Wisconsin 2020 Signee Breakdown: Lorne Bowman
Wisconsin will welcome six players to its men's basketball program as part of its 2020 class. AllBadgers.com will begin a series where we hope to discuss and break down these new Badgers, with the help of their coaches.
A four-star recruit according to ESPN, Lorne Bowman will come to Wisconsin after an outstanding prep career at Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's. Earlier this year, he was named MLive.com's Metro Detroit player of the year and received all-state honors from the Associated Press.
According to St. Mary's head coach, Todd Covert, Bowman has developed and improved his strength, his leadership qualities and "ability to communicate and lead in the right way."
"It's real. He's just a real kid," Covert told AllBadgers.com on Tuesday. "He's not like a 'rah rah' kid that's fake ... just to get a 'rah rah' going. When he talks, people listen 'cause he had a lot of respect on our team. So I'd say that was the biggest thing kind of off-the-court that wouldn't be physicality.
On the floor, Covert pointed to Bowman's mid-range game, something he referred to as "incredible."
"He is not just a shooter. He has the ability to finish at the rim, and really his mid-range game -- if somebody does run him off the three-point line -- he has that ability to shoot that mid-range game which is a lost art right now."
AllBadgers.com further discussed the various talents of Bowman with Covert.
The interview has been edited lightly for length and clarity.
If you were to list some of his strengths as he heads to Wisconsin, what would they be currently?
"Just consistency. He's definitely got a high level of talent, but I think most kids at the Division I level all have a lot of talent. His consistency to work, day in and day out. His mental toughness to deal with adversity and not get too high, not get too low. I think that's what's gonna separate him at that next level."
In terms of areas of growth and areas of improvement, what do you think those will be once Coach Gard and his coaching staff have him in Madison when he's a freshman?
"I think just probably like most. Just the game is going to be faster, a little bit. Players are going to be bigger. But he's knowledgeable, and he can grasp complex game plans and offenses and sets and things like that. So probably just the speed of the game is going to be faster, and they're going to be bigger. I think that'll be his biggest thing that he's got to adapt to."
What is a play or a set of plays that you'll remember from Bowman during your time coaching him in high school?
"I would probably say -- somebody asked me a some similar question, 'When did you know he was going to be good?'
"His first varsity scrimmage we were down like six points with a minute left to go, just a meaningless scrimmage, and he just took over. I turned to our assistant coach. I said, 'Oh my God.' We hadn't had something like that since when (former Michigan State Spartans forward) Kalin Lucas was here. His ability to just go to a different level. It was the first time I really just said, 'Wow.'
"Then I'd say the other time was probably just recently. We had played in the Catholic League final against (University of Detroit) Jesuit. We came back and won. He was like eight for 15 from the free-throw line, and he's like an 88% free-throw shooter. ... He had 28 points, but he went eight for 15 or eight for 16. It was horrible, and I was talking to his dad the next night. He said, 'You're never going to believe where Lorne is.' He goes, 'He's back down at U of D, which was at Callahan Hall where U of D Mercy plays, the college. He had found somebody to get him in there so he could shoot free throws because we had to play in the city championship the following Saturday against Cass Tech. He was just so distraught (that) he missed eight free throws that he was gonna find a way to fix it. That will always stick with me."
One more question: When did Wisconsin first start recruiting him in terms of getting him on their radar?
"Well it's just kind of I think by chance. His sophomore year, we were in a regional final game. We were playing Clarkston where (former Wisconsin forward Taylor) Currie came from and (Michigan State guard) Foster Boyer came from. I think Coach (Dean) Oliver and Coach (Greg) Gard were there to watch Currie, the kid from Clarkston play, and they just stumbled upon this kid from Orchard Lake. Since that late in his sophomore year was when they really started."