You think about the bounce back efforts of Adrian Peterson and Derrick Rose when you think about torn ACLs, but how about Missouri forward Laurence Bowers?
Okay, so Bowers certainly isn’t the public figure that either Peterson or Rose is, but still, his recovery is impressive. After missing the entire 2011-12 season with a torn ACL, Bowers has responded with an incredible senior season, a career year in fact from a personal perspective.
Bowers is averaging a career best 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds this season on 27.0 minutes per game to boot. It’s been a terrific season for the Missouri forward, that’s the bottom line. Given all the hype about starting point guard Phil Pressey, which is well deserved by the way, Bowers however, is the team’s most crucial aspect.
We saw a season ago just how important Bowers’ availability was for the Tigers, who were upset by 15th-seeded Norfolk State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Now, despite some key losses for last year’s team, Missouri remains in the hunt and is gearing up for a run within the bracket.
When Missouri is on, the can certainly be a dangerous team. Take a look at their production on the offensive end, especially over the past few games. Bowers is averaging 23.5 points over the last two games and the Tigers have scored 89 and 93, respectively in those victories.
Now Bowers doesn’t need to light it up to effective, he just needs to remain efficient and get his fair share of touches inside. Remember, this was the same Bowers that nearly broke the NCAA field goal percentage record two seasons ago. Head coach Frank Haith should have the most confidence in the world when Bowers touches the ball inside the paint.
Bowers’ final season is winding down, but his production is what could ultimately hold the key to keeping this 2012-13 season going.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS