Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Arkansas staff's NBA experience interests 4-star Bowen
ESPN 4-star big man Taylor Bol Bowen.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One of the more athletic prospects at the Memorial Day weekend Nike EYBL event in Louisville was ESPN 4-star power forward Taylor Bol Bowen, an Arkansas target.
Bowen, 6-10, 190 pounds, from New Hampshire's Brewster Academy has offers from Arkansas, Florida State, LSU. Kansas State, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Duke, Houston, Kansas, Iowa, Southern Cal and others.
Recruiting hasn’t been a major focus for Bowen lately.
“It’s very early. I haven’t been too focused on recruiting that much and Arkansas in particular,” Bowen said. “I’m just thankful for them being involved in my recruitment.”
Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman and the Razorbacks staff have impressed Bowen with their constant contact.
“Coach Musselman texts me here and there,” Bowen said. “Their staff texts me consistently. I’ve been hearing from the staff, so that’s good. Especially from the head coach.”
Born in Egypt, Bowen moved the United States when he was 2 years old and settled in Vermont. He hopes to be the first player from the state to play in the NBA.
“He’s a good coach for sure,” said Bowen of Musselman. “His biggest thing is his NBA experience and how he’s coached in the NBA. He knows exactly what it takes to reach my goal and that’s to try and be the first player in the NBA from Vermont.”
Musselman and his staff have a combined 52 years of NBA experience, which is attractive to Bowen.
“Definitely, 52 years of experience knows exactly what it takes to get to that level,” he said.
While he said a visit to Fayetteville hasn’t been discussed, Bowen is open to making a trip to Arkansas.
“Yeah, definitely, you know what I’m saying,” Bowen said. “I just haven’t talked to them about a visit. That’s just been it really.”
Bowen is averaging 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks a game for New England based Expressions Elite in EYBL play. He’s shooting 51.8% from the field, 29.4% from beyond the three-point line and 69.2% from the free throw line.
ESPN also rates him the No. 9 power forward and No. 50 overall prospect in the nation.
Bowen said the Razorback staff likes his versatility.
“I think I could play almost anywhere in the country just because I‘m a ball player and just so versatile and I can do so many different things, and that’s what they been saying just because I’m so versatile and make so many different plays with the ball,” Bowen said.
While playing with an older brother, Bowen developed an above-average ability to handle the ball, along with an explosive first step that makes him a mismatch for other big men.
“I always played guard when I was younger, so I always played up because I was smaller than everybody else,” Bowen said. “I always played with my brother. I always played with him and his team so I got to play guard. Through that I got some good skills that taught me how drive and attack and pass the ball and shoot.
“Don’t get me wrong, I still post smaller guys and get down and bang and rebound for sure too.”
Arkansas getting back to the Elite Eight for a second consecutive year impressed Bowen.
“They’re obviously a very good team,” Bowen said. “They had a lot of good talent and good skills, good guards, JD Notae with what they were doing with him. This next year is a going to be a lot different with obviously with the recruits they’re bringing in and I can’t wait watch what they have with the versatile recruits coming in.”
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