Rick Pitino: Brian Bowen 'Fell Into Our Lap' | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / December 3.
  • Rick Pitino: Brian Bowen ‘Fell Into Our Lap’

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    Brian Bowen had never been linked to Louisville throughout his senior year at La Lumiere (IN).

    His list of contenders at various times included Arizona, Creighton, N.C. State, Oregon and Texas.

    But on Saturday the 6-foot-7 Bowen made it official that he had enrolled at Louisville after visiting the school earlier that week.

    “In my 40-some-odd years of coaching, this is the luckiest I’ve ever been,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino told Terry Meiners of WHAS-840, explaining that Bowen’s AAU coach recently called Pitino to see if he’d be interested in Bowen. “I won the Kentucky Derby with my friend (Always Dreaming owner Anthony Bonomo) winning it, and now this is much better. My friend wouldn’t think so, but I do.”

    With the loss of projected lottery pick Donovan Mitchell to the NBA Draft, Bowen can slide in as a proven scorer in a class that also includes point guard Darius Perry, small forward Jordan Nwora, power forward Lance Thomas and big man Malik Williams.

    “He’s a terrific young man,” Pitino said. “He has terrific parents, and he won the national championship this year at the prep-school level and playing an unbelievable schedule. They beat the great team from Indiana who won the state championship by 25 or 30 points. He was one of their better basketball players, and I watched him play. It fell into our lap, and we got very lucky, and every once in a while, you need a little luck.”

    Having lost Mitchell and Jaylen Johnson, Pitino said this year’s team is now especially strong with the return of Deng Adel plus the incoming recruiting class.

    He told Meiners the Cardinals have gone from a “7-plus or 8-plus” on a scale of 10 to a “9-plus (or) a 10 right now.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.