Sports, Top Story, Men's Basketball

Bowman Declares for 2019 NBA Draft, Bids Farewell to BC

Last April, Boston College men’s basketball point guard Ky Bowman declared for the 2018 NBA Draft—alongside backcourt mate Jerome Robinson—but didn’t hire an agent and ultimately withdrew before the calendar flipped to June, returning to BC for his junior season. On Tuesday, the Havelock, N.C., native once again declared for the NBA Draft, but this time it’s clear that he’s not just testing the waters.

Three weeks removed from earning All-ACC Second Team honors, Bowman announced on Instagram that he has decided to make the jump to the NBA, effectively foregoing his final season on the Heights.

“While I am excited to get to work and start the next chapter in my career, I will hold dear the memories and lessons from my time at BC,” Bowman wrote. “I will always be proud to be an Eagle!”

At the moment, CBS Sports rates Bowman as the 60th-best player and 11th-best point guard in this year’s draft class. According to CBS’ Draft Prospect Rankings, four ACC point guards—Coby White (North Carolina), Ty Jerome (Virginia), Tre Jones (Duke), and Tyus Battle (Syracuse)—are currently projected to hear their names called before Bowman this June. That said, his draft position will likely change—for better or for worse—over the course of the next few months, considering that he still has to participate in his Pro Day, the 2019 NBA Combine, pre-draft workouts, and team interviews.

Bowman’s resume certainly speaks for itself. The explosive playmaking guard racked up 1,661 points, 627 rebounds, and 382 assists during his three-year BC career. He joins NBA veteran Jared Dudley as the only other Eagle to log at least 1,600 points, 600 rebounds, 350 assists, 125 steals, and 30 blocks.

As a freshman, Bowman stole the starting point guard role away from Ty Graves—who eventually ended up transferring from the program—before ACC play commenced. The red-headed phenom rounded out the 2016-17 campaign with a trio of 30-point games, earning a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team. As a sophomore, Bowman and Robinson teamed up to form what was arguably the best backcourt in the conference. Although the spotlight was on Robinson for most of the year, Bowman still turned in a fantastic season, upping his scoring average, rebound and assist numbers, and free throw percentage, all while helping the Eagles back to the NIT Tournament for the first time since 2010-11. With Robinson’s departure for the NBA, all eyes were on Bowman this year—and, at times, he looked better than ever.

Prior to the 2018-19 campaign, Bowman ditched the red dye and returned to his normal blonde accent, but he still stood out. Neon sneakers helped, but his play alone turned heads. Amid the first 17 games of the season, Bowman recorded 37 or more points on three separate occasions, recording 44 in a loss to Hartford—the sixth-most in single-game program history—and 37 in BC’s upset win over then-No. 11 FSU. Six days after knocking off the Seminoles, the fiery guard hit an improbable off-balanced, game-winning 3-pointer in Winston-Salem, N.C., to beat Wake Forest.

When all was said and done, Bowman finished the season averaging 19.0 points, 7.5 rebounds—both career highs—and 4.0 assists per game. He was the only player in the ACC to rank in the top 10 in scoring (fourth), rebounding (10th), and assists (ninth). His efficiency, however, dipped. Averaging 39.3 minutes per game, the most in the nation, the junior shot just 40.4 percent from the floor. The decline in field goal percentage directly correlated with the absence of fellow guard Wynston Tabbs. With the freshman—a secondary ball handler who averaged 13.9 points per contest in his 15 games this season—on the court, Bowman shot 46.2 percent, including 40.8 percent from downtown. Without Tabbs, Bowman posted a 35.1 percent clip and connected on just 34.5 percent of his 3-point attempts.

When Bowman wasn’t playing at his best, neither was the team. The Eagles ended the season on a four-game losing streak, bowing out of the first round of the ACC Tournament with a 14-17 record—a mighty regression from last year’s NIT appearance.   

Regardless of the way he closed out his Eagles career, Bowman will undoubtedly be remembered for his numerous highlight-reel plays—such as his fastbreak dunk against UNC as a freshman, his ankle-breaking triple against Dartmouth last season, or his near-impossible 3-pointer over Oshae Brissett back in January—his endurance, and, of course, his red hair.

Featured Image and Photo by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff

April 2, 2019