Taking a Timeout with Raymond Cowels III
Sophomore Raymond Cowels III knows the effort it takes to play hard and be successful. At his high school in Minnesota, he led his team to 128 wins and helped win two state championships. As a freshman he played in all 32 games, and finished in the top 10 of five categories of the SCU freshman records, including three pointers made, three pointers attempted, free throw percentage and minutes played. Now in the midst of his second season, he has had the opportunity to adjust to life in Northern California and looks to some goals for this season and beyond.
By: Kaitlin Fuelling, Santa Clara '13
(SCB): SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) How has your experience here differed from your freshman year on the basketball team at Santa Clara University?
Raymond Cowels III (RC): My experience is different because I know what to expect, I know what time practice is going to be, I know the tendencies of people and it is more fun. I can focus more on what I need to do, instead of trying to figure out my class schedule, which building to go to, when to get lunch and basketball. Overall, it is the little things that have made the difference this year.
(SCB): What is the weakest part of your game and what are you doing to improve it?
RC: As far as what I'm working on, I would have to say it is driving to the basket. I have been practicing in the off-season on this and my ball-handling when I can. It is usually me trying to find opportunities to drive the basketball, because I am a shooter and that's what I look for first. Because it is conference time, practices have been shortened to about one and half hours, but I always am in the gym in the morning or night to shoot around.
(SCB): Do you have any pregame/prerace superstitions or traditions you like to follow?
RC: I always have a Dr. Pepper before a game. Also I always have to shoot 15 shots right in front of the basket before I can do anything.
(SCB): After finishing in the top 10 of five categories of the SCU freshman records last year, have you set any goals or things you want to see accomplished for yourself or the team this season?
RC: I just want to be an all-around better player, improve all-around. I want to be a better finisher, better defender and better rebounder. I feel like I am playing well this year, but I don't feel like it is as good as I can be, so I want to improve in every aspect of the game. There is always room to get better.
(SCB): Who or what do you see as inspiration or motivation when you play? Do you see yourself playing basketball after college?
RC: It has always been my family, my mom, my dad and lately my grandfather who has given me the inspiration. They are so happy that I am in college, playing basketball and getting a good education, so I do it for them as well. I dedicate every game to my family and friends who have helped me get to this point that I am at.
I can definitely see myself playing after college. It is going to take a lot of hard work, but I feel that I can play overseas somewhere or make it to a league. I don't like the idea of a regular 9-5 job but if I need to, that is why I am getting a good education, going to school all four years, to have a good back-up plan.
(SCB): What is one of your favorite movies?
RC: I'd probably say Inception. I've seen it about four times now and I like the thought process and dreams that go on.
(SCB): Do you have any favorite foods?
RC: That is tough to say because I like all food, I eat everything. I would have to say my mom's macaroni and cheese and pot roast. She makes a good pot roast.
(SCB): What would be something that people don't expect from you?
RC: I like to meditate every once in a while. Instead of watching TV, I will go in another room and meditate, just because I don't feel like watching or being around that.
What his teammates are saying:
Sophomore Kevin Foster offers a closer perspective on Cowels.
Ray is one of the toughest players on our team; he gets a lot of hustle plays and the open shots. He is a big part of the team, keeps us going. He looks mean but he is a really nice guy. He is really outgoing and funny.