Brandon Bowman's career at Georgetown almost ended before it truly began.
Following an 2003 off-season where three players and two assistant coaches left the program in 2003, the Washington Post announced Bowman was transferring back to the Los Angeles area, where he starred at the nationally prominent Westchester HS team. Bowman returned to campus a week later and became a key component of Georgetown's return to prominence in the mid-2000's.
Bowman started every game of his freshman season, averaging 24 minutes and 7.6 points per game. Bowman struggled with the outside shot his opening season, connecting on just 10 of 55 three pointers (18.2%) and 3 of 19 in Big East play. Towards the end of the season, Bowman's scoring picked up, including 18 versus Syracuse in the Big East tournament and a combined 10 for 18 in two NIT games, finishing fourth in scoring.
Returning for 2003-04, Bowman's game showed steady improvement even as the team did not. Averaging 34 minutes per game, he scored in double figures in 24 of 28 games, leading in scoring 12 times and rebounding in 20, including rebound honors in 15 of the team's last 17 games. Though he struggled at the onset of Georgetown's record-tying nine game losing streak, his play recovered where the rest of the team did not. In the final four games of the season, Bowman shot 46 percent from the field compared to just 31 percent for the rest of the team, accounting for a third of the team's 52 point average.
The move to John Thompson III's motion offense further elevated Bowman's scoring abilities. He opened the scoring averaging 22 points over its first four games, ultimately leading the team in scoring for 15 games and rebounding in 13. This season saw Bowman make some late game heroics as well, including a layup in the final eight seconds to upset #16 Pitt, and a game tying shot against Syracuse that narrowly missed being the game winner, as Bowman's size 18 foot was ruled on the line. In a mid-season game, he hit 14 of 15 from the free throw line and scored 28 versus Seton Hall. Bowman's ability to contribute in all phases of the game--scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks--won him a third team All-Big East citation, a brief look at the NBA draft as a junior, and pre-season consideration for the John Wooden Award his senior year.
Bowman entered his senior season still lacking consistency from game to game. Capable of taking a game over, fans were never sure whether to see a 7 for 10 shooting game or 3 for 12. He averaged 15 points per game in his first four Big East games that season, then slid to a quiet 2 for 6 in a narrow win over South Florida. Facing #1 ranked Duke at week's end, the Hoyas needed Bowman to be at the top of his game to contend, and he turned in the game of his career.
Bowman shredded the Blue Devils with an 8-12 shooting afternoon, scoring 23 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks in the 87-84 upset, including five of the Hoyas' last six points to win the game. His defensive intensity lifted the Hoyas and kept them ahead of the game at every turn, which was vital given Duke's ability to hold a second half lead, which they never enjoyed. Of his plays, none were as important as hitting two free throws with 0:29 to play, which forced Duke to go for three, not two, in its final two plays.
Unfortunately the era of good feeling was short-lived when, in its next game with Notre Dame, Bowman bumped into ND's Chris Quinn on a three point attempt at game's end, with the Hoyas up four. The three pointer went in, Quinn his the free throw, and the Irish forced the first of two overtimes before Georgetown escaped with an 85-82 win.
Following a 15 point, 11 rebound game against West Virginia, Bowman struggled during the late stretches of the schedule, failing to gain the consistency needed in key situations. After a late season loss to South Florida, Georgetown opened play in the first round of the Big East tournament needing another big game, and Bowman returned to form, scoring 25 to help lead GU in a narrow four point win over Notre Dame and 11 more in an upset of Marquette. For the season, Bowman shot 45 percent from the floor but was saddled with another run of poor three point shooting, with a stat sheet that was considerably better from two point range (56%) than three (29%).
Much as was the case with Kevin Braswell, Brandon Bowman's statistics varied considerably from game to game, but he ranks among the school's top 25 in almost every major statistical category. A starter for his entire 127 game career, he is one of only six players to score 1,500 points and collect 700 rebounds, despite leading the team only once in each category.
Bowman's defensive skills were often underrated. His 170 steals is second all-time for a forward and his 100 blocks are the most for any forward who did not also play center. Even when his shots failed him, his defensive pressure was always a factor.
Brandon Bowman saw the highs and lows of Georgetown basketball in his four years, but contributed significantly to the successes that followed.