With the NBA Draft’s early entry deadline being less than a month away, sooner or later a few Arizona Wildcats — namely Lauri Markkanen, Allonzo Trier, Kobi Simmons, and Rawle Alkins — will have to decide whether to return to school or go pro.
And when they make that decision, five-star recruit Brian Bowen will make his.
The undecided 2017 prospect told reporters Tuesday at McDonald’s All-American practice that his decision to commit to Arizona hinges on which Wildcats head to the NBA.
“That's really the thing that I'm waiting on,” Bowen told 247Sports. “Not just with them, but all the schools.”
Aside from Arizona, Bowen’s final five consists of Texas, Creighton, Michigan State, and NC State and he asserts that he will pick a school in April.
“I've just been analyzing all of the schools, watching the games, and everything,” Bowen told 247Sports. “... In April, I'm going to make my decision, 100 percent. I'm not sure what day yet, but 100 percent April. I've just been listening to coaches and I've been analyzing who's staying, who's not, and the guys that are coming in as well. It's a lot to think about.”
Bowen, the 15th overall prospect, took an unofficial visit to Arizona on Feb. 25 when the Wildcats fell to the UCLA Bruins in McKale Center.
“It was my first game there. It was amazing,” Bowen told PrepHoops. “Even though they still lost, the crowd was live. I really enjoyed myself and enjoyed being around the players.”
The 6-foot-7 forward also gave some insight to 247Sports on what Sean Miller and Arizona are pitching him.
“Really, their big pitch is the amount of wing guys they have going to the NBA,” he said. “That's really a big thing for me. I want to go to the NBA. I really enjoy them recruiting me and everything as well and they're really pushing the guys that they already have committed and just winning National Championships.”
53 percent of 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions have Bowen heading to Michigan State, while the other 47 percent predict he will commit to Arizona.
However, four of the last five predictions project Bowen will head to Arizona.
Arizona already has the No. 3 recruiting class in 2017 after signing DeAndre Ayton, Brandon Randolph, Ira Lee, and Alex Barcello, and Miller has said he expects the Wildcats to add at least one more player to the mix, maybe even two.
But the number of players Arizona can add is directly tied to how many of its underclassmen leave for the NBA, thus putting Bowen, and other UA targets, in wait-and-see mode for the time being.
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