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.
Brian Bowen is in “uncharted waters” at this stage of his basketball career.
That is how one college basketball source described his situation to ZAGSBLOG.
The 6-foot-6 wing whose situation led to the firing of former Louisville coach Rick Pitino has stated to ESPN that his “goal is still to play college basketball,” but he’s participating in the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago “to cover my bases.”
Bowen has worked out for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets with the Knicks on deck this holiday weekend. He has until May 30 to withdraw from the draft and return to college.
“It’s still an ongoing process,” Bowen told reporters in Chicago after a poor performance in the 5-on-5 scrimmage in front of NBA personnel. “I’m just focusing on my Combine stuff right now. And my lawyer and the school [South Carolina], it’s still a process so they’re going through that right now. So they’ll just let me know what happens.”
The Knicks already have a glut at the point guard position, but they are doing their due diligence and interviewing various players who might be available at the No. 9 spot in the NBA Draft, including Alabama point guard Collin Sexton.
The 6-foot-3 Sexton told reporters he met with the Knicks on Wednesday in Chicago. Sexton is currently projected to go to the Knicks, per ESPN.com, despite the team already having Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke at the point.
“We’re still in that talent acquisition phase,” Knicks GM Scott Perry said Thursday afternoon on ESPN. “Obviously it’s no secret that we can use some more help at the wing position.”
“So when we get down to the ninth pick, at the end of the day we’re gonna pick the very best player,” Perry continued. “If it happens to be a wing, so be it. If not — if there’s a clear delineation at another position in terms of talent — then we’ll probably opt to go that direction and get the very best talent we can get.”
An explosive, athletic, competitive player, Sexton averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists this past season. He and Oklahoma’s Trae Young — with whom the Knicks will meet on Friday — are considered the top two point guards in the draft.
“I felt that I was very underrated but when I jumped on the scene I just wanted to prove everybody wrong and play with the best of them,” Sexton told ESPN.
Donte DiVincenzo appeared to impress NBA scouts during his first 5-on-5 scrimmage at the NBA Draft Combine on Thursday in Chicago.
He also had the highest max vertical jump at 42 inches.
And that could turn out to be good news for DiVincenzo and bad news for Villanova fans. The 6-foot-5 DiVincenzo told ESPN.com that he expects to be a first-round pick and is inclined to remain in the Draft if he is.
“I think I have a really good chance to being a late first-round pick,” DiVincenzo told ESPN. “Obviously, things can change, other people can fall in the draft. I’m aware of that. But my confidence level is that I can be a first-round pick.”