Cloverdale's Robby Rowland: The Empire’s best

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
I left Cloverdale on Friday night convinced that I’d seen the best basketball player in the Empire.
Cloverdale’s Robby Rowland, a 6-foot-6 senior guard/forward, had 39 points, 14 rebounds and made 16 of 26 shots in three quarters of action in the Eagles’ 93-50 rout of Clear Lake.
Rowland was an all-state Division V pick as a junior and he’s even better this season.
On Friday, Rowland scored from outside, making 5 of 8 3-pointers. And he scored inside, blowing by defenders on the perimeter and often finishing layups with his left hand. Rowland hoisted 26 shots in 24 minutes, but he never forced the action. He passed when he wasn’t open, dishing out four assists, and he basically made his 39-point performance look effortless.
Rowland doubles as a pitcher who has signed to play baseball at Oregon, but he also has a passion for basketball. He played this summer for the Bay Area Hoosiers — an elite AAU team — and devoted hours to his outside shot.
The results of his work are now on display.
When I was in high school, I saw Glendora High’s Tracy Murray — who later starred at UCLA and played in the NBA — and watching Rowland’s shot Friday night reminded me of seeing Murray in high school. I’m not comparing Rowland to Murray as far as overall ability, but they are similar in size (Murray was 6-7) and have the same sweet textbook shooting form.
Watch Rowland shoot and you just expect him to make it.
Clear Lake coach Glenn Wienke said Rowland’s improved outside shot has made him an even bigger migraine to defend this season “How do you stop him?,” Wienke said, shaking his head.
Fortunately, fans don’t have to worry about that. They can just enjoy Rowland this season while he’s still around.