Anthony Cowan certainly hasn’t played like a freshman this season.
In Saturday’s game against Illinois, Cowan showed a veteran presence down the stretch and willed Maryland to victory.
Cowan scored a career-high 19 points (5-of-7 shooting) while recording seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals in a 62-56 Terrapin victory. His 19 points were also a game-high as Malcolm Hill and Melo Trimble each scored 12 points or less.
The former St. John’s College (D.C.) standout also thrived at the free throw line in the late stages of the game. Cowan missed five attempts from the charity stripe, but connected on his final five in the final 44 seconds to clinch the win for the Terps.
On the season, Cowan has proved to be a very reliable scoring option for Maryland. He’s shooting 47 percent from the field while offer a ton of versatility as a player that can set up his teammates and crash the glass.
One of the biggest positives for Cowan offensively is his ability to be selective with the basketball.
For example, with 15:22 left in Saturday’s game, Cowan got a rebound off an Illinois missed three. He preceded to bring the ball up the court, use Ivan Bender as a screen to keep the defender at bay, and drill a three-pointer from beyond the arc.
Cowan is only shooting 31.1 percent from long-range this season, but this was a shot that he had to take. He had the proper spacing to get it fly with little resistance.
On the evening, Cowan only took two three-point attempts. Obviously, that hasn’t been a huge strength of his this season, so he doesn’t just hoist shots up that don’t have a high percentage of going in.
Cowan is also a very savvy point guard that isn’t always looking to distribute the ball.
On just Maryland’s third offensive possession, Cowan found himself with the ball in his hands and a one-on-one matchup with Illinois’ Tracy Abrams. The freshman guard saw the opportunity to get to the rim and he took it.
Cowan switched the ball to his left hand and blew by Abrams for the easy layup. He also drew contact on the play and got an additional free throw.
This is an aggressive basketball player, plain and simple. Cowan doesn’t hesitate to make his move and has proved to be wise beyond his years.
Cowan also has a knack for jumping into the passing lanes at times.
With 17:23 remaining in the game, Illinois dumped the ball down into the low post to Maverick Morgan. When Maryland doubled Morgan, the natural thought process would be to toss the ball back out to the perimeter.
Fortunately for the Terps, Cowan was laying in wait and intercepted the pass that was intended for Jalen Coleman-Lands. Cowan ended up getting a layup opportunity at the other end that he couldn’t convert, but Damonte Dodd put it back.
It’s just hard not to see how talented Cowan truly is.
He does so much more than open up more shots for Trimble. Cowan does a little bit of everything and just has this confidence that many players don’t have until they’re a junior or senior.
It’s only been 18 games, but Cowan could be well on his way to having a great career at Maryland.