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Arizona basketball recruiting: Brian Bowen ends long recruitment with surprise commitment to Louisville

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The saga has come to an end...finally

High School Basketball: 40th Annual McDonald's All-American Games Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Raise your hand if you saw this one coming.

Brian Bowen, the lone five-star recruit left on the board in the 2017 class, finally made his college decision.

And the school he chose wasn’t even in his top five.

Louisville, not Arizona, Michigan State, Texas, North Carolina State, Creighton, or even DePaul or Oregon, is where the top-25 ranked small forward will play his college ball, the high school senior announced on June 3rd.

It’s hard to fathom how different this recruitment was compared to others.

For starters, Bowen had said he would commit by the end of nearly every month from December to now (minus March).

I’m not joking, because I wrote each and every one of them with the first one being December 19. He told ESPN then, “I’m thinking I’ll make my decision within two weeks. I’m down to Creighton, Michigan State, Arizona, and Texas.”

At that point, I figured Arizona had a good shot but they were also a late addition to the recruitment and Michigan State had been on him for years, so it seemed likely MSU would land him.

Then, just over a month later, BOOM!, another decision was looming at the end of January.

“I think I’m gonna go the end of this month, after the Michigan State visit on the 29th,” Bowen told Landof10.

Well, as we all know, that timeline was chucked out the window. But next month, right?

Ehh, probably not. In one week he went from ‘it’s happening’ to ‘about that...yeah, not right now.’ (All paraphrasing of course.)

Hold up, actually yes in February!

Oh, not in February? Okay then.

Then, in early March, it appeared that a commitment was imminent. And it seemed that the destination would be Arizona. With Allonzo Trier seemingly destined to declare for the NBA, UA seemed like a good fit.

Still no decision? Well then.

As we know, no decision came in March, but definitely April, right?

At this point in the middle of April, Bowen was still sticking with his five teams. In case you need a refresher (I don’t blame you), they were Arizona, Creighton, NC State, Michigan State, and Texas.

However, Creighton was becoming the flavor of the month, according to various reports across the spectrum. This was in part due to Trier returning to Arizona and Miles Bridges shocking most people by also returning to Michigan State.

But, just when you didn’t think this thing could get wackier, it got more bizarre in May.

  • May 1: DePaul hired Bowen’s high school head coach Shane Heirman (which spurred a flood of articles that he’s headed to DePaul.)
  • May 5: Just five schools? No way. Let’s add to it! Bowen tells Rivals that Oregon and Florida State have jumped on board.
  • May 8: Bowen visits Oregon. (Wait, what? Oregon? I guess he’s serious because he paid his own way.)
  • May 21: Rawle Alkins returns to Arizona, unofficially taking Arizona out of the running for Bowen.
  • May 22: Emmanuel Akot decides he’s ready for college basketball and reclassifies to the 2017 class. This cements Arizona’s 2017-18 roster as they have maxed out roster spots, officially taking Arizona out of the picture.
  • May 29: Bowen visits Louisville (though this was done under the radar).
  • June 1: Whoa! A wild Brian Bowen appears (in the Louisville student directory). #Pokemon2017
  • June 1: Decision Day announcement. Is this it? Did we make it?

Yes. Yes we did.

After six months of ‘this is it,’ we finally have ‘it.’ And that, of all places, is Louisville, Kentucky.

Go figure.


You can follow Alec on Twitter for the latest on the 2018 Recruiting Class: @UofAlec