Oakland basketball is going to the Wisconsin well once again for a high-profile transfer.
A year after landing Jamal Cain, a Michigan native who starred at Marquette and then transferred to OU before becoming Horizon League co-Player of the Year this season, Golden Grizzlies coach Greg Kampe has picked up former Orchard Lake St. Mary’s guard Lorne Bowman II, who is departing the University of Wisconsin.
“First and foremost I want to thank God for giving me the ability to play the game of basketball at a high level,” Bowman said Friday. “I want to thank coach Greg Gard, Dean Oliver, Joe Krabbenhoft and Sharif Chambliss and the entire staff for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talents.
“To my teammates, I will never forget you guys. To Badger Nation, I want to thank you for all the support and love you showed me and the team this season. The University of Wisconsin will always have a special place in my heart. May God bless you all!”
Gard and the Wisconsin coaching staff wished Bowman well.
“We completely understand and support Lorne’s decision to step away from the program and university,” Gard said Friday. “We know this is what’s best for him currently and also for his future.
“He has been an inspirational and important part of our team over the last two years and will forever be a Big Ten champion and a Badger. Our entire staff and team think the world of Lo. We intend to stay close with the Bowmans and wish Lo all the best in his future.”
Bowman’s first season of college ball started out rough, as he returned home before the Badgers opened the 2020-21 season, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He rejoined Wisconsin before last season and appeared in 22 games. He averaged three points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 10.4 minutes a game before leaving the team again in mid-February. His best game in Big Ten play came on Feb. 2, when he scored seven points on 3-for-4 shooting in 15 minutes.
Bowman was a Michigan Mr. Basketball finalist in 2020, finishing third in the voting behind winner Scooby Johnson (Benton Harbor) and Jalen Terry (Flint Beecher). The OLSM product averaged 24.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists in his senior season.
A longtime Michigan fan, he still committed to Wisconsin in November 2019.
“I loved how much they were interested in me,” he said in January 2020. “Any kid that’s choosing a college would obviously want a college to be really interested in them.
“I was elated how they knew everything about me. They knew my family, they knew where I came from. They just really put all the pieces together and recruited me.”
Then-Grand Blanc coach Mike Thomas believed Bowman was headed for Power Five stardom.
“The thing that separates a high major guard and a low major guard is they consistently hit that midrange jump shot,” Thomas said in January 2020. “When he gets to those sweet spots, there is nothing you can do. He can counter out of it with a step-back James Harden stuff from there.”
Now he’ll be starting over next to Oakland guard Jalen Moore, who averaged 15.5 points and 7.6 assists per game in his second season with the Golden Grizzlies. Moore’s assist average was second in the nation. OU went 20-12, and 12-7 in league play, before losing in the Horizon League quarterfinals.
Free Press sports writer Mick McCabe and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports writer Jeff Potrykus contributed to this report.