Cougs nab transfer Powell out of the portal
PULLMAN, Wash. – For the second time on the year Washington State men's basketball head coach Kyle Smith has dipped into the transfer portal signing Justin Powell (Prospect, Ken.). A 6-6 guard, Powell spent the previous season at Tennessee after beginning his career at Auburn. A junior in 2022-23, Powell will have three years of eligibility left due to the Covid-19 exemptions for the 2020-21 season.
"Justin is a great addition to our program," said Smith. "He is a proven player at a very high level. His size in the backcourt and his ability to make plays for himself and others should help us improve offensively. More importantly, playing and contributing for a top-10 program with NCAA experience will add incredible value to our team."
A top-100 prospect out of high school, Powell played 10 games with seven starts as a true freshman at Auburn before a season-ending injury cut his inaugural campaign short. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Dec. 14, 2020, after totaling 52 points in wins over South Alabama and Memphis. The contest against South Alabama marked his first collegiate start in which he drilled seven 3-pointers and notched 26 points in the win. In all, Powell averaged 11.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 0.9 steals per game while shooting .429 from the field, .442 from 3-point range, and .765 at the free-throw line on the year.
After transferring to Tennessee, Powell saw action in 30 games for the Volunteers including playing in his first postseason contest against Longwood in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Early on Powell showed off his shooting prowess as he became the ninth player in Tennessee history to hit at least five 3-pointers (5-for-5) without a miss, en route to notching a season-high 15 points against Presbyterian. On the year he averaged 3.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game while shooting .392 from the field, .381 from 3-point range, and .733 from the free-throw line.