Wisconsin Basketball picked up a pledge from point guard Lorne Bowman last Friday, the Badgers’ first commitment in the 2020 class.
With several top targets slipping through the staff’s fingers, we all know that it has not been easy going for Wisconsin Basketball on the recruiting trail recently. At this point, it appears as though Lakeville North (Lakeville, MN) forward Tyler Wahl will be Greg Gard’s only addition to the program from the 2019 class, meaning that he will be under some significant pressure to hit big on his targets in 2020.
So far, so good.
On Friday, the Badgers picked up a commitment from St. Mary’s (Detroit, MI) guard Lorne Bowman, one of the staff’s highest priorities in the 2020 class. Wisconsin beat out Iowa, Nebraska, Buffalo, Oakland, Toledo, and Valparaiso for the unranked floor general. In-state powers Michigan and Michigan State were also lurking around in this recruitment, though neither had offered.
Wisconsin had been heavily involved with Bowman ever since the summer, when he launched himself into the discussion for an offer after a big performance at the Badgers’ advanced camp in June. An offer was extended during Bowman’s official visit to Madison at the beginning of the month.
Wisconsin fans should not be at all concerned about Bowman’s current status as an unranked prospect, as he is simply flying under the radar right now. This is in large part because it is still relatively early in the 2020 recruiting cycle, plus he plays his AAU ball in the lower-profile NY2LA Association, so he has not had as much exposure as his peers who play in the adidas Gauntlet Series or the Nike EYBL.
Bowman was a true “Plan A” target that the coaches identified early on and prioritized as a must-get player in 2020, so locking him down at this point is a massive win and a phenomenal way to get the ball rolling in this class.
The staff’s unwavering dedication to getting Bowman in the fold paid off big-time, to the point where he decided to pull the trigger even though other high-major offers were certain to have come his way in the coming months. He had this to say to 247Sports about the efforts of Gard and his assistants:
"They’re great recruiters…The time they put in with the kids when they’re looking to offer is incredible. I can say they’re top of the line. They came after me the hardest, contacting me every day, calling me every day, asking how I’m doing. They pay attention to the little details."
Bowman has a bright future as a Badger. A tough, lengthy point guard who can score from all three levels, effectively facilitate looks for his teammates, and more than hold his own defensively, he should find minutes from the beginning of his Wisconsin career as a true freshman, especially since he has the skill set to slide over to the 2 when Gard goes small.
His high school coach, Todd Covert, is confident that Wisconsin has gotten a potential star. Covert coached former Michigan State guard and Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas when he was at St. Mary’s, and believes that Bowman is just as talented a player.
With Bowman on board, the Badgers will be looking to add at least two more players to this class. The top priorities at the moment include Nicolet (Milwaukee, WI) 5-star forward Jalen Johnson, Central (La Crosse, WI) 4-star guard Jonathan Davis, and East Ridge (Saint Paul, MN) 4-star forward Ben Carlson.