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Oregon’s Race for All-American Brian Bowen

Track Town USA hopes their final kick lands 5-star stud

2017 McDonald's All American games Powerade Jam Fest Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Is Oregon the new frontrunner for 5-star McDonald’s All-American Brian Bowen? Only time will tell, but patience is essential as the commitment deadline nears (May 17) for high school seniors.

Rumors are running rampant through college basketball circles, so it’s difficult to decipher what is true and false. One thing is certain, the Ducks are heavily in the mix for Tugs.

Since the Ducks season ended prematurely in the Final Four, I have been watching this situation very closely. Bowen is my favorite prospect available and my No. 3 overall recruit from the 2017 class.

The situation has been an ever-evolving process. Slowly and steadily head coach Dana Altman began gaining steam in the Bowen sweepstakes. Typical of an Altman effort, his team always plays its best at the end.

What looked unlikely weeks ago, has shifted recently with one unofficial visit to Eugene. You have to give credit to Altman and his staff for their relentless pursuit of greatness.

With the signing deadline nearing, most praise needs to be heaped onto incoming 5-star freshman Troy Brown Jr.. The Las Vegas product and fellow McDonald’s All-American teammate of Bowen’s has been Oregon’s chief recruiter.

Brown has been in Bowen’s ear for nearly a month now, since UO’s departure from the 2017 NCAA Tournament. It has paid off too.

High School Basketball: 40th Annual McDonald's All-American Games
Troy Brown Jr. is not only the highest-rated commit in Oregon basketball history, but he is becoming an integral recruiting tool. The incoming freshman aided in the commitments of Victor Bailey Jr., Abu Kigab, Kenny Wooten Jr., Miles Norris and transfer Elijah Brown. Brian Bowen is the NEXT target of Brown.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Tugs released his updated Top 5 schools list in April. Oregon was NOT on it. In fact, Michigan State, Arizona and Creighton were the supposed leaders of the pack.

The Spartans and head coach Tom Izzo has been recruiting Bowen since he was a child. BB’s cousin is Jason Richardson. The same JR that won a national title with MSU and had a solid NBA career. The Michigan native has green in his blood.

Apparently, Creighton was second in the running. However, that is when things began to change. It shouldn’t be surprising that an 18-year-old kid could change his mind. I don’t even want to think about the indecisiveness of my youth.

In the age of information, our avenues for research are endless. I have found Twitter to be very informative, especially concerning high school prospects. Unlike collegiate and professional athletes, 18-year-olds are not nearly as refined. They tend to wear their emotions on their collective sleeve aka Twitter account.

Bowen has been liking tweets of Brown’s for weeks, not to mention retweeting the commitment of Miles Norris to Oregon for 2018.

When Miles Bridges announced that he was returning for his sophomore season at Michigan State, the wheels began to spin in Bowen’s brain. That move could have changed the landscape of college basketball for next season.

With the Spartan star returning, Bowen would no longer be the “man” in East Lansing. Not to mention, MSU is loaded with a full roster that makes me question BB’s overall playing time next season. Minutes are meaningful.

On April 20, Bowen liked the following tweet by Troy Brown:

Noticing a change, I wrote about the possibility of Bowen choosing Oregon on April 25.

When I looked at it from an objective perspective, Oregon seemed like the best fit.

Creighton will not be as talented. Arizona has too many mouths to feed. MSU has a star and a full roster. DePaul is lacking everything, including an arena near campus. Oregon has stars and facilitators, but is lacking depth and another scoring threat.

I think Bowen agrees. He liked this tweet on Saturday:

Bowen can be inserted into a formidable Oregon starting five and would instantly become a household name for a national contender. Where else could he do that during his freshman campaign?

He could play one or two seasons as the man in Eugene, win a title or two, then head for greener pastures in the NBA. Oregon seems like his best route to his final goal.

FloSports: FloHoops Spalding Hoophall Classic
Brian Bowen is my No. 3 ranked prospect from the 2017 recruiting class. Troy Brown Jr. was my No. 1 and Brandon McCoy came in at No. 2 with DeAndre Ayton. Yet, Bowen is a game-changing scorer that can alter the future of the program he chooses.
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Bowen traveled to Eugene for a visit with his mother. This threw everyone into a tizzy. What was he doing in Oregon if they weren’t on his Top 5 list? He is figuring it out, that is what’s happening.

Reports are circulating that Bowen has downgraded Michigan State, Creighton and Arizona. Apparently, Oregon and DePaul have emerged as his new frontrunners. Prepare for anything.

Entertaining the possibilities of the All-American rocking the green and yellow is beyond exciting. Would the Ducks be the preseason favorite? Would he be the final piece for the first championship team since 1939? It’s fun to imagine what could be.

Nevertheless, we must remain calm. Brandon McCoy spurned the Ducks, MSU and Arizona for UNLV. Bowen could surprise us all and head for the Windy City with the Blue Demons. It would be more than a shock, but the CBS crystal ball is projecting it currently.

We will keep you posted on everything Brian Bowen in the coming days. With the signing period drawing to a close, Oregon is looking to solidify their best recruiting class in program history. Entering the spring, the Ducks had the No. 8 overall class.

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