Ken Bowman has USC coach Tim Floyd to thank for landing in Kansas.
According to Hutch C.C. coach Ryan Swanson, Floyd — who had recruited a few of Swanson’s players when the coach was at Garden City — recommended a lively, good-sized prospect he’d seen in the Los Angeles area during a workout.
But Bowman thought he was Division I material — even though he wasn’t going to qualify.
A year later, and a year away from the game, Bowman touched down in the Sunflower State.
“He was really rusty,” Swanson said. “You could see there was a lot of skill, though.”
There was also some extra weight. But since then, Bowman has lost 20 pounds, adding muscle. He’s now 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds.
Here’s Swanson’s take:
“He’s a good athlete, very skilled. He’s a power forward. He can shoot it out to three-point range, and he’s good with his back to the basket. He can put it on the floor… We run a flex offense, and in our version, our bigs step our and face. We don’t lock him inside. It’s important for us to have bigs who can face up, and that’s what he can do.”
Bowman does it so well, in fact, he’s drawing high-major interest. His primary targets are Maryland and K-State, although Bowman — who is originally from Phoenix but attended high school in L.A. — was impressed by Greg Marshall during an unofficial visit to Wichita State.
“He’s being recruited at the highest level, but weirder things have happened,” Swanson said.
Bowman, who is averaging approximately 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for Hutch (18-6 overall, tied for first in the Jayhawk West with Seward County at 8-2), took an official visit to Maryland.
It was a one-day trip, but the Terps were playing Duke. Although Maryland lost, 93-84, the experience still left an lasting impression.
“They’re at the top of his list — as they should be as that’s the only official visit he’s taken,” Swanson said.
A trip to Manhattan could be forthcoming, Swanson said, once the season is over.
With two Division I schools in Kansas in the mix, Bowman is obviously not opposed to remaining in the state.
“Kenny can survive anywhere,” Swanson said. “He’s had good experiences here at Hutch. A lot of good things have happened to him here…
“He likes the Midwest. I wouldn’t be shocked if he stays here.”
Bowman has posted 10 double-doubles for Hutch. An added dimension he provides now, that he didn’t a year ago with the extra weight, is blocking shots. He has swatted a total of nine in his last two games.
Swanson expects Bowman to have an impact regardless of where he lands.
“I’m not saying he’s going to be playing in the NBA,” Swanson said. “But for being 6-foot-9, and having a good frame — and at the Division I level he’ll get bigger — you don’t find guys with his skill set and basketball IQ very often. As much improvement as he made this year, I can’t imagine him not improving even more next year.”