Reactions to the Eric Bowles Transfer News
According to Jon Rothstein, Eric Bowles is transferring out of the CCSU program. Bowles becomes the second player (Austin Nehls is headed to Ball St. as a Grad Transfer) to leave since the season ended.
1. While you don't usually see rising seniors transfer, this shouldn't come as a complete shock to Blue Devil fans. The coaching staff recently received commitments from two incoming freshman PGs (Ian Krishnan and Will Ellis), while Eduardo Camacho will play next season after red-shirting this past year. The writing was certainly on the wall that, at the very least, Bowles' role would be diminished.
2. With that said, while Bowles struggled offensively throughout his career, he was one of the team's best perimeter defenders, and a senior point guard is a nice thing to have. Plus he hit a few big shots throughout his career (like the 30 footer on New Years Eve 2016 against SFNY which sent the game to OT). He started out his junior season really strong, averaging 8 ppg through the team's first eight games. However, after scoring seven points in the loss to DePaul, he only topped six points once the rest of the season (2/28 against SFNY).
3. The Bowles news makes it extremely likely at least one freshman (Camacho, Ellis, or Krishnan) is starting on November 6th (or thereabouts), and it's entirely possible two of them will be in the lineup. All three have been described as combo-guards, rather than pure PGs, and should be able to play together. Given the turnover issues the team had a season ago (a league worst 22.1% TO rate), having two ball handlers on the floor (and allowing Tyler Kohl to remain off the ball) will be huge.
4. I can't think of a better opportunity to break in freshman backcourt players than what the Blue Devils will have next season. The frontcourt of Kohl, Hugley and Bute will do most of the heavy lifting. The guards, whoever they may be, will get a lot of good looks while typically being the 4th or 5th scoring options. I have to believe that was part of the sales pitch the coaching staff gave Krishnan and Ellis.
5. I have a feeling Donyell Marshall will at least play around with "big" lineups, especially in non-conference play. Something like Kohl at the '2', with either Jamir Coleman or Kashaun Hicks at the '3', Hugley at the '4' and Bute in the middle. The roster has just four legitimate backcourt players (the three freshmen plus Tyson Batiste), so Marshall will have to utilize all those wings in some versatile ways. I remain unconvinced that kind of lineup can adequately defend, specifically in the guard-dominated Northeast Conference, but it would be interesting to see.
6. This marks the second year in a row a rising senior PG has transferred out of the program. Last year around this time, Kevin Seymour (who averaged 10.5 mpg as a junior) left for Pace University.
7. Bowles and Nehls were the final ties to the Howie Dickenman era. With them now gone, this roster is entirely Donyell Marshall's.
8. Now we wait for one more transfer to be announced before the roster can be finalized. I'd be shocked if it's a rotation player, but I guess you never know.