Article by Chris Monter
Luke Loewe became the second new addition of new head coach Ben Johnson Friday when he announced that he will transfer to Minnesota after playing four seasons at William & Mary.
Loewe was a three-year starter at William & Mary. He was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District Second Team and to the All-Colonial Athletic Association Second Team this past season. He was also selected to the CAA All-Defensive Team and is just the sixth Tribe player to receive the honor on multiple occasions, Loewe finished sixth in the league at 16.2 points per game. He is also among the CAA leaders at third in minutes played (35.9), fourth in free throw percentage (85.7), sixth in steals (1.4) and eighth in assists (3.2). Loewe also led the CAA and ranks 57th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2). His free throw percentage was 50th in the country, Loewe scored 15 or more points in 10 of the final 12 contests, including both games of the CAA Tournament. He scored 20 or more points in a game on five occasions this season, including a career-high tying 27 at Hofstra in January.
Loewe started every game for the second-straight season as a junior and was one of the most improved players in the country. He was selected to the CAA All-Defensive Team and led the CAA in 3-point shooting at 43.9% (43-of-98). Loewe ranked fourth in the league in field goal percentage at 54.4 (124-of-228) and 24th in scoring (10.7). He was named to the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor and weas chosen as the team’s Defensive MVP and Most Improved Player.
Lowe was recruited to William & Mary by assistant Jonathan Holmes. Holmes is very familiar with the Midwest, having played at Bloomington South High School and was the runner-up for Indiana Mr. Basketball in 1999. He played at North Carolina, including two years with Minnesota native Adam Boone before Boone transferred back to Minnesota for his final two seasons.
Holmes also recruited former Apple Valley standout Tom Schalk to William & Mary.
GopherHole caught up with current Elon and former William & Mary assistant Jonathan Holmes Friday afternoon to learn more about the newest Gopher.
GopherHole: What do you see as Luke’s strengths as a player?
Jonathan Holmes: Honestly, a lot of things. I think that he is one of those guys that really can be impactful on both sides of the ball. He’s an elite defender and he really has had that reputation for a long time, especially these last couple years. He has really developed himself. Has kind of gotten max reputation as a guy who is pretty on the ball. Super tough. He is an extremely hard worker and I think to his credit and Coach (head coach Dane) Fischer’s credit at William & Mary his last year, his offense production really skyrocketed. The first couple of years, when I was still there, he was playing a lot of point for us and after the change happened at William & Mary, I think Dane put him off the ball a lot more and I think that enabled him to probably get back to what he did as a high school player, it was more of a combo. Scoring the ball. Not having point guard responsibilities. But his shooting percentages have gone through the roof in the last couple of years, but he is really tough. He plays hard. He is competitive and he shot the ball really well. He is tremendous getting downhill, especially to his right hand. He’s quick. He’s athletic and he’s an older guy. He is a veteran guy. He is going to bring you a ton of experience to Minnesota. A lot of things to describe him, but I think he’s one of those guys who’s really reliable. Tremendous kid. I can’t say enough good things about him, both as a player and as a kid and it’s neat to see him get an opportunity like this to get back closer to home. Obviously, he’s a Wisconsin kid. Have a chance for his family to watch him play a lot more than they did since he was in Williamsburg. That will be really neat for him and for his family since it is three and half hour or so from home.
GopherHole: How did you find out about him in the first place?
Jonathan Holmes: Just honestly watched him in AAU. I first saw him play 16U with I believe the Wisconsin Playground Warriors and being a Midwest guy myself, I spent a lot of time over the years recruiting in the Midwest. I think the first time I saw him play was up at one of Antonio Curro’s events in Milwaukee and we just started recruiting him and built a really strong relationship with him over the course of time and followed him to Vegas and all these places that they played in during the summer and obviously, he is a really good student, too, so I think the combination at William & Mary that we had of high level academics and basketball was something that really appealed to him and his family and we were fortunate to get him.
It’s kind of a cool story. He and I were kind of reminiscing about this the other night. He had gone to visit several schools on the East Coast and he went to Rutgers and St. Joe’s and was kind of making his way down on unofficial visits. He was going down to see Davidson and some of these other places and it just so happened that we kind of connected on the drive and “I’m like if you are coming down South to see Davidson and some of these other Southern school,s you might as well come by and see William & Mary on your way,” and just kind of happened to make the connection with him in the middle of the drive and he came by and did an unofficial visit and obviously, it ended up working out for everybody, for him to end up at William & Mary, but just one of those random recruiting stories that were pretty cool. We had a good laugh about that the other night. He is a great kid and obviously with Ben taking over. He is a culture guy. He is going to be your hardest worker. Kind of no-nonsense and that is the kind of kid as you are building your program that you want, especially in your first group. Bringing in a kid like that, he is going to add a lot to the table for the program, I would think.
GopherHole: Do you definitely see him as a Big Ten player now with playing four years of college basketball already?
Jonathan Holmes: I do. I do. I think that he has the production and the resume to support that, especially the last couple years, but I do. Again, I think that he is a proven guy, albeit in the Colonial versus the Big Ten, I understand is two different things, but I think all the intangibles and the toughness elements and the style of play in the Big Ten is really suited for how he plays. I do. I think he’ll do a nice job. I really do. Depending on how they play. How they use him, but again, I think his toughness and his experience, he is certainly a guy who can be successful in the Big Ten, I believe.