published Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Bowles decommits, leaving Cleveland

  • photo
    Cleveland's D.J. Bowles (1) drives around Ooltewah's Antonio Jackson (1) during their matchup at a Blue Raiders' gym in February. Ooltewah won over Cleveland.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Former Cleveland High School basketball standout D.J. Bowles has backed out of his commitment to play for the University of Central Florida and has reopened his recruiting process.

In addition, the 6-foot guard has decided to transfer to Oldsmar Christian School, a prep school in Tampa, Fla. He played two seasons for Cleveland after a year at Notre Dame.

"Honestly, I just didn't have the feeling with Central Florida that I had at first," Bowles said. "There's just a lot going on. It was more personal with me, though. I didn't think the relationship with [Central Florida coach] Donnie Jones was strong enough."

The Golden Knights recently were given a one-year postseason ban, put on probation for five years and assessed scholarship reductions. Jones was given a three-year "show-cause" order and had limitations put on his recruiting time next year. The team vacated all 21 wins from the 2010-11 season as well as some victories from the previous two years.

"That really didn't play a big role in my decision mainly because it wasn't going to affect me," Bowles said. "I just think I felt rushed into the decision."

Bowles averaged 17.9 points, four rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Blue Raiders last season. He had scholarship offers also from Murray State, Tennessee Tech, Middle Tennessee State, UNC-Wilmington and Florida International. Murray and FIU already have contacted him again.

"I didn't really look into other schools, so I'm going to enjoy the process a little and see who contacts me," Bowles said.

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