NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Maverick Rowan doesn’t talk or carry himself like someone in the middle of a roller-coaster recruiting saga, but that’s where he stood Friday morning at Nike’s Peach Jam tournament here on the Georgia-South Carolina border.
He left college basketball fans wondering for months if he would reclassify and move up a year into the class of 2015. When he finally announced that he would take the two courses he needs to graduate high school ahead of schedule and enroll in college this summer, Rowan, one of the top small forward prospects in the country, named a list of four schools he liked.
Then he changed that list. Then he changed it again. Now, once again, the college basketball recruiting world is waiting on his final decision.
Yet Rowan, a 6-foot-6 sharpshooter who is considering Louisville, NC State, St. John’s and West Virginia, insists that none of the recruiting drama that has followed him has actually fazed him. In fact, the only thing that seems to frustrate him these days is the summer schoolwork from South Florida’s Elev8 Academy that he has to complete in his hotel room between AAU games.
“There’s been no stress, just running out of time (to make a decision),” Rowan said, later adding that he doesn’t read any comments fans send him on social media and that he hasn’t looked at his phone over the past day.
“If I see something, I just scroll right by it.”
It was evident why the Pittsburgh-area native who relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last fall is so coveted by college recruiters, and why the four schools he says he is considering — “trying to find the best fit for me,” he said — are eager to hear his school choice.
Rowan said he plans to make that decision “maybe the next week” or so.
“I’m probably going to make (a college choice) real soon,” he said. “I’m not going to wait until mid-August.”
He doesn’t have a set date for when his coursework will be done, because the work is up to him to complete, as opposed to a daily schedule set by Elev8. His aim is to finish by the first week of August and then start college.
He won’t visit any other schools, because “I’m out of time,” Rowan said. He took an official visit to Louisville back in March for the Cardinals’ at-the-buzzer win over Virginia at the KFC Yum! Center. Last month, when he announced he would reclassify, Rowan also set an official visit to St. John’s.
He made an unofficial visit to NC State in January, and he has not visited West Virginia.
But none of that, Rowan said, means anything in terms of which schools might be ahead of the others.
“I’m considering all options,” he said.
St. John’s, where his dad Ron played college ball, appeals to Rowan because head coach Chris Mullin played the same position as him.
“He can help me develop for my future in basketball,” Rowan said.
But there’s a caveat. St. John’s, which just hired Mullin after this past season, is rebuilding its roster this summer, and the Red Storm has only made three NCAA tournament appearances in the past 15 seasons, including a first-round loss in this year’s tournament.
“A little nervous about it, but I just have to think about things,” Rowan said. “If it’s the right fit, then I’ll go there. If not, then somewhere else.”
As for the other options on his list?
“You’ve got (Rick) Pitino, one of the best coaches in the United States,” Rowan said of Louisville.
“NC State, they had (guys) like T.J. Warren or Trevor Lacey, where I can go and do the same things like them. (WVU coach Bob Huggins) has a motion offense. I could go and fit in pretty well with them.”
No matter which school Rowan picks, he wants to play right away. He wants to finish AAU, graduate high school and enroll in college. If he chooses U of L, his timeline would seem to fit with the Cards’ mid-August trip to Puerto Rico.
“I don’t want to skip my senior year to go sit on the bench,” Rowan said. “I just want to go play right away and win in March, when it matters.”