In the months leading up to the 2017-’18 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Lucky number 22 in our yearly rankings goes to Maryland Terrapins guard Anthony Cowan. The Terps look for Cowan to fill the void Melo Trimble left behind and lead them to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - #22 Anthony Cowan:
- Eligibility: Sophomore
- Career Totals: 33 games, 957 minutes, 340 points, 129 rebounds, 123 assists, 40 steals
- 2016-17 Averages: 29 minutes, 10.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.2 steals
- Positional Role: Point Guard
The Terrapins started their season as one of the hottest teams in the country, as their only loss in non-conference play coming against Pittsburgh. Maryland won 13 out of its first 14 games and looked poised for a strong Big Ten campaign.
Maryland eventually went on to finish 12-6 in Big Ten play and entered the Big Ten tournament as the three seed, losing to Northwestern in their first game. The tournament woes continued for Maryland as they were upended by eventual Elite Eight team Xavier in their opening NCAA Tournament game.
Cowan has shown himself to be an extremely versatile player on both ends of the floor. He has the ability to get to the rim and score when he wants to. However, he seems to thrive in the playmaker role where he can find others for easy baskets. Especially with players like Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter around him, he can be successful as a passer and leader.
That is not to say he will not have games where he fills the stat sheet with points. I am more inclined to believe that Cowan will have games where his points and assists are near even. For a point guard, he is also an extremely impressive rebounder. In 2016-’17 he was third on the team in total rebounds behind the aforementioned Jackson and Huerter. One has to assume Cowan will flirt with quite a few triple-doubles in 2017-’18.
He is also a stellar on-ball defender. Cowan led the Terrapins in total steals and was hovering around two steals per game over the course of last year. That pesky defensive ability is always vital in the Big Ten.
Areas for Improvement
As was the case with Melo Trimble, Cowan falls behind when it comes to shooting the three-pointer. Both Trimble and Cowan were last and second to last on the team in three-point percentage last season. Trimble shot 31 percent while Cowan shot 32 percent from beyond the arc.
Cowan being able to efficiently shoot the three-pointer is not vital to Maryland’s success. They have several other efficient shooters to put around Cowan. However, every coach likes shooters, and I’m sure Mark Turgeon would not mind Cowan improving his three-point ability.
Cowan may not be the “best” player on Maryland’s roster, but he may turn out to be the most important. He could turn into the glue that holds the team together during a tricky non-conference schedule that features Butler, Syracuse, and Ohio.
Getting out of Melo Trimble’s shadow may become Cowan’s most daunting task, however. He certainly has the talent and skills to become a Trimble-esque player in Maryland basketball history. Whether or not he properly utilizes his skills in his sophomore season is yet to be seen.