MORE: Class of 2015 Rivals150
Over the past six months, the recruitment of Alex Owens has been a challenge to follow. In mid-September, the Evans (Orlando, FL) junior committed to Central Florida. He then reopened his recruitment in November and declined to talk much publicly for a while.
But now, with his senior season behind him and his final AAU season on the horizon, Owens is beginning to put together a plan.
The 6-foot-8 power forward secured his spot as one of the top big men in the class of 2015, and became a priority for schools such as Central Florida, Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, and South Florida. At one point it was thought that Florida had the home-court advantage in the chase for Owens, particularly since Florida has prioritized his Oak Ridge HS teammate Antonio Blakeney. But his short-lived commitment UCF shot holes in that theory.
"I'm just keeping my recruitment open to everybody that is recruiting me. I'm paying attention to which coaches call the most and what they're saying. I still talk to UCF, I still have love for them," Owens said.
You won't see tons of explosiveness and above the rim play by Owens, but he knows how to use his wide body on defense and to get position for rebounds. He doesn't shy away from contact, has very good hands, rebounds well and finishes around the rim. Owens is also one of the best passers at his position we've seen.
"I think that playing with older guards all my life and learning guard mentalities has helped me as a big man. Throughout middle school I liked to dribble and shoot, I hardly played in the post but everybody would tell me to go inside but I never wanted to. Then when I went to high school one of my coaches taught me about being a big man and making the game easier. He showed me how I could use my guard skills and passing was one of my favorites," Owens said.
Owens spent most of last summer playing up an age group on the EYBL circuit with Each One Teach One (E1T1) Elite, winning the Nike Peach Jam, but he quickly realized he needed to improve his body to make him a more efficient player.
"I was always chubby but I wanted to get my body right," Owens said. "Really my focus was on losing weight so my focus was on watching what I ate and working out more. I wasn't on any special plan. By being in better shape I was able to help my team because I could run, jump and even rebound better."
In addition to his Nike EYBL schedule, Owens expects to attend some camps and take some visits. When Owens is on his visits, the things he'll be looking for will be pretty simple.
"I'll probably take some visits in June," Owens said. "When I take my visits I'm looking forward to spending time with the coaches and getting to know the players that would be my teammates and their relationship with their coaches. Also learning about their system and the atmosphere. Also how much is basketball talked about around the city, is their city a basketball city. And I'm looking forward to seeing the campus and meeting the academic folks."
Which schools have been chasing Owens the hardest lately?
"Right now, I'd have to say Baylor, Kansas, Florida, Louisville, Florida State and UCF," Owens said. "But there are a lot of schools hitting me up."
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