The most dynamic, athletic, and exciting player in Boston College’s recent history is going pro. Ky Bowman, the ironman, hopes to (and should!) hear his name called at the NBA Draft on June 20th. He had interviews with the Heat and the Warriors as well as private workouts with the Hawks, Nets, and Timberwolves (per the Boston Globe), which bodes well.
Bowman arrived on the Heights as a 3-star recruit known more for his football prowess, Alabama scholarship offer, and de-commitment from the UNC football program than his basketball skills. But he immediately showed his ability as a complement to Jerome Robinson en route to making the All-ACC Freshman Team. Over the next two years he would continue to blossom into the playmaker he is today, being named to the All-ACC second team this most recent season. Let’s dive in!
It’s really hard to predict Ky Bowman at the next level, because his time at BC is difficult to evaluate. His volume stats, such as points, rebounds and steals, have increased year-to-year. So too have his minutes due to his role as focal point of the offense. On the other hand, his efficiency stats have declined. Field goal and three-point percentage both peaked his freshman year. But again, how much of that is due to his leading role and absurd usage, playing a whopping 38 and 39 minutes-per-game as a sophomore and junior? Further, most players’ stats would go down when a teammate like Robinson departs, purely as a function of spacing and attention.
I’m inclined to believe that Bowman’s sophomore year is the best representation of his skills. That year, though he played 38 mpg, he had the most talented supporting cast of his career in the toughest league in college basketball and posted 17.6/6.8/4.7 on 42% shooting and a 1.5 AST/TO ratio. That is a player worthy of at least a late first or early second round pick. His decline in efficiency is almost certainly due to the usage and the attention he gets as the only BC player capable of consistently creating his own shot.
I mean just look at this stuff
Physical Measurements and Draft Combine Performance
Weight – 181.2 lbs
Hand Length – 8.25”
Hand Width – 9.00”
Weight w/ Shoes – 6’2.25”
Height w/o Shoes – 6’1”
Standing Reach – 8’ 2”
Wingspan – 6’ 7”
Lane Agility Time – 11.11 seconds
Shuttle Run – 3.11 seconds
Three Quarter Sprint – 3.26 seconds
Standing Vertical – 27.5 inches
Max Vertical – 33.0 inches
A 6-2 height for Bowman would have been huge, but unfortunately he comes just short. The 6-7 wingspan, however, is an immense piece of news that bodes well for those worried about his defense.
Bowman did not blow away the performance measurements like many thought he would, posting middle-of-the-pack stats in almost every category. I don’t think this is a huge knock, in part because since GM’s seem to be quoted as saying that “the combine is a waste of time” and also because he performed well in the combine’s actual basketball portions.
Athletic – He’s #JumpmanBowman for a reason, throwing down dunks and giving BC fans chasedown blocks all year long. You can’t train an athlete like Ky and NBA scouts will think they can coach up the weaknesses that they see.
Scorer – Bowman can score in all three phases. His layup package is one of the best in the country, and he’s proven that he can shoot the ball well (albeit in streaks). His ball-handling and change of speed is second to none, and he can finish to contact. The man gets buckets.
Offball – Not so much a weakness as a major question: how can Bowman perform without the ball in his hands? There are questions as to his viability at point guard at the next level due to his height, and he’d likely move to the two spot where he’d play off-ball. The simple fact is we don’t know what he’ll look like in that role, since he’s played 39.4 mpg with a 27% usage rate (which quite honestly seems low).
Defense – Bowman notably struggles in defense. His athleticism hypothetically gives him all the tools and can get him a highlight block, but he’s prone to defensive lapses, especially when he’s not the primary defender. I’d like to say that never resting might have something to do with this, but that’s wild speculation. Thankfully it is something that can be coached if he ends up in the right area.
Most sites have Bowman going in the early to mid second round, which doesn’t feel right. But I’m also a massive homer when it comes to individual players at college’s I support. I personally think that most of his shortcomings can be fixed with a little rest and NBA coaching, but that’s up for the GM’s and scouts to decide.
Whatever happens, thank you for your time on the Heights Ky! Once an Eagle, always an Eagle