Five Reasons Tugs Becomes a Jay.

With five-star Brian Bowen nearing a decision, Creighton recruiting will land him in its 2017 class.

Photo Courtesy: Eric Ruden

La Lumiere got to showcase its immense talent on national TV 2 weeks ago, which means that a future Bluejay, Brian Bowen, gave fans a glimpse into the future. He played well, and continued to do so the next week in South Dakota at the Miller Classic.  The LaLu team and Tugs then visited Creighton to take in the CU vs Villanova game on the 31st of December.

The latest rumor regarding the five-star forward who is currently playing high school ball for La Lumiere is that Arizona has jumped to the forefront. Everyone is talking about how he likes what the Wildcats have to offer and the momentum may be swinging in that direction.

This may be true, but there’s still something telling me he will be a Bluejay, which no one thought until recently. He always said he wasn’t a lock for MSU or Arizona, and I believe he will go blue, and here’s why.

5. Carrie Malecke in his ear

Although he is from the same city as Draymond Green, Bowen has another former Spartan in his ear, likely telling him how great it is to play for Tom Izzo and Michigan State. Jason Richardson played for Michigan State from 1999-2001 and won a national title during his time with the Spartans. Richardson is a cousin to Bowen.

I do understand that just because someone in a family went to the school and speaks highly of it doesn’t mean that the younger relative will follow his footsteps. Actually, often times the younger relative wants to forge his own path. Such should be the case for Bowen, and Carrie Malecke seems to like Creighton – a lot.  Carrie Malecke @tugs20, is Brian’s Mom.

The main things in Creighton’s favor are its’ high academic standing, its’ small size, and it’s uptempo, run n shoot brand of basketball – 3 aspects that CU shares with Brian’s current environment at LaLu.  He has mentioned being comfortable, liking his future teammates, and really enjoyed the Creighton campus. The other major aspect is that the Bluejays are trending upwards. The program is in the midst of making history and Brian can be a major part of breaking higher ground within the program.

If Bowen wants to make it to the NBA, all he has to do is talk to Doug McDermott, Kyle Korver, or Anthony Tolliver about how Creighton and Coach McDermott helped them prepare for it and get there.

4. Familiarity with Creighton

MSU has held a special spot in Bowen’s heart for quite some time. The five-star small forward even took trips to East Lansing as a kid to watch games and he’s still making the short trek to the school for visits and even took one a couple months ago for Midnight Madness.

Being around a program for so long can go a ways in making a kid feel comfortable, but can also become boring. Bowen has been around the program for as long as he can remember and if he wants to move out west for college, he will be entering an entirely new environment, one that also has some familiar faces amongst the new ones. Creighton Assistant Coach Preston Murphy is a family friend, played with Brian’s Dad, and has known Brian all his life.  Murphy will provide an anchor and mentor for Brian as he forges an exciting new path in his life and career.  Brian has developed a good relationship with Coach McDermott, is excited about coach’s plan for him, and likes the current players on the team.

Sure, forging a path of his own might be attractive, especially playing in a basketball hotbed climate such as Creighton for a program that consistently sends guys to the NBA, but MSU is a formidable program, not to be overlooked. However, Brian has visited the Hilltop and Omaha 3 times now, and each visit has confirmed that the Jays program is legit, not a one-hit wonder, and would be a great location to continue his education and basketball career.  Seeing as how Creighton plays an uptempo style, likes to get out and run, and is a shooter’s team-Brian is a natural fit and plays a similar system at LaLu.  As a Big East team, the Jays are continually on national tv, garnering national recognition as a top program.

East Lansing has been a second home to Bowen for years now and MSU has been recruiting him since he was just a youngster. Will the five-star stud stay home for college and play close to his family or will he make the decision to play for up and coming national power Creighton?

Making history and forging new ground individually is a surprisingly big deal.

3. Chance to play for Offensive-minded Genius

Greg McDermott has done an excellent job in recruiting over the past few classes. He has snagged guys like his son Doug, five-star Justin Patton, Davion Mintz, and Khyri Thomas, as well as transfers Maurice Watson, Cole Huff, Marcus Foster, and Syracuse’s Kaleb Joseph.

On top of that, he has reeled in four-star Mitchell Ballock (#1 Kansas) and four-star Ty-Shon Alexander (Oak Hill Acad, #1 NC) in his 2017 recruiting class, and each player seemed to beam with joy at the mention of Creighton’s portfolio and Coach Mac’s plan for them. Players really seem to be drawn to a program with a complete package and portfolio, especially when coupled with the academic environment, family atmosphere, and a coach who has proven to develop recruits as players and men.

Coach Mac is an offensive genius and his teams are known for their efficiency and effectiveness. Saying that will never get old, and that actually happens to be one of his best recruiting pitches that he doesn’t even have to use. Recruits see CU on tv and want to play in Creighton’s uptempo, #LetitFly, #Shooter U, style.  Kids already know what he’s about and he doesn’t have to brag about it.

Bowen has a chance to pick between a great coach in Greg McDermott, a good coach in Sean Miller at Arizona and two coaches with improving track records at Texas and N.C. State. If he was making a decision based solely on head coaches, Michigan State would be the obvious choice with Arizona in second.  Fortunately Brian has the tools to go pro from anywhere, why not after learning under the top offensive-minded coach in the county – Greg McDermott.

Will Bowen jump at the opportunity to be taught by the best offensive coach at the small academic school or will he opt to join the big school mills at home or at Miller’s Arizona? I think it’s the former.

Courtesy: Creighton Athletics

2. New teammates and Great Chemistry

This one can go along the same lines as familiarity. Having a player committed in the 2017 class that’s already familiar with Bowen could be great for Creighton. Ty-Shon Alexander, a four-star SG from Oak Hill Academy, committed to Creighton last year. Ty-Shon and Tugs have faced each other several times on the HS and AAU circuits, including the Dick’s National Championship game last Spring.

While the 2 CU early commitments were a pleasant surprise, Creighton’s recruiting fast start has given the Jays a leg up with targeting top 25 recruits, including Bowen who is the Jays top 2017 target, and Tyger Campbell, the 2019 point guard who is considered a top option for Creighton.  Both 2017 commits, Ty-Shon and Mitch Ballock have been lobbying for Tugs to join them at CU.

Having visited the Hilltop several times, Justin Patton might be in Bowen’s ear about dominating at the next level and taking his talents to Omaha to join Patton, Foster, Thomas, and the incoming 2017 guys.  Creighton is in need of more forwards and wing players and Bowen could fill in that need right away.  Creighton is after all:  Shooter U.

Bowen would play right away and could you imagine a lineup with Kaleb Joseph, Marcus Foster, Mitch Ballock, Justin Patton, and Bowen?  Scary.

1. Idea of playing for title contender

As mentioned earlier, just imagine what the lineup would look like if Bowen committed. You would have Joseph, Foster, Ballock, Bowen, and Patton in the starting rotation — and Epperson is still up in the air.

Coming off the bench would be Khyri Thomas, Ty-Shon Alexander, Ronnie Harrell, Kobe Paras, Davion Mintz, Toby Hegner, and Zach Hanson. That makes for one of the scarier teams in college basketball with arguably one of the most athletic starting rotations in the country.

Kids want to play for national title contenders even if they’re considered one-and-dones. While Bowen might be a one or two year guy, you can bet he would rather play for Creighton’s fast paced, national title contending team, than say, a slumping Texas, N.C. State or MSU. While the latter has been impressive in recent years, the Spartans have a big hill to climb to return to their former glory status.

Despite being in the midst of down years, Michigan State, Texas, and possibly NC State would likely open the season as a top 20 team if it was able to land Bowen and potentially McCoy. That’s intriguing and must be considered by Bowen.  At Creighton the 2017 class will jump to #7 in 247sports and 11-13 in ESPN rankings with Bowen. Creighton will start next season as a top ten pick with the returnees and the talented 2017 class.

All five of the contending schools are good.  Good coaches, good programs, good histories.  Creighton is just better and the Best Fit overall for Brian Tugs Bowen!  Make the smart choice – the Best choice.  Become a Creighton Bluejay Tugs!


Courtesy: Creighton Athletics