Bowers is an accomplished shot blocker.
The relationship between Missouri head coach Mike Anderson and forward Laurence Bowers of St. George’s School in Colliersville (TN) goes far beyond the typical coach-recruit relationship. Anderson not only coached his uncle, Arlen Bowers, at Arkansas, but he's known Laurence since he was a year old. It’s a relationship the MU staff hopes will culminate in Bowers wearing a Tigers uniform next year.
“They’re at the top right now. I’m really liking Missouri a lot. I want to keep my options open but I like Missouri a lot,” said Bowers, an ultra-athletic, 6-foot-7, 195-pound combo forward who averaged double-digits points and rebounds along with five blocks per game last season.
Bowers would seem to be tailor made for Anderson’s running, trapping system. An accomplished shot-blocker, he runs the floor very well and can slide back and forth between the three and the four, though his AAU and high school coaches said he’ll need to hone his handling skills in order to play the wing in the Big 12 Conference.
“He can shoot, block shots – he’s a real good shot blocker – rebound, run the floor. He needs to work on his dribbling a little bit before he can become a ‘three,’ but he’s very athletic. Extremely athletic,” said his AAU coach with the M33M Ballers, Ernie Kuyper.
The intangibles are there as well, said Kuyper.
“He’s a great kid, first. He’s got a great attitude, he’s a great worker and he brings up the attitude of the players around him. He’s got the winning attitude,” Kuyper said.
Similarly, Bowers is a huge fan of Anderson’s.
“I love Coach Anderson and I love Coach T.J. [Cleveland] – and Coach Watkins and Coach Zimmerman too,” he said. Anderson “is a real down to eath type guy. I like his style. I like his swagger. I like the forty minutes of hell kind of basketball he likes to run. I don’t like slow-paced basketball.”
The Missouri staff has made it apparent it very much would like Bowers to join the current three-man class. He also has offers from Marquette, Arkansas and UTEP, but it seems MU is clearly in the lead at this stage. He’d like to decide by the end of November, after another trip to Columbia.
“I loved it there. It was real nice,” he said of his first trip.
What does the Mizzou staff see in him?
“Athleticism, they stress that a lot. I can handle, I can shoot, I’m working on my three-point range, but I can shoot inside three-point rage. Also, I play over the rim a lot,” said Bowers, who sported a 32-inch vertical leap before suffering an MCL injury last year that has since healed.
Bowers is a very solid student and would like to get into graphis design or business management.
“I draw really [well]. I’d like to do something that’s fun, that I could also make money at,” he said.
Stay tuned to InsideMizzou.com for more on Bowers, as well as all the latest on Missouri’s recruiting efforts in basketball and football – and coverage of the football team all season long.