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Arizona basketball recruiting: Playing time will be ‘a big factor’ in Brian Bowen’s decision

Do the Wildcats have enough to offer?

High School Basketball: McDonald's All-American Portraits Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Bowen insists he will pick a school by the end of April and is still considering five destinations, he told 247Sports’ Chris Lafayette before this week’s Jordan Brand Classic.

“I’m staying to my five schools right now,” the five-star forward told Lafayette. “I’m talking to everybody.”

Bowen’s top five includes the Arizona Wildcats, Michigan State Spartans, Creighton Bluejays, Texas Longhorns, and NC State Wolfpack.

Bowen, the No. 15 player in the 2017 class, said he is keeping a close eye on who each team is losing to the NBA and the transfer market, and says playing time will be a “big factor” in his decision.

“Guys want to come in and play a lot of minutes,” he said. “But anywhere that you go you’re going to have to work to take a spot. Guys aren’t just going to give it up to you, so I’m going to have to come in and work.”

Bowen says he prides himself on his versatility and believes he can play the 2 and 3 positions in college — and maybe even the 4 on defense.

“I don’t really have a position,” he said. “I just do a little bit of everything.”

Arizona and Creighton are seen as the current frontrunners for Bowen, and the last three Crystal Ball predictions have him picking the Bluejays.

Joe Pasternack, who left Arizona’s coaching staff to be the head coach at UC Santa Barbara, was listed as Bowen’s lead recruiter by 247Sports, but Bowen says he talks to Arizona assistant Book Richardson and head coach Sean Miller “a lot”.

“They’re supposed to be hiring another guy and I’m not sure who they’re going to be hiring,” Bowen said.

Bowen also said he talks with Arizona players frequently plus has signee DeAndre Ayton in his ear.

“Pretty much all of them,” Bowen said. “I’ve talked to Parker [Jackson-Cartwright], I’ve talked to Allonzo Trier, I’ve talked to Rawle [Alkins], I’ve talked to pretty much everybody. They’re all really personable guys. I had a great time visiting there.”

Trier announced Thursday that he plans to return to Arizona for his junior season, while Alkins recently declared for the NBA Draft but has not hired an agent, meaning he can still return to UA.

If Alkins stays in the draft, it could make Arizona a more attractive destination for Bowen, seeing that a starting spot will be vacant.

Or will it? Bowen also said he wants to be surrounded with talented players in addition to getting adequate playing time.

“That’s a big thing for me, being able to be a freshman and make a big impact on the team,” he said. “Being surrounded by high-level guys as well.”

Bowen scored a game-high 26 points in the Jordan Brand Classic National Game on Friday night, being named a co-MVP after splashing six of his seven 3-point attempts.

“Whatever school I go to, I’m coming in to try to play big minutes and take on a big role,” he told ESPN afterward.

He didn’t say which school that will be, though. He’ll figure that out by the end of the month.

“Once I have a date I’ll release it out,” Bowen said.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire. All quotes transcribed from Chris Lafayette’s interview on YouTube unless specified otherwise.