Frank Martin didn’t go into full detail on how South Carolina landed Brian Bowen, but he did deliver a Cliffs Notes version Thursday afternoon.
Bowen, a central figure in the FBI case that led to coach Rick Pitino’s dismissal, was released from Louisville on Nov. 22. Martin said a connection between USC and Bowen started during the “second, third week of December.”
Bowen, a former McDonald’s All-American and five-star recruit, enrolled at South Carolina this week. He’s expected to begin practicing Friday with the Gamecocks, but likely won’t play in games until around this time next year. He still has to be reinstated by the NCAA.
There’s little information on Bowen’s college choices after leaving Louisville, but USC became an option for at least a couple reasons, Martin said.
No. 1: Martin’s connections in the game.
“If you’re lucky like me and you’ve been in this business for 33, 34 years now,” Martin said, “you know a lot of people.
“I get the fact that a lot of people want to create opinions, and that’s their right and they do whatever they want to do. People who are in the business that know me, they know what I stand for, who I am and what I’m about.”
No. 2: Chuck Martin, the first-year South Carolina assistant coach who joined Frank Martin’s staff over the summer after a three-year stint at Indiana.
“And then the advantage that we had on our staff is Chuck Martin recruited him at Indiana,” Frank Martin said, “so there was a relationship there with him and the young man and the family, which allowed us to have a little background as to who they are as people.”
Bowen, a 6-foot-7 small forward, played his first two seasons of high school basketball in Saginaw, Michigan, before transferring to La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana. The Hoosiers were one of 28 programs to offer Bowen in high school, according to Rivals.
Chuck Martin became available to the Gamecocks after former IU coach Tom Crean was fired in March. Chuck Martin was instrumental in the recruitment of USC freshman Justin Minaya, a starting forward who’s fourth on the team in scoring (8.6 points per game).