Kyle Lowry is used to a certain level of disrespect. After he put up a goose egg in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference 1st Round against the Magic, people such as Matty Breisch at Section 215 wrote about how the Philadelphia native’s “playoff struggles persisted.”
Lowry responded with 22 points on just 12 shots in the next game to fuel a Game 2 victory for Toronto. Now the Raptors are just a game away from the conference finals, as the 6-foot guard posted 19 points on just nine shots in a Game 5 rout over the Sixers.
That’s the nature of a Philadelphia guard: absorb disrespect and prove people wrong. That’s been the case all throughout Lowry’s basketball life, including his college recruitment. Let’s take a look at the road that led him to the NBA.
Kyle Lowry College Offers, Recruitment & Stats
The then 5-foot-11, 170-pounder graduated from Cardinal Dougherty in Philadelphia, a school that has since shut down due to financial limitations. After averaging 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals a game as a senior, he was named the 2004 Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year, according to his USA Basketball bio.
Despite this success, he only saw four Division 1 offers during his college recruitment. Rivals rated him as a 5-star, the No. 28 player overall and the No. 6 point guard in the 2004 class. He listed offers from Villanova, Arkansas, Florida State and Connecticut.
While the Wildcats were local, he didn’t see a lot of attention from the other Philly schools. The only other local school that paid a lot of attention to him was St. John’s and famed head coach Phil Martelli, per the Los Angeles Times in 2006.
St. Joe’s Jameer Nelson, now a second-year pro with the Orlando Magic, was the latest great Philly guard and Coach Phil Martelli tried to recruit Kyle Lowry to St. Joseph’s with the promise that he would be the next…
…”There’s history in Philadelphia, there’s something special about Philly guys,” Lowry said. “Why leave when I can do something good at home?”
So Lowry broke Martelli’s heart and went to Villanova.
Whether it was his lack of size, or some of the smaller local schools such as La Salle, Drexel and Penn saw him as out of their league, he was more lightly recruited than most 5-stars. He used that to fuel a successful career playing for Jay Wright.
In his freshman season at Villanova, Lowry was named to the Big East All-Rookie team and was tabbed Philadelphia Big Five Rookie of the Year. Listed at 6-foot-1, he averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.
In his sophomore season, he was named to the All-Big East 2nd Team, as well as the First Team All-Big 5. In 33 games (31 starts), he averaged 11.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
That tenure saw him and the Wildcats make two Sweet 16’s, including an Elite 8 defeat to the eventual national champion Florida Gators in 2006. This production and success helped earn Lowry a 1st round (No. 24 overall) selection to the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Since then. he’s made 5 All-Star games. Now, if he can perform consistently in the playoffs, he’ll shelve another bit of disrespect, whether fairly or unfairly, thrown his way.