Ky Bowman is a 6’1” junior lead guard for the Boston College Eagles. Bowman tested the 2018 NBA Draft waters following his sophomore season, received feedback from NBA decision-makers, and ultimately decided it best to return to Chestnut Hill. A former high-major Division 1 defensive back recruit, Bowman is one of the strongest, most physical, and most explosive lead guards in the nation. Already a high usage player throughout his underclassman career, Bowman has been thrust into even more offensive responsibility following the departure of 2018 lottery pick, Jerome Robinson, and has impressively handled to workload. Despite being the primary focus of opponent scouting, defensive schemes, and lock-down perimeter defenders, Bowman has been able to maintain respectable efficiency on high volume, never runs out of gas, and continues to bring it on a night-to-night basis.
Tale of the Tape
Attacking the Rim
Standing at 6’1” with not especially notable length, Bowman relies on his explosiveness, strength, pace, and craftiness to finish at the rim. His first-step burst pops on tape, and allows him to gain leverage as a driver in advance of his defender’s reaction. In 61 non-post-up attempts around the basket on drives in the half-court this season, Bowman ranks in the 78th percentile, converting at a 1.328 PPP clip; an impressive mark for a guard of his stature that garners so much help-side attention. Bowman has increased his efficiency finishing at the rim each season of his collegiate career, a positive indicator that he’ll be able to overcome his length disadvantage at the next level.
In the clip below, we will highlight Bowman’s acceleration as a driver, ability to quickly gather and leap off of either one or two feet, and finishing prowess both through or around rim protection.
Off-the-Dribble Space Creation
As both the lead guard and the primary scoring option for the Eagles, Bowman has the ball in his hands a great deal, and for good reason. Bowman’s combination of quick-twitch athleticism, shake as a handler, and the threat of his effectiveness as a downhill driver make him a highly functional space creator. Bowman adeptly creates separation as a means to set up angles as a pick-and-roll initiator, to create room for a pull-up jump shot, or to set up a counter-move, penetrate, and force the defense to collapse.
In the clip below, we highlight Bowman’s ability to create separation off the bounce.
Though changes in usage, role, and opposing positional length are inevitable at the next level, Bowman’s acumen at creating separation as a handler is a highly valuable skill as a lead ball handler.
Boston College will face some tough sledding throughout the duration of ACC conference play, however, Bowman could certainly do his draft stock a favor by accumulating a few more ‘put the team on his back’ wins in the mold of his recent 37 point performance in a victory against #11 Florida State. Bowman could also stand to prove to evaluators that his athleticism has a functional translation to the defensive end of the court. Scouts and front office personnel will surely consider the situational context of Bowman’s offensive burden this season, and factor this into their film/statistical evaluations.
In a draft class that isn’t particularly deep with high upside 2nd round point guards, if Bowman chooses to forego his senior season and stay in the 2019 NBA Draft, he has a good chance of hearing his name called in the latter half of the 2nd round.
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