Star recruit tied to college hoops scandal finds himself in ‘no man’s land’ between NCAA and NBA

CHICAGO – At the NBA draft combine on Thursday, the controversial prospect known as “Player 10” finally got to play.

Brian Bowen II, the former Louisville recruit at the heart of the federal basketball investigation, played his first competitive game in nearly a year. And it just happened to be a job audition in front of hundreds of NBA scouts and executives.

To be blunt, it didn’t go well. Bowen missed both his shots in his opening game, turned the ball over five times and looked like the most overwhelmed player on the floor.

“He’s in no man’s land,” said a veteran NBA scout who watched Bowen struggle on Thursday. “He may not be good enough to play in the G League right now.”

And that puts Bowen in a precarious predicament with the deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft coming on May 30. Does Bowen enter to compete for a spot in a league he’s clearly not ready to play in? Or does he return to school (he transferred to South Carolina) and attempt to gain eligibility via an organization (the NCAA) that’s given him no indication that’s a viable option.


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