Severn's Fowler beefs up his board game

December 21, 1992|By Tom Worgo | Tom Worgo,Contributing Writer

Severn basketball coach Jim Doyle knew Brad Fowler could score. He just wasn't sure if his star player could rebound as well after averaging 2.0 per game last season.

Some questions about the senior's weakness have been answered in 10 games this season.

"He had to change his whole outlook and philosophy about basketball," Doyle said of Fowler, who switched from shooting guard to power forward and is averaging 6.1 rebounds. "It's been frustrating for him when teams play zones. He's been playing with his back to the basket for the first time. He's been working extremely hard to improve his rebounding, and he has shown improvement."

But further improvement is expected, and his nine-rebound effort against Mount Hebron on Friday may be only the beginning. A 6.1-rebound average may not catch someone's attention, but for the 15th-ranked Admirals (9-1), Fowler's inside play is a key.

"I don't jump very high and I am not very fast," said Fowler, selected to the Laker Invitational all-tournament team earlier this month (last year, he was Laker Invitational MVP, scoring 63 points in three games). "But if we are going to be a very good team, then I have to rebound."

There was never questions about Fowler's scoring ability. The 17-year-old averaged 15.0 points last season and is expected next month to become the only player in school history to score 1,000 points in a career.

This season, Fowler, a four-year starter, is averaging 15.1 points, including a 24-point performance against Arlington Baptist in Severn's opener, and a 22-point effort against Sidwell Friends. And on Friday, Fowler, last year's basketball MVP, scored seven points in the final quarter, helping the Admirals erase a 13-point deficit and defeat Mount Hebron, 61-50.

Last season, the Admirals made it to the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference final, where they were stopped by St. Paul's. Severn also posted a 12-0 record in conference play. But this season, Fowler must continue to produce for Severn to match last year's accomplishments.

"We would like to win the championship," Doyle said. "That's our goal. When you get into those types of games, your players have to step it up, and we need that from him."

Fowler's football accomplishments mirror his basketball performances.

Last fall, he was an Anne Arundel County Sun All-County first-team selection as a quarterback, throwing for more than 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns, leading Severn to a 8-2 mark.

This fall, Fowler guided Severn to a 7-3 record, passing for 910 yards and 11 touchdowns and earning team MVP honors. Fowler was chosen to participate as a member of the MSA All-Stars in the Greater Baltimore Football Classic earlier this month, and he helped the MSA All-Stars to a 26-21 victory.

Fowler participated in a program called "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" at Severn from last March to August, adding 22 pounds and improving his time in the 40-yard -- from 5.2 seconds to 4.8.

"It [strength and weight] gave me more confidence," Fowler said. "In a tight situation last year, I wasn't confident to throw the ball. After I became stronger, I was confident to throw the ball in situations where the players were covered closely. And the strength has helped my rebounding. A lot of players I was equal with last year, I am stronger than now. I can knock people around now. Last year, I was getting knocked around."

He is being recruited by five schools for football: Princeton, Navy, Pennsylvania, Lehigh and Richmond.

Fowler would like to play two sports in college, but Doyle doesn't think that's possible.

"It just to hard to play two sports," Doyle said. "It will probably be too much with academics. He will go to a school where academics will challenge him."

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