the ball and rebound.
“Brian deserves a fresh start and I would like to thank our University administration, President Pastides, our Board of Trustees and Ray Tanner for their hard work and guidance in helping Brian become a member of our Gamecock family.”
USC athletics director Ray Tanner said: “What better coach is there to help Brian grow as a student-athlete and more importantly as a young man than Frank Martin and his staff. Over the coming months, we will work diligently with the NCAA through our compliance office to ensure that Brian is eligible for competition.”
Bowen's lawyer, Jason Setchen of Miami, told ESPN he was “elated that South Carolina and Coach Martin have given Brian the opportunity to play college basketball. I have the utmost confidence in South Carolina's compliance and ultimately the NCAA. We believe the NCAA, once they have heard all of the evidence, will promptly reinstate Brian."
Bowen, who signed with Louisville in summer 2017, spent the fall semester enrolled at the school but did not play. Though not mentioned directly, Brown was later identified as the “unnamed player” that Adidas funneled $100,000 to at the request of a Louisville coach. The FBI alleges that Brian Bowen Sr., Brian Bowen’s father, accepted the money.
Bowen told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in December that he was “shocked” by the allegations. Pitino, after 16 seasons with the Cardinals, was fired Oct. 16. Louisville AD Tom Jurich also was fired.
"I didn't believe it at all. ... They have to be lying,” he said. “There's no way I'm involved in it."
"I don't know anything about it," he added.
Bowen, who transferred to La Lumiere High School in Indiana for the end of his high school career, averaged 21 points and seven rebounds per game as a senior. He was selected as a McDonald’s All-American.
Brian Bowen bio
High school: La Lumiere Schools, La Porte, Ind.
▪ Consensus five-star recruit
▪ 2017 McDonald’s High School All-American
▪ Ranked 14th in the ESPN 100 for the Class of 2017, 19th by 247sports.com and 21st nationally according to Rivals
▪ Averaged 21 points and seven rebounds per game during senior season
▪ Named the 2017 Gatorade State Player of the Year in Indiana
▪ Helped La Lumiere capture the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Tournament title as a senior, scoring 15 points in the title-game victory
▪ Named 2017 Jordan Brand Classic MVP (East), after scoring 26 points, hitting 10-of-13 shots overall, including a 6-of-7 mark from beyond the arc, in just 20 minutes of action
▪ Transferred to La Lumiere following sophomore season from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, Mich.
▪ At Arthur Hill, averaged 19 points, 14 rebounds and four assists per game leading his squad to the Class A state championship game