Former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen enrolled at South Carolina and hopes to be eligible to play for the Gamecocks next season, the school announced Wednesday.
Bowen, a five-star recruit, was involved in the FBI investigation into college basketball bribes that led to the dismissal of Louisville coach Rick Pitino. Bowen maintains he did nothing wrong despite the FBI claiming Adidas executives paid $100,000 to his family in order to secure his commitment to Louisville.
Louisville suspended Bowen and later announced he wouldn’t be playing for the program. He will have two sit out two semesters before playing for South Carolina.
Gamecocks coach Frank Martin said Bowen “deserves a fresh start.”
“Brian is an exceptional young man and a basketball player with a very high IQ for the game,” Martin said in a statement. “He brings a high-level skill set to the court and will make an immediate impact on our team with him joining us on the practice court this week.
“He is a strong, athletic small forward who can really shoot the ball and rebound.”
Bowen will have to be cleared by the NCAA before he can suit up for the Gamecocks, and athletic director Ray Tanner said the department will be assisting him in that effort.
“What better coach is there to help Brian grow as a student-athlete and more importantly as a young man than Frank Martin and his staff,” Tanner said in a statement. “Over the coming months, we will work diligently with the NCAA through our compliance office to ensure that Brian is eligible for competition.”
The 6-foot-7, 195-pound Brown earned McDonald’s All-America honors and was named Indiana’s state player of the year when he averaged 21 points and seven rebounds as a senior at La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Ind.
“I’m really excited to get an opportunity like this with a terrific coach like Frank Martin and a program like South Carolina,” Bowen told ESPN.
Martin gave a shout-out on Twitter to Bowen.
Great day for our Gamecock Basketball family. Gamecock Nation lets give @20tugs a big welcome to the family
— Frank Martin (@FrankMartin_SC) January 10, 2018
“Great day for our Gamecock Basketball family. Gamecock Nation lets give @20tugs a big welcome to the family,” Martin wrote.
The Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four last season but were hit hard by departures. South Carolina is 10-5 overall and 1-2 in Southeastern Conference play this season.
–Field Level Media