By Roy & Harv Schmidt
Lake Forest Academy's Kyle Rowley, who is one of the top post players in the state from the class of 2009, finds himself in a can't lose situation. He is currently faced with the possibility of graduating from Lake Forest Academy this spring and thus becoming a 2008 recruit, or waiting another year and remaining as a 2009 prospect, knowing that in doing so increased scholarship offers are almost sure to come his way. We will give everybody one guess as to which direction Rowley is leaning in.
At this time of year, many unsigned or uncommitted recruits are worried first and foremost about improving their grades in order to meet NCAA qualifying standards in order to be eligible as a college freshman. But not Rowley. He is an elite student and has already earned enough credits to be on pace to graduate from Lake Forest Academy in the spring.
There is just one problem. Rowley wants to be able to play college basketball at the highest possible level. With that in mind, he realizes that it could be even more advantageous to be recruited as a 2009 prospect as opposed to 2008. It is certainly an interesting dilemma. However, when looking at it from a recruiting angle, we believe that the decision isn't really all that difficult.
First of all, let's describe Rowley's game. Contrary to what has been published in other circles, Rowley is not 7'0. He is 6'10, maybe 6'11. However, at 265 pounds, it doesn't matter--he is an absolute manchild. Rowley has good hands, runs the floor, and is virtually impossible to move in the low post, which is why he is a consistent scorer in the paint when he gets the ball in that area. The argument can be made that Rowley is not totally refined offensively, yet anyone who watches him can see the enormous up side that he possesses.
Secondly, Rowley's recruiting stock has begun to soar. Marquette recently came forward with a scholarship offer to go along with offers from Wisconsin, Northwestern, Southern Illinois, Baylor and Davidson. A number of other big-timers, including Georgetown, Kentucky, Illinois, Notre Dame and Purdue have continued to monitor him on a regular basis. By staying a 2009 recruit and competing again on the AAU circuit this spring and summer with Full Package Athletics, where he is sure to be seen by even more college programs, there is no question that he will come away with more recruiting options than ever.
Nate Pomeday, who is an assistant coach at Lake Forest Academy and has also coached Rowley on the 16-under Full Package squad, said it very well recently when he told us that Rowley could easily graduate this spring and be a 2008 recruit, but why do that and limit your recruiting opportunities as opposed to waiting another year, knowing that your stock could go through the roof? On that note alone, it sounds like Rowley's decision has already been made. In fact, from a basketball standpoint, we think that it is a no-brainer.