It was at least four months, Trey Lowe figures, before he even touched a basketball.

Lowe's life had revolved around that ball, at Ewing High School and at Temple, until the early morning hours of Feb. 28. Lowe said he doesn't know the name of the New Jersey highway he was on. It's not high on his list of things to search out. He's already beaten himself up for being on it so late.

"I dozed off, and the car, I guess, hit a pole, and it flipped," Lowe said.

That's what he found out later, that he had become every parent's nightmare.

"To my knowledge, I didn't wake up for two days," Lowe said Wednesday, sitting in Temple's basketball office, talking about the accident publicly for the first time.

He had been driving home from a friend's house at Rutgers, he said. He shouldn't have gone, he added. "I should have listened to my teammates, just hung out with them." He woke up at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, seeing a room full of family and his Owls coach, Fran Dunphy.

"I remember a lot of people crying and happy I was OK," Lowe said of that hospital scene. He understands those tears from people who understood before he did that he was lucky to be alive.

"As you know, kids around our age like to feel grown. We like to feel we're invincible," Lowe said in kind of a soft-spoken way. "I was just driving home one day. I guess I was real tired from the day, and I dozed off."

There were no other factors in the single-car accident, he said, and nobody else in the car. A concussion, he suggested, was almost the least of his injuries. "I kind of injured a lot of my upper body parts. I'm not going to get too specific," he said. "There are certain parts of my body that are still weaker than other parts. I'm just focused on those right now, to get those back to full strength."

The decision was made at the start of practice this season that Lowe would take a medical redshirt. That was an easy call, Lowe suggested. He knew he wouldn't be 100 percent.

Within Temple's team, it was obviously known immediately after the accident that things were serious for Lowe. For the last games of last season, they wore his name and number on their warm-up jerseys. A layup line full of Trey Lowes.

Now, Lowe keeps a steady course when it comes to basketball work mingled with his physical therapy. Some ballhandling and a bit of work on his speed and agility.

"Basketball has always been around me my whole life," Lowe said. "Not being able to play this season and not having the end of last season, it really got to me. I kind of got sad and upset with myself. . . .. I beat myself up really bad. Once I woke up in the hospital and put everything together, I kind of realized what I had done to myself and how I could have prevented it. I just sat there and thought about it and thought about what I could have done better. Once I let that go, I thought about focusing on how I'm going to get back to basketball and get back to school. I just want to keep forward progress. Get back to where I want to be."

Where he was, it was always high level. Just 11 days before the accident, he scored 21 points in just 20 minutes against Villanova, his game a blend of athleticism and dangerous outside shooting.

"We recruited him, too. He was a great scorer in high school," Villanova coach Jay Wright said that night after his team beat Temple but had allowed Lowe to make five of eight three-pointers. "We adjusted how we were playing once he got it going and didn't do a great job of that."

There was always a nice blend of skills for a 6-foot-6 wing player who started five times as a freshman and figured to have the inside track to a starting spot this season.

Does Lowe think he can get back to the player he was - and was becoming?

"I have 100 percent confidence for that," Lowe said.

He'll look back - he decided it was time to tell people about the ordeal - but there are certain reminders he can still do without.

"I didn't look at the car after the accident," Lowe said. "I don't want to."

mjensen@phillynews.com

@jensenoffcampus