This off-season is barely a month old and already it is proving to be one for the books. Between the musical chairs occurring with the incoming class (Maze and Evans), rumors of players transferring (Hayes), or going pro (Vasquez); the message boards have been full of chatter. Oh and I forgot to mention that our prized recruit, Sean Mosley, has yet to academically qualify.
It is clear that the uncertainty that surrounds this offseason exists because of what happened on the court last season. Almost all of the successes and failures rest on the shoulders of Greivis Vasquez. He either did not do enough or he did too much, depending on the game or depending on who you ask. Simply put, he was all over the place.
Pushing Vasquez in practice throughout the season was Mr. Adrian Bowie. It’s was a familiar role for Adrian. Both he and Vasquez are alumni of Montrose Christian– a program that has quickly become Gary Williams’ feeder school. In high school, Bowie and Vasquez brought out the best in each other. We have yet to see that on the court in the ACC.
Personally, I like what I saw from Bowie. He demonstrated two things that prove to me he will be a solid contributor with the Terps.
1. He played excellent defense and was the best on-the-ball defender.
2. He got better offensively as the season went along.
Coaches love good defense. Gary Williams is no exception and you should expect to see Adrian Bowie on the court if for no other reason. His defense will serve as an example to the newcomers on how to earn playing time. However, for Adrian to maintain his hold on a spot in the rotation; his offense will need to improve.
He showed flashes of being able to get the rack (he has a great first step), but I am not convinced that he can knock down the open look with consistency, or has mastered how to get open in the flex offense. By all accounts, Tyree Evans and Sean Mosley will be able to fill the stat sheet, so Bowie will need to make a huge leap offensively this summer in order to stay ahead of those guys.
Truth be told, his best route to playing time would be to master the point guard position. That is a stretch to say the least as his skills (like every other guard on the roster) lend itself to the shooting guard slot. So Bowie will have to compete against six other players (Vasquez, Hayes, Tucker, Milbourne, Mosley and Evans) for three starting slots. Gary Williams will be playing lots of three guard sets but our small forwards (Tucker and Milbourne) are too small to play the four; so I am lumping them in with the guards.
There is tons of talent in that group, but the skills overlap rather than complement. Unfortunately, for Mr. Bowie, none of his offensive abilities stand out amongst his peers. In the final analysis, I am afraid that Bowie will have to carve out a niche for himself as a stopper and shut down defender. If his offensive game can improve, he just might find himself at or near the top of the depth chart, but I don’t think that is realistic with the horses the Terps have coming in next year.