Anthony Cowan spent his freshman season playing alongside Melo Trimble.
Now the sophomore guard will attempt to lead Maryland towards an NCAA Tournament appearance.
As a freshman, Cowan assumed primary point guard duties right away, which allowed Trimble to be more of an off-the-ball scorer. Cowan performed very well as he tied for a team-high 3.7 assists-per-game.
The former St. John’s College standout does a little bit of everything, which makes Cowan the total package for a point guard.
Cowan averaged 10.3 points (third on the team), 3.9 rebounds (third on the team), and 3.7 assists during the 2016-17 campaign. The only area where he wasn’t above average was his 32.1 percent clip from beyond the three-point line.
Aside from Trimble, Cowan was the only Terp to attempt over 100 free throws. He ended up shooting 76.9 percent from the charity stripe and got there 4.7 times per contest.
As impressive as Cowan was as a freshman, it appears that he’s making even more strides this summer.
Cowan spent last week at the Under Armour All-American Camp in Philadelphia and drew rave reviews. The Maryland guard played against several college basketball stars including Matt Ferrell (Notre Dame), Jaylen Hands (UCLA), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s), and Robert Williams (Texas A&M).
Jon Rothstein of CBSSports tweeted that Cowan “could lead Big Ten in assists for next three years.” In addition, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello said that “Anthony Cowan seems poised for a big season at Maryland. Looked great here over the course of three days. Mid-range game looks better.”
Cowan obviously turned in a very impressive campaign a season ago, but his shooting is probably the area that needs the most work. According to Borzello, he’s taken that to heart and it’s yielding results.
The former four-star recruit shot 42.4 percent from the field last season along with a 32.1 percent showing from three. Obviously, Cowan didn’t need to be an above-average shooter last year due to the presence of Kevin Huerter, Justin Jackson, and Trimble.
In year two, it could be a different story.
According to InsideMDSports, Cowan has added eight pounds of muscle in the offseason. With a larger frame, Cowan could be even more dangerous than he was as a freshman.
With more of a mid-range game, Cowan would become more unpredictable when it comes to his scoring ability. Much like Trimble, he could attack the rim while also being able to pull up if his mid-range game really has improved.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Trimble’s scoring is going to be replaced. Jackson will certainly get his and could be the most dangerous option if he’s hitting shots from the perimeter as regularly as he was as a freshman.
Cowan is going to be the facilitator and a prime candidate to see a big elevation in his offensive numbers. As we saw a season ago, the Maryland guard isn’t afraid to be aggressive on both ends of the floor.
If Cowan has improved his shooting, he could be just as lethal as Jackson when it comes to scoring the basketball.