Brian Bowen had the opportunity to spend a couple of days last week playing in real basketball games Erik Gonzalez Cleveland Indians Jersey , replete with scoreboards and referees and with every courtside seat filled.
It’s unclear when he’ll be able to do that again.
Bowen might have been one of the most talked-about players in NCAA basketball over the last year, without so much as playing a single second of a game. He’s the one-time Louisville commit who left amid massive scandal – the federal probe into the college game, including allegations that his father took money during the recruiting process – and subsequently transferred to South Carolina.
But the NCAA hasn’t cleared him yet. It might not. So he’s taking a long look at the NBA, and Bowen’s invitation to the draft combine last week was a fact-finding mission that will help him decide whether to formally turn pro or return to school with hopes that his collegiate eligibility will be restored so he can play with the Gamecocks.
”It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” Bowen said after one of his 5-on-5 games at the combine. ”They took the game away from me, a game I truly love. It made me realize how much passion and love I do have for the game. I put that into my workouts every day and I go as hard as I can.”
The 6-foot-7 Bowen of Saginaw, Michigan has until the end of the month to decide whether to keep his name in the draft or not. The draft itself is June 21. And there’s been no indication if the NCAA will offer him any clarity before he has not make his stay-or-go choice.
”My lawyer and the school are dealing with it,” Bowen said.
His is a most curious case, even in a draft that has a handful of players who have been tainted on some level by the ongoing mess that reverberated through the college game last season and probably will continue having a ripple effect for the foreseeable future.
Billy Preston, the 6-1o forward who left Kansas while being investigated by the NCAA and played professionally in Europe, was at the combine trying to show his worth to NBA clubs. Same goes for the 6-4 De’Anthony Melton, who left USC after not being able to play this past season because a family friend was linked to the scandal.
Melton said the interviews with teams at the combine had little to do with basketball and mostly centered on his side of the story.
”I just broke it down for them Quenton Nelson Youth Jersey ,” Melton said. ”I told them from the very beginning to the very end. I know there’s a lot of reports out there about what happened and what was going down, I told them my feelings about everything and why I kept quiet through the whole situation. I gave them what they were asking for.”
That trio of players handled their unwanted down time in different ways.
Bowen said he locked in on academics, earning a 3.5 GPA. Preston went to Bosnia and played, albeit in only a handful of games and was back around the Jayhawks – as a fan and friend, not player and teammate – for their Final Four appearance. Melton started studying NBA games and looking at them as if he was a coach, diverting his attention away from college ball with the exception of USC’s schedule.
”Any decision I made, I don’t regret nothing,” Preston said. ”I don’t regret anything I’ve been through. It’s God. It’s in God’s hands. Whatever presents itself, I’ll definitely fight my way through it. Being over there, I think that was God putting a barrier in my way and I broke through it. I didn’t even think I would be here right now.”
Bowen always expected to be at the combine, but never while in this situation.
He doesn’t speak ill of Louisville . He insists that he’s had no involvement with Christian Dawkins, the would-be agent who federal prosecutors say brokered and facilitated payments to players during their recruitments in exchange for them hiring him when they turned pro. He says he hasn’t even considered who he would hire for representation if he stays in the draft.
”It’s a situation I have to deal with Baker Mayfield Jersey ,” Bowen said. ”It is what it is. Continue to stay focused, that’s my big thing.”
He’s also closer than ever with his father, which might surprise some considering his alleged role in Bowen’s problems. He’s been in South Carolina with his son, and the younger Bowen said they begin each day the same way – a hug in the morning, saying ”I love you” to the other before starting to attack the daily schedule.
”Everything happens for a reason,” Bowen said. ”Somebody’s situation is always going to be worse than mine. Other people in my family have worse situations than I have. I just have to learn, use it as a learning experience, use it as motivation and have a chip on my shoulder.”
Kansas City has agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, a move that spells the end of Kirk Cousins’ time with the Redskins and hands the Chiefs’ job to Patrick Mahomes.
Two people with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the move to The Associated Press on Tuesday night on condition of anonymity because the transaction can’t be completed until the start of the new league year in March. One person told the AP the Redskins had agreed to a four-year extension with Smith, who had one year left on his contract.
Smith, who turns 34 in May, spent the past five seasons with the Chiefs Mason Rudolph Jersey Steelers , leading them to the playoffs four times while throwing for 102 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. He carries a $17 million salary-cap hit for 2018.
Kansas City saves cap space and can turn to Mahomes, the 10th pick in last year’s draft out of Texas Tech, as its new starter.
Smith becomes Washington’s new franchise quarterback after throwing for 31,888 yards and 183 touchdowns in 12 NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Chiefs.
Smith is ”one of the best competitors and teammates I’ve ever been around,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce posted on Twitter. ”Someone who I owe a lot of my success to, and a guy that’s been a class act through all the ups n downs.”
The Redskins acquired Smith and signed him to the kind of long-term deal they balked at with Cousins, who became the first QB to play back-to-back seasons on the franchise tag. Cousins can become a free agent next month at age 29.
”Nothing really surprises me anymore,” Redskins tight end Niles Paul tweeted . Former Redskins QB Robert Griffin III tweeted : ”Some how…Some way…they will blame this on me. No doubt.”
Cousins, drafted by the Redskins in the fourth round out of Michigan State in 2012 – the same year they traded up to Griffin with the No 2 pick – likely leaves Washington with the fourth-most passing yards in franchise history, more than 16,000.
Under coach Jay Gruden, Cousins became the first Redskins QB to start all 16 games for three consecutive seasons. He threw for at least 4 Barkevious Mingo Color Rush Jersey ,000 yards in each, while totaling 81 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. But Washington only played in one playoff game during that span, going 9-7, 8-7-1 and, most recently, 7-9 in Cousins’ time as a starter.
Cousins has been the biggest question hovering over Washington’s offseason – and, indeed, hovering over the whole organization for a couple of years as the team failed to sign him to a long-term deal.
According to ESPN, Washington is sending a third-round draft pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller to Kansas City in the trade, which cannot be finalized until March 14. The Kansas City Star first reported the deal.
This is the second time a team coached by Andy Reid has traded a 33-year-old QB to the Redskins. Reid’s Philadelphia Eagles dealt Donovan McNabb to Washington in 2010 for second- and third-round picks.
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta and Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.