Early in the 2013-14 season, Duke took on UNC Asheville, one of the ACC powerhouse’s easier non-conference opponents. The Blue Devils would dismantle Asheville in a 91-55 victory, but, despite the lopsided score, something in that game stood out to Steve Wojciechowski. That something was the Bulldogs’ 5-foot-11 guard Andrew Rowsey, who played 33 minutes that night and impressed the then-Duke assistant coach.
"I saw somebody who was a heck of a competitor, who had the ability to shoot the ball at an incredibly high level," Wojciechowski recalls. "I remember scouting and thinking this kid is an absolute steal for UNC Ashville. Sometimes in recruiting, you can look at a kid and say he is too small, but when I saw his competiveness, along with his skillset, I thought he would be a great player at Ashville.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would end up here and I would have the opportunity to coach him."
But what do you know; life works itself out in funny ways sometimes.
The next season, Wojciechowski accepted the head coaching job at Marquette and gave his best sales pitch to that sharpshooting, competitive guard he had been so impressed with at Asheville.
"The recruit pitch (to come to Marquette) was kind of easy," Rowsey says now. "Obviously, it is Marquette; it is one of the best programs to exist in college basketball."
Rowsey packed his bags and left Asheville for Milwaukee. After sitting out his first year because of NCAA transfer regulations, Rowsey burst onto the college basketball scene last season by hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer – some of which were from way beyond the arc and others that he hit while also performing a move that seemed born out of Cirque Du Soleil.
Now, the guy Wojchiechowski thought he would only admire from afar is set to celebrate Senior Day in the blue and gold when Marquette takes on Creighton on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the final MU game at the arena. Rowsey will leave the Golden Eagles having scored 2,000 points in his NCAA career and helped them take down the No. 1 team in the nation and make it back to the NCAA tournament last year.
This season, Rowsey has appeared in every contest, and is averaging 19.7 points and 4.6 assists in 31.7 minutes per game, shooting 39.1 percent on 3s.
"It’s been a dream come true," Rowsey says about playing at Marquette. "It is something as a kid, you are watching TV, you are watching the BIG EAST Tournament, the ACC Tournament, the Big Ten Tournament and you always want to play there. For me, being able to do that now is very fulfilling."
Of course, the Golden Eagles, although their chances are slim, are still playing to get into the NCAA tournament – so Rowsey is going to leave the emotions out of his Senior Day.
"My mom will take care of that," he says with a smile.