Niagara Gazette — With their season over, members of the Niagara men’s basketball team are stuck watching the NCAA Tournament from afar.
One Purple Eagle, though, has a heavy rooting interest.
Redshirt freshman Cam Fowler, who transferred to NU after walking on at Iowa State last season, has been living vicariously through his former teammates as the third-seeded Cyclones have advanced into the Sweet 16.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Fowler said. “They’re going pretty well and they’re trying to make history right now.”
Fowler was a preferred walk-on at Iowa State after assistant coach Cornell Mann, who was recruiting him to play at Dayton, took a job with the Cyclones. Fowler was on the bench when ISU lost in the second round of last year’s tournament on a buzzer-beater to Ohio State.
He said he transferred to Niagara for the opportunity to play and live closer to his home in Detroit.
“It’s a bigger stage, but playing-wise, as you see in the tournament, anybody can beat anybody,” Fowler said. “There might be more NBA potential at higher conferences, but when I look at the (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) versus the Big 12, it’s the same game.”
Fowler pinned a lot of NU’s struggles this season on the players taking some time to adapt to each other. He called it a “learning year.”
“There was a new coaching staff, new players, and it got frustrating for everybody,” he said. “We lost some close games and we couldn’t understand why.
“We made strides at the end of the season, and I feel like next year we’ll be on the right path. We’ve just got to keep working and get a feel for each other. This is going to be our first summer together, and I feel like we’re going to take advantage of it.”