South Carolina announced Wednesday that Brian Bowen has transferred into the men’s basketball program. But how quickly until the former McDonald’s All-American gets on the court with the Gamecocks?
Carey Rich, a former USC player and Columbia basketball advocate closely tied to Frank Martin’s program, said on 107.5 The Game on Wednesday evening that Bowen should be practicing soon.
“The young man and his family have been in Columbia for a few days,” Rich said. “They’ve been working to get everything done and satisfied from an academic standpoint. He’s passed his physical, and he will be on the floor practicing with the basketball team here in the next day or so.”
Bowen, in coordination with NCAA transfer rules, has to sit two semesters until he can appear in games for the Gamecocks. That would make the small forward an active member of Carolina this time next year.
Bowen, a five-star prospect rated by ESPN as the No. 14 player in the 2017 recruiting class, was enrolled at Louisville in the fall until his connection to the college basketball FBI probe led to his departure from the Cardinals. U of L coach Rick Pitino was fired for his role in the ordeal.
Rich said Bowen’s case was presented to the USC Board of Trustees on Tuesday.
“They wanted to make sure they understood who Frank Martin was recruiting, who was getting ready to become a part of this team,” Rich said. “And they wanted to make sure they did that with clarity and conviction.
“And all the Board of Trustees were on board, they just wanted to make sure again that South Carolina, that athletic department, the basketball program did its due diligence and that, certainly, was the case.”
What’s unknown is if Bowen, whose father allegedly accepted $100,000 on his son’s behalf, will be suspended by the NCAA for any length of time.
“I don’t think South Carolina would have moved forward with admitting this young man if they weren’t confident that at some point he’ll be able to step on the floor and help this team,” Rich said.
Bowen is a 6-foot-7, 195-pounder who averaged 21 points and seven rebounds per game as a senior at La Lumiere High School in Indiana.
“According to the (USC) staff, he can play the point, the two-guard or the small forward,” Rich said. “So he’s a multidimensional player on the perimeter, much like (P.J.) Dozier was the last couple of years. That’s the type of versatility he brings to the floor. That’s what has Frank and his staff excited about Brian Bowen being a part of this basketball team.”