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Maryland men's basketball season recap: Adrian Bowie

This week, Terrapins Insider will take a look back on the 2009-10 Maryland men’s basketball season from an individual standpoint. We’ll discuss how each player’s year went and look ahead to his role on the team going forward. Readers are encouraged to provide their thoughts in the comments section below or email them to yandas@washpost.com.

Junior guard Adrian Bowie spent most of this season trying to find a balance between the strengths he already possesses and the ones he envisions himself possessing in the future.

We knew heading into the season that Bowie could drive to the basket fearlessly and that those drives were highly valuable in terms of opening up shots for his teammates out on the perimeter. We also knew that Bowie could defend capably – and sometimes exceptionally – against an opposing team’s top offensive perimeter threat.

What we didn’t know about Bowie heading into the season was whether all the time and effort he put into improving his jump shot – and specifically, his three-point shot – would translate into making him a more effective offensive component.

The early results were less than encouraging. Bowie fell in love with his jumper and got away from those penetrating drives. And that would have been okay, except that his jumper was not falling with much regularity. As Bowie continued to miss, his confidence continued to slide. His focus and his playing time followed suit.

At several points during the season, Maryland Coach Gary Williams made reference to the delicate nature of the confidence of players such as Bowie and fellow junior guard Cliff Tucker. After a win at Boston College on Jan. 16 during which Bowie and Tucker had performed well, Williams noted that their confidence level was high at that point and he hoped that it would remain that way the following day.

As the season progressed, Bowie slowly but surely worked his way out of his slump, and coming to grips with his role on the team undoubtedly played a role in that development. He acknowledged several times in January that he needed to get back to doing what he knew he could do well. But that wasn’t completely the case.

Bowie didn’t need to be one or the other – a driver or a shooter. He needed to do both. He needed to find a medium between the two extremes, and that came down to in-game decision-making.

Next season, Bowie would appear to be the incumbent favorite to serve as the squad’s starting point guard, and so his decision-making ability will be important in determining how far that team can go. Does Bowie have the ability to be a capable point guard? Certainly. But if he is to be the starting point guard, Maryland will not be able to afford the inconsistency with which he played for most of this season.

Bowie turned in several encouraging performances down the stretch this year. He found a rhythm within the offense, taking jump shots when he received good looks, driving to the basket when the opportunity presented itself and dishing to a teammate when the situation necessitated such an action.

Bowie ended up hitting several critical shots for the Terrapins during the last month of the season, so abandoning his perimeter game would be a mistake. But so would becoming completely reliant upon it for production.

As his offensive game steadied, his defense improved. You could argue it was the other way around. That part is open for debate.

What’s not open for debate is that Maryland will need Bowie to take a marked step forward in his development prior to the beginning of next season. He, Tucker and Dino Gregory will be filling the shoes of this season’s accomplished three-man senior class.

No one is expecting them to be Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne, but at least one of them will need to step forward and fill part of the leadership gap the departure of those three players creates.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 29, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: March Memories: Catching up with Byron Mouton

Comments

I got a feeling that Stoglin will be running point by the time ACC play hits next winter.

I dont think Bowie has what it takes to be the facilitator. Id rather see him on the wing slashing to the basket and knocking down 3's.

Posted by: DMoney28 | March 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Adrian Bowie we saw at the end of the season is the player we will see next season. He started to look more comfortable and confident in his jump shot. He was also taking good chances at driving to the basket. Unfortunately his limited play time this season probably hindered his development as a player, but that's what happens when you get stuck behind two seniors in the rotation, one of which is probably one of the top 10 all-time players at Maryland. Bowie's senior season will need to be a great one for the Terps to make the NCAAs next season (unless of course the field is expanded). He will be the primary ball handler on the team, and will need to provide leadership to a very good recruiting class.

Posted by: Russtinator | March 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

See AB starting at PG but one of the freshmen taking serious minutes. Think we underestimate AB - he has shown flashes of brilliance but inconsistency tends to be the knock on him. Think those issues will be reduced with increased, consistent playing time. The misfortune of playing behind two great seniors may actually be a benefit in that he learned quite abit playing and practicing against GV and EH. JW's development should help in terms of assists (great hands, more post moves and we have a monster).

The leadership needs are a bit more complex. JW is clearly the most important player on the team next year and seems to be better positioned to lead the team over DG, CT, and AB. CT in particular has had some alleged attitude issues. Perhaps even Moseley steps up as the team leader as he does play full bore during the minutes he is out on the court. AB has always played the good soldier, so I am hopefully wrong on that. Don't think that making the tourney with a 65 team field will be a stretch; I think winning the ACC or ACC tourney or getting to the sweet 16 will be - from what we know about the team at this point. If the freshmen can play, we may have another satisfying season next year.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 29, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

GV was the unquestionable leader of this year's team. I anticipate that the leadership role will be filled by Sean Mosley and Jordan Williams. I think AB can handle the point adequately, but not excellently.

BTW, Testudo Times has profiled each incoming recruit. All incoming freshmen, except Mychal Parker, have been labeled as "non-athletic" but savvy and tough...sounds a lot like LM, EH and GV.

In Petecard parlance, Sweet Sixteen capable, but not elite. However, with Butler and Duke in the Final Four and Kansas and Kentucky at home with the Terps, one could argue that you don't need exceptional one-year rental talent to compete for a NC.

Posted by: larry31 | March 29, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

lol

Posted by: mr-reeves | March 29, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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