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Brian Bowen Declares For NBA Draft, Still Hopes To Be Cleared By NCAA

Brian Bowen playing for La Lumiere.

Five-star small forward Brian Bowen missed all of last season. After signing with Louisville, Bowen left school in the wake of allegations that his family accepted impermissible benefits during his recruitment.

Bowen matriculated at South Carolina, and the Gamecocks petitioned to have him eligible for next season. They are still waiting for the NCAA's decision on the matter, but in the meantime, Bowen is hedging his bets.

Bowen is declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft, according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman. While Bowen is hoping to suit up for South Carolina next season, declaring for the draft without hiring an agent allows him the flexibility to pursue a pro career right away.

"I just felt that it was the right decision," Bowen told ESPN. "My goal is still to play college basketball, but I felt as though it makes sense to cover my bases."

The 6-foot-7 Bowen was the No. 19 player in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings. His recruitment was a whirlwind process that led to Louisville before his family was implicated in the FBI probe for allegedly accepting money.

The best-case scenario for Bowen appears to be him returning to college. He hasn't played in a game in over a year, and a strong performance for the Gamecocks in 2018-19 could elevate his draft stock significantly.

If Bowen remains in the draft this year, he'll likely be a second-round pick, unless a team late in the first round is particularly enticed by his potential.