Chris Dowe is a standout player for the Bellarmine Knights basketball. The junior guard was a big part of the Knights championship run last season. Averaging 13. 5 points off the bench, Dowe was named to the All-GLVC 3rd team, as well as being named to the All-NCAA Midwest Regional tournament team. He finished last season ranked fifth in the GLVC with a field goal percentage of .567. Dowe played his high school ball right here in Louisville at Eastern High School. He was named 7th Region Player of the Year his senior year after averaging 14.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. He earned 2nd Team All-State honors as well as being named MVP of the Louisville Invitational and Capital City tournaments.
How did it feel to bring home Bellarmine’s first national championship?
It’s really a great feeling. What made everything so special were the fans. They traveled 18 hours on a bus to come watch us play in Massachusetts. It really felt like one of our home games up there. Students missed tests, projects, presentations just to come support us. It’s something that I will always remember.
Are you still basking in the joy from this past year’s national championship season?
Yes, I am. I love it. People around the city seem to be more excited than me about it sometimes. Being that they are older I think they know the meaning and how meaningful winning a National Championship is. I’m 20 years old, I still have a long life ahead of me it really hasn’t hit me all the way yet.
Seeing as you’re a hometown player, do you feel more proud that you won a national championship?
Absolutely. When one city supports you so much and shows you so much love, you want to do all that you can to give back to everyone. People in the city have followed me since my high school days back at Eastern and I’m very thankful for that.
In a state known for successful college basketball teams, do you think Bellarmine be mentioned more along with UK, UofL and WKU?
Yes, I do think that we could definitely be mentioned with the WKU’s, UK’s and UL’s. Even though they are “Division I,” I do believe we could be mentioned with them. No matter what level you are, if you’re good, you’re good. I think people often get caught up in the names and divisions, etc.
How has the off season gone for you individually, and for the team as a whole?
Individually my summer went great. My body is developing more and more as I grow older. I’m getting taller. My game is steadily improving and I can’t wait to show it all off this year. The team is looking terrific. We have a pretty experienced team. We have a few new guys that came in (three freshmen and one transfer) who can play. We are more athletic which is very crucial in our playing schedule.
What are you expectations for this season?
I want to finish off this year exactly like we did last year with a National Championship. We definitely have the talent and tools we need to repeat. People always ask me what the team is looking like for this upcoming season. I tell them we can be better than last year’s squad. They look at me crazy for it! We definitely have the potential though. This definitely won’t be an easy task.
Which games are you anticipating the most in the upcoming season?
The games I’m looking most forward to are the Exhibition games versus Duke, Louisville and Xavier. The Duke game kind of speaks for itself. The Louisville game will be personal for me just because I’m a hometown kid and I feel I have a huge chip on my shoulder and have something to prove. We play with those guys all the time during the summer, so it should be a really fun game and will give the winner bragging rights for the city. The Xavier game will be huge too. We beat those guys last year in a nail biter so they’re going to be hungry for revenge this year. Our regular season schedule is always tough; I like to compare our conference to the Big East because of the talent, toughness and depth of the conference. There are no off games in the GLVC (Great Lakes Valley Conference).
Many people remember you from your days at Eastern. How was the game changed from high school to college, if at all?
The transition from high school to college basketball can be rough for a lot of people. All the players are bigger, stronger, and faster than you which makes a really big difference. You’re at the bottom of the food chain as a freshman and it won’t help if you come in with a big head. Everyone is going to hit the freshman wall sooner or later, some adjust faster than others and that’s what separates the good from the great.
Do you feel like there is a lot of support for Bellarmine basketball from the city (Louisville)?
Yes. As long as I’ve been at Bellarmine the support here has been outstanding, we try to thank them in our interviews and right after the game go around and shake everyone’s hand. They make a huge difference whether they know it or not.
Are there any pre-game rituals that you have? Certain songs you listen to, etc.
Don’t really have any pre-game rituals but a few things I feel like I must do before the game is dance to loosen up myself up. I must, must, must listen to some J. Cole before the game. His music really gets me in a mood to play basketball.
The official beginning of the Bellarmine Knights’ season starts November 12th when they face off against Saginaw Valley State. The home game at Knights Hall is scheduled for tip-off at 2:30pm.