Many believe 5-star 2017 guard/forward Brian Bowen is choosing between Arizona and Michigan State, but that could change now that Allonzo Trier and Miles Bridges have decided to stay in school.
The cutthroat nature of recruiting is two-fold. Coaches offer top prospects a plethora of flattering reasons to choose their school, but also offer up less-than-deal situations that may exist should they choose another.
Brian Bowen has heard spiels from plenty of the country’s top recruiters, and he’s likely about to listen to more.
The 5-star 2017 swingman was thought to be choosing between Michigan State and Arizona as college basketball’s signing period opened Wednesday. But news broke that same day that Spartans standout freshman Miles Bridges was considering a return to school, something that he’s expected to confirm Thursday night after announcing a rally on campus through Twitter.
Allonzo Trier followed suit Thursday, announcing that he will return to the Wildcats for his junior season. Bridges and Trier, both of whom will be candidates for national player of the year, heading back to school solidifies Michigan State and Arizona as top-five teams heading into next season.
That’s even without Bowen. And Bowen’s decision likely just got more difficult.
Minutes expected to be vacated with Bridges’ and Trier’s departures no longer will be available for the 6-foot-7 slasher. Bridges will play exclusively at the small forward position with Michigan State gaining more size next season, and Trier shares similar skills to Bowen being able to play both the two and the three spots. Being in the starting lineup might not be in the cards for Bowen at either school.
It will be more feasible at Arizona if Rawle Alkins remains in the NBA Draft, but the Wildcats also have the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation according to Scout.com and will have to compete with 4-star shooting guard Brandon Randolph, along with any holdovers.
Michigan State returns 2016 McDonald’s All-American Joshua Langford at the two spot, and coach Tom Izzo certainly will find minutes for junior Matt McQuaid as well. What could still lure Bowen to East Lansing, though, is the fact that high school teammate and fellow 5-star prospect Jaren Jackson Jr. has signed with the Spartans.
But all of those factors outside of Jackson’s enrollment could push Bowen elsewhere. Creighton has been in the mix all along and will make a strong final push, especially now that it is able to offer the argument that Bowen will be hidden behind bigger stars at Arizona and Michigan State while being able to shine immediately with the Bluejays. However, it’s unclear if the departure of assistant Steve Lutz will have an impact. Lutz, who left for the same position at Purdue on Thursday, is considered a solid recruiter.
Bowen said Wednesday that Oregon, Missouri and Ohio State – none of which were on his final list – all have reached out recently to try and lure him. Oregon has minutes opening with Tyler Dorsey heading to the NBA Draft, and Ohio State can offer Bowen plenty of time as it goes through a bit of a rebuilding process. New Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin has been hot on the recruiting trail with Michael Porter Jr. and Blake Harris signed on, and helping bring the Tigers back onto the national scene could be intriguing for Bowen.
Just when it seemed like Bowen’s recruitment was settling down, Bridges’ and Trier’s decisions to return to school added another wrinkle. It’ll be interesting to find out where Bowen lands considering the twists that have arisen.