If the numbers don’t lie, Adrian Bowie was facing a hard truth in recent weeks.
The Maryland junior spent much of the offseason trying to improve his outside shooting. But a 1-for-14 start from beyond the 3-point line wasn’t encouraging at all.
“I’ve been looking at the statistics a lot lately because I haven’t been playing that much,” Bowie said. “I just feel like when i keep knocking down shots and playing defense and playing [within] the offense, I can generate some more minutes.”
That might have happened last night when he connected on three of his five 3-point attempts, finishing with nine points in the Terps’ 98-55 rout of Winston-Salem State.
On a night when Maryland sizzled from the outside —- to the tune of 12-for-18 —- it was Bowie and fellow reserve Cliff Tucker who earned considerable attention for their sudden scoring spike.
For Bowie, the strong night started from his first try after coming off the bench to spell Eric Hayes.
“When I knocked down the first shot, everything started feeling a lot better for me and I went on from there,” Bowie said.
Bowie wound up remaining glued to the outside, continuing a development that marks a bit of a contrast to his first two season. It’s fascinating, mainly because his previous play demonstrated he is at his most dangerous when driving to the basket:
So, yeah, the big jump in 3-pointers attempted is different. But it’s something coach Gary Williams is encouraging.
“He’s been shooting like that in practice,” Williams said. “That hasn’t been a problem in practice. I want him to take those shots. You have to make people play you for the offense to really work well. Everybody out there knows when you’re open. You have to take them when you’re open.”
Bowie did just that last night. Sure, it was against Winston-Salem State and not, say, the ACC team that resides in the same town as the Rams. But it was still an encouraging shooting night for the Terps.
And especially Bowie, who might finally be seeing the payoff of that summer work.
“If we shoot that way, I don’t see many teams beating us,” Bowie said.
—- Patrick Stevens