11/13/06 — Warriors' Cowan signs NLI with Richmond

View Archive

Warriors' Cowan signs NLI with Richmond

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 13, 2006 1:47 PM

Once basketball season ended last year, Darryl Cowan got busy.

The Eastern Wayne guard and his mom compiled a highlight tape from the season, and they printed out a list of every Division I school in the nation. Cowan carefully combed the list and mailed the videotape to a select few universities.

He considered Livingstone.

He considered Old Dominion.

Then came Richmond.

Aware of the Spiders' success and the lure of playing in the nationally-reknowned Atlantic 10 Conference, Cowan officially visited the campus. Once he arrived, the 6-foot-2 senior knew he had found his future home.

"I liked the campus and hung out with the players," said a grinning Cowan. "I like the team chemistry and how the coaches conduct practice. I couldn't play with them because it's against the (NCAA) rules, but I did shoot around.

"It was nice."

Cowan officially signed his national letter-of-intent with the Spiders on Friday. He is the fourth Division I signee during head coach Marvin Bowman's tenure and fifth overall. Bowman had one player to enter the junior college ranks, and later play on the Division I level.

"It's a very good fit," said Bowman.

Cowan is the second player to sign an NLI with Richmond. Justin Harper, a 6-8 forward who lives in Richmond, turned down offers from East Carolina, Temple and Providence.

Harper and Cowan become the eighth and ninth student-athletes, respectively, to commit to the Spiders in less than two years. Richmond's current roster has six freshmen, one red-shirt freshmen, three sophomores and one junior.

"D.J. is a very good player who has flown under the recruiting radar screen," said second-year head coach Chris Mooney, whose team tips off its season Tuesday against ECU. "His speed and skillfulness should enable him to help us."

Cowan averaged 14 points, four assists, three steals, two blocks and two rebounds per game last season for the Warriors. He shot a career-best 97 percent from the free throw line and earned team MVP honors.

Eastern Wayne finished 9-15 overall.

"Darryl is a well-rounded basketball player," said Bowman. "He sees the floor well, handles the ball well and understands the game. My experience has been is that he makes players around him better.

"I think he's a diamond in the rough."

Cowan admits he needs to add weight to his 155-pound frame to withstand the physical play. He also wants to improve on defense and consistently beat his man off the dribble.

Much to Bowman's dismay, Cowan showed some laziness on defense last season and struggled to take a defender off the dribble. If Cowan couldn't get by him the first time, he'd come downcourt and pull the trigger from outside.

"He needs to take advantage of his quickness and not rely so much on the outside shot," said Bowman.

Mooney and his staff recruited Cowan to handle either the point or shooting guard responsibilities. Cowan, who plans to major in sports medicine, spent some time with Mooney during his official visit and identified with the young coach's philosophy.

"We got to know each other before we even talked about basketball," said Cowan. "We talked about family, some of the things I like to do. When we talked about basketball, we connected.

"I like his style of coaching. In practice, he gets on you, but really not that hard. He will make you work and realize your potential."

After all, diamonds do need polishing.