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Bowers Growing to Enjoy Basketball

Posted by Michael Glick at Dec 26, 2002 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
By Pat O'Malley Sun Staff Originally published December 26, 2002 Will Bowers of Archbishop Spalding has literally inched his way to a full basketball scholarship at the University of Maryland. Bowers has grown from a 6-foot-5 grade schooler who practically had to be pushed onto the court into a 7-0 senior who has flashed enough potential to be recruited by the defending NCAA champions. Basketball didn't particularly interest him until his sophomore year in high school. When he was in grade school, his mother, Karen Bowers, signed him up for youth basketball without telling him. Bowers reluctantly played through ninth grade because "I was so tall and my parents wanted me to play." He got even taller in high school, going from 6-7 as a freshman to 6-9 as a sophomore to 6-11 as a junior before reaching his current height. As Bowers grew, so did his passion for the game. "I was weak and uncoordinated as a freshman and was only playing because I was tall," Bowers said. "I started growing in the offseason and by the fall I was about 6-9 and a lot stronger [from lifting weights]. I was a starter [as a sophomore], and I started to realize that I could play. "My confidence was really up, and I started to love the game and wanted to get better." And though his statistics might not show it, Bowers has dramatically developed his game: He runs the court well and is an intelligent passer and tough rebounder, with good hands, agility in the post and a soft touch on medium-range jumpers. In fact, his coach, Mike Glick, has such faith in him that Glick set up a play to give Bowers a last-second, three-point shot last week at Eleanor Roosevelt. Bowers made a 22-footer, sending the game into overtime. Spalding defeated the defending Class 4A state champion, 56-51. "He has a tremendous upside because of his versatility," Glick said, "and I can only see Gary [Williams, Terps coach] turning him into an excellent Division I player." Glick's teams don't feature high scorers - former Sun Player of the Year Derrick Snowden's 15.4 has been Spalding's highest average during Glick's four seasons - so Bowers has not put up big numbers. Bowers is averaging 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds this season for the No. 4 Cavaliers after last season's 12.2 and 6.0. Those undistinguished statistics have raised questions about Bowers' suitability as an Atlantic Coast Conference recruit. "It might seem to be a little bit of a stretch for Bowers to be going to Maryland, but who can question Gary Williams' judgment?" said Paul Baker, a former high school and college coach and longtime commentator on the local basketball scene. "Gary has proven he has a keen eye for kids and projects them very well." Still, Baker said Bowers has slow feet, which could hinder him in college and possibly mean he will sit out next season as a redshirt. "Few 7-footers are good enough to play more than 25 minutes at the next level," Baker said. "Seven-footers are becoming less and less of a commodity." However, Morgan Wootten, the Hall of Fame coach who recently retired from DeMatha High in Hyattsville, said Bowers is "a good, solid prospect who is agile enough and has a fine touch for a big man." Spalding assistant coach Ralph Burley, a mentor to Bowers after persuading the Hanover resident to choose Spalding over Mount St. Joseph, said: "I don't think he will be redshirted, but I think he can come in and get minutes. I don't how many minutes he will get, but I think he can help the team. He's not going to be [an] All-American his freshman year, but in time, if he keeps working the way he did this summer, I think the sky is the limit for him." Calvert Hall coach Mark Ama- tucci, who once coached at Loyola College and Anne Arundel Community College, has seen Bowers in action. "He runs the floor well and has a nice touch for his size," Amatucci said. "Maryland obviously has the confidence to develop him." Bowers was nothing special as a 6-7, 190-pound freshman on the Spalding JV, and he thought he was finished growing. "The doctors projected me to stop growing at 6-7, and I thought I was pretty much done, but I ended up growing another 5 inches," said Bowers, who weighs 250 pounds. His father, Bill Bowers, is 6-5, his mother 6-0. He has a 6-8 cousin. Bowers recently set a school record for all-time blocked shots and is averaging 2.0 blocks this season. Last season, he was named All-County and second-team All-Metro for the No. 4 Cavaliers. The honors recognized the improvement built, in part, on summers spent playing Amateur Athletic Union ball. Maryland assistant Jimmy Patsos scouted Bowers extensively last season and recommended the Spalding junior to Williams. The Terps offered a full scholarship in July and by July 27, Bowers committed orally. Bowers, who more than quali-fies academically with a 3.30 grade point average and 1,310 on his SAT, chose the Terps over such schools as Connecticut, Notre Dame and Stanford. "At first, I couldn't under- stand why he picked Maryland over Stanford and Notre Dame," said Karen Bowers, but I asked him [and] he said, 'Because this is where I will be happy,' and what other words could a mother want to hear? I thought, this is great, because he's going to be close to home and I'll still be able to do his laundry. Oh, boy." Bowers' dad said he was disappointed their only child didn't want to take visits to some of the other schools. "He told me he knew he wanted to go to Maryland and couldn't see having other schools spend money to fly him out there and feed him if he had no intention of going there," Bill Bowers said. "I thought that was a pretty mature thing to do and not take advantage of a free trip to California or whatever." Bowers said he simply liked everything about the Maryland situation and the Terps liked everything about him, especially his potential. "I need to work on my athleti- cism, quick jumping and my left hand because the ACC is full of talented players," Bowers said. "Gary Williams is known for taking big men not necessarily rated high by the analysts and Internet people and improving them and putting them in a better position after four years than a lot of guys rated ahead of them." Copyright © 2002, The Baltimore Sun
Bowers 16-Points & Brackney’s bench spark lead Cavs 12/27/2002 Senior Will Bowers scored 10 of his game-high 16-points in the final quarter, as #4 Archbishop Spalding limited Georgetown Prep, ranked #20 in Washington, to only one field goal in the final seven minutes and rallied to a 45-40 victory, in the first round of the Slam Dunk at the Beach tournament in Lewes, Delaware. The Cavaliers will now move on to face Cardinal Dougherty of the Philadelphia Catholic League on Saturday at 8:00 pm, in the semifinals. Trailing 38-33 following a three-pointer by Georgetown Prep senior guard Pat Coyle, Spalding’s Tim Brackney made a layup and Bowers, a 7-foot center, followed with a three-pointer - just the third in his career - to tie the game at 38. He also hit a trey last week to send the Cavs to overtime, in a game they eventually won, against Eleanor Roosevelt. Spalding (7-1) took the lead for good when junior guard Rudy Gay converted two free throws with 3:42 left, and extended its lead to 42-38 when Bowers added two more free throws with 52-seconds remaining. Brackney, a senior guard, scored eight points off the bench to spark the Cavs and Gay scored six.
By: Mark Thomas Date: December 20, 2002 GREENBELT, MD (E.Roosevelt HS)-It was supposed to be a mismatch. It started off like a mismatch. Down 13-0, a 1-4 E.Roosevelt squad could've easily quit. Instead, they played their hearts out and might've done something to turn their season around, falling 56-51 in OT. As for Spalding, they were staring at their first L, as they trailed 48-45 with :10.9 left in regulation. During a time out, Spalding head coach Mike Glick turned to big man Will Bowers and told him that this is the shot he's wanted to take his whole life and he's getting it. The 7-foot Bowers received the pass above the 3 point line at the top of the key. With one motion, he calmly buried the 3, looking like it was a regular part of his repertoire. It was the 2nd 3-pointer of his career. Despite a knee that was obviously bothering him, Bowers scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. He and 6'9 Jared Gaither from E.R. (15 points) were causing tremors throughout the gym as these two wide bodies battled in the paint. Spalding also got a scintillating performance from one of the country's top juniors, Rudy Gay. The 6'7 Gay had 29 points and 10 rebounds. 19 of his points were in the book by halftime. Two of the biggest came in overtime with the score tied at 50 and about 1:05 left on the clock. Gay received a pass just outside the paint in the left side low post. He was immediately doubled. He calmly stepped through the double team and hit a short jumper. 52-50 Spalding and the Cavaliers never relinquished the lead. Gay scored the game's first points with a dunk and slammed home an airball at the end of the 1st quarter. Spalding led 23-11 at the end of that quarter and pushed the lead to 27-13. Gay was sprinkling shots from all over the court as he displayed very nice touch. Again, ER could've folded, but they went on a 15-0 run and led at the half, 28-27. They did it with some outstanding pressure defense. All the sudden, we had a ball game on our hands. I don't think anyone led by more than 3 points in the 2nd half, as each side seemed to counter with constant clutch shots. Biggest key stat of the game is probably ER's woeful free throw shooting. They were 11-27 from the FT line. Spalding was 11-16. Only 4 Spalding players scored tonight- Gay, Brooks, Durr and Bowers. Bowers REALLY competed tonight. ER was led by 15 from Gaither and 15 from Carl Campbell. This was a great game for both teams in terms of their preparation for the rest of the season. Spalding faced better defense than they will probably see all year in the BCL. E.R. has to exit with a confidence boost. Look for them to get better as their bevy of young players learn their system.
Maryland High School Boys Basketball State Poll "The Only True Basketball State Poll in Maryland." 12/16/02 Compiled by Jeff Graves for the Media. The poll is voted on by a panel of selected state media members. Schools are ranked by votes received. The number in parenthesis reflects first-place votes. LW is last week's ranking. Rk. School Record Points LW 1. Montrose Christian (7) 2-0 194 1 2. Archbishop Spalding (3) 5-0 191 2 3. DeMatha 5-0 180 3 4. Oxon Hill 3-0 170 4 5. Friendly 3-0 155 7 6. Suitland 3-0 142 9 7. Riverdale Baptist 7-1 131 13 8. Thomas Johnson 1-1 116 6 9. National Christian 3-1 109 11 10. Lake Clifton 2-1 102 5 11. Mount St. Joseph 5-0 95 16 12. Good Counsel 4-3 85 8 13. Magruder 2-1 82 14 14. Douglass-Balt. 3-0 61 NR 15. Randallstown 2-0 55 18 16. Bullis Prep 3-1 42 NR 17. Bishop McNamara 6-2 37 20 18. Georgetown Prep 4-1 34 NR 19. Mervo 1-3 31 12 20. Calvert Hall 5-0 19 NR Others Receiving Votes: Annapolis, 14; St. John's-PH, 14; Pocomoke, 13; Wicomico, 10; Eleanor Roosevelt, 5; McDonogh, 3; Boys' Latin, 2; St. Maria Goretti, 2; Watkins Mill, 2; Lansdowne, 1; Meade, 1; Paint Branch, 1; Thomas Stone, 1. Any questions can be sent to
No. 1 Spalding boxes up Goretti, Davis, 50-34 Unbeaten Cavaliers use box-and-one defense to limit Gaels star to 4 points By Pat O'Malley Sun Staff Originally published December 16, 2002 The almost always reliable box-and-one defense carried top-ranked Archbishop Spalding to a 50-34 victory over St. Maria Goretti of Hagerstown yesterday in Severn. It was the second win in the combined Catholic League and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference for the host Cavaliers (4-0, 2-0). The game was a rematch of last season's Catholic League/MIAA A final, which was won, 45-36, by Spalding, and it was the league opener for the Gaels (3-3). Senior guards Jesse Brooks, Matt Latonick and Dave Douglas anchored the Cavaliers' box-and-one defense that took the Gaels' leading scorer and only returning starter, Derrick Davis, out of the offense. "Their defense got to us in the second half, and they monitored Derrick excellently," said Goretti coach Cokey Robertson, who is eight wins from becoming only the second coach in state history to win 700 games. "They took Derrick out, and we didn't have anybody to step up." The Cavaliers held Davis, who averages about 20 points, to four points. "We tried to get him out of the game early, didn't want to get him started because we know he's a good player, and he could have lit us up with a lot of points, " said Brooks, who, with teammate Gus Durr, were the only players to score in double digits with 13 and 12 points, respectively. In their zone defense, the Gaels double-teamed the Cavaliers' 7-footer, Will Bowers, who did not have a field goal and had six points from the foul line. "And they did a good job of taking Rudy Gay out of the game," Spalding coach Mike Glick said of his 6-8 forward who was held to four points. It didn't matter because the Cavaliers have too many weapons and made 24 of 33 foul shots, while Goretti only went to the line seven times, converting five. "I think a key thing was our big men rebounding in the second half," said Douglas. "We had him [Davis] in the box, but Will stepped up on the boards. He didn't score as many points as he wanted to, but his rebounding was key in the game." Bowers had nine rebounds, including five on the defensive side in the second half, as he prevented the Gaels from getting second shots. He also altered a number of Goretti's shots. Davis, who was 1-for-8 from the field, was shut out in the first half and got his only field goal in the third quarter. Spalding's hustling defense held the Gaels to 2-for-15 shooting from the field in the third quarter and 14-for-48 (29 percent) for the game. While the Cavaliers, who led 25-24 at halftime, scored only seven in the third quarter to push their lead to 32-28, they secured the victory by making 14 of 19 free-throw attempts in the final quarter. G--Nelson 7, Spierenberg 8, Davis 4, Breslin 9, Costello 4, Tornetta 2. Totals 14 5-5 34. S--Brooks 13, Douglas 6, Gay 4, Bowers 6, Durr 12, Latonick 4, Brackney 3, Dixon 2. Totals 12 24-33 50. Half: S, 25-24. Copyright © 2002, The Baltimore Sun