The first sign came in early June.
As the NBA Finals were about to begin, Anthony Cowan invited his Maryland men’s basketball teammates to his family’s home in Bowie to watch Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I knew the team was close, but I wanted us to be as close as possible,” Cowan recalled during his recent visit to New York as part of Big Ten Media Day. “Me doing those little things, I do that all the time. That helps us build chemistry with each other, which I think is very important. Whatever I can do to make sure our team stays together.”
There were other signs throughout the summer and early fall. The pickup games Cowan...