According to ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan, the return of star forward Laurence Bowers to Missouri’s men’s basketball team wasn’t just a win for new head coach Frank Haith. It was also a win for Bowers himself.
Bowers was the leading rebounder and shot blocker for a 23 win team last season and even made the Big-12 All Defensive Team. After declaring for the NBA Draft, the 6-8 forward never signed with an agent and ultimately pulled back to rejoin the Tigers. Yet as impressive as the statistics are, Brennan says there’s still work to be done for Bowers’ draft stock to solidify:
Like that of teammate and fellow returner Kim English, Bowers’ decision to test the waters but ultimately return to school was easy enough to predict. He has some strong traits for an NBA 3 — namely athleticism in a 6-foot-8 frame — but he’s still a bit raw and would have been a second-round pick at the absolute best. Instead, Bowers poked his head in the door, checked things out, got some feedback and ultimately made the right call.
Any potential NBA prospect would be floored after falling through both rounds of the NBA Draft, so Bowers surveyed the land and found out what he needs to do. If he still has room to grow, that bodes well for Haith and his new staff.