Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adrian Bowie: The Surprise of the Season

With all of the talk of the controversial Greivis Vasquez, underwhelming frontcourt play, Dave Neal's improvements, and Landon Milbourne' s inconsistency, one Terp has been consistently overlooked this season: Adrian Bowie. Initially Bowie was not in the starting lineup, instead providing a healthy spark off of the bench. However, after a strong start Gary Williams inserted the Greenbelt native into the starting lineup and Adrian has taken the reins as the primary point guard. Adrian has come on particularly strong as of late as a scorer, putting up double-digit points in five of the past six games and averging 18 points per game over the last three.

Entering this season I did not have a particularly high opinion of Bowie; his jump shot was nonexistent, and his decision making was suspect. This season Bowie has been arguably the best finisher on the team, and has fit very nicely as the primary point. The root of this is confidence; Bowie knows his advantage in quickness over most other defenders, and when he gets into the paint has superb body control to either draw the contact or finish the bucket (or both). This perhaps is the biggest difference. Last season, Adrian often played out of control and thus had difficulty finishing around the basket. His jump shot has also improved, although his accuracy from the three point arc still could use work.

The biggest drawback to his game is that he has a penchant for turnovers, and still needs to work on his ball distribution. His assist totals are up from last year admittedly, but his assist to turnover ratio still ranges around 1:1. This is the key ratio that needs to improve for Adrian Bowie to become a legitimate ACC point guard.

Regardless, Bowie has become (at least as of late) the motor for this offense. Not many people expected him to excel like he has this season, and the success of Maryland during the daunting stretch of ACC games ahead depends heavily on how he matures at the point.

No comments: