The biggest revelation from last night’s latest helping of college basketball probe bombshells — outside of the fact that Sean Miller is almost assuredly finished at Arizona — involved Brian Bowen.
Before ultimately landing at Louisville, it appears as though Bowen was shopped — or used as “trade bait” — to a number of other high-profile programs.
Dawkins, 24, provides a roadmap for the quid-pro-quo relationship between the agent world and college coaches. He dangles a high school prospect – five-star recruit Brian Bowen – as potential trade bait for schools to steer their best players to ASM Sports. On the same July day, Dawkins wrote to Miller that he connected with two Big Ten assistants, Dwayne Stephens of Michigan State and Chuck Martin, formerly of Indiana.
The email recounts the interactions from Dawkins’ perspective:
“Dwayne Stephens – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Michigan State. Trying to do a trade deal for (Spartans) Gary Harris, Miles Bridges, etc”
“Chuck Martin – Trying to close the deal on Brian Bowen for Indiana. I told him if we can work together and if he can push for us to get (Hoosiers) Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby two projected first rounders from IU this year we can work something out.”
At one point, Bowen was also targeted by Arizona.
On 9:23 a.m. on Aug. 15, Dawkins sent an email that specifically points out to Vye, the ASM agent, that Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack is interested in recruiting Bowen. “Now that they need something from us,” Dawkins writes, referencing Bowen, “they’re all apologetic.” (He was referencing Arizona coach Sean Miller being “all upset” with ASM over a recruiting issue with a player’s parent.)
Dawkins writes that Pasternack told him “he wasn’t a Duffy guy or Octagon guy,” meaning he doesn’t send players to NBA agent Bill Duffy or the Octagon agency. In reference to Lauri Markkanen, who ended up as the No. 7 pick in the 2017 draft, Dawkins wrote: “I asked him straight up is the kid with Alex Len’s agent he said no, so if he is Joe is a liar. I would use this window where they need us to our advantage.”
Dawkins concludes that section of the email with a plan: “Now I can’t promise that this kid that they want [Bowen] is going to Arizona, but Joe told me verbatim he will help us get all the Arizona players so put his feet to the fire.”
So all of this goes on, and that the 11th hour these people hit up Louisville assistants with the recruiting equivalent of a 1 a.m. “you up” text, and our entire world falls apart.
It also warrants mentioning that Martin, the man involved in the shady recruiting of Bowen at Indiana, is now an assistant at South Carolina ... where Bowen ultimately transferred.