Garland Owens is the kind of athlete that coaches dream about.
At 6-foot-5 and a well-defined 205 poundss, Owens can soar. He’s a highlight reel waiting to happen and regularly puts on a dunking show during layup lines. But right now, Owens is more of an athlete that plays basketball than a basketball player that’s athletic. That’s not a slight, but even he admits that he needs to develop his skills.
“I need to work on developing my skills,” he said.
That’s part of the reason that Owens, who was originally in the Class of 2012, is heading to prep school next season.
The Magruder High School product had offers from schools like Iona, Loyola MD and UNC-Greensboro coming out of high school, but after good performances during the summer — including at the Hoop Group’s Summer Classic East — some bigger programs are starting to show interest. LSU, Miami and West Virginia are some of the teams that are inquiring about him of late.
Owens had a frustrating performance on the first day of the Summer Classic, but that hasn’t scared away some of the high-majors looking at him because of the way he plays. In a 20-point loss to the Westchester Hawks on Wednesday, Owens never showed any quit. Even with the game out of reach in the final minutes, he was attacking the rim and flying around defensively, using his athleticism to try to make a play and help his team.
Coaches are smart. A bad game isn’t going to change their opinion of a player “as long as you play the right way and prepare yourself the right way,” he said.
It’s refreshing to see a player that gets it.
Follow Rob Dauster on Twitter: @RobDauster