School: Seton Hall
Myles Powell is not only a Seton Hall legend, he's one of the best players in the history of the Big East conference. He finished his illustrious four-year career with 2,252 points, the ninth-highest total in conference history. Powell ranks ahead of legends like Kerry Kittles, Derrick Coleman and Gerry McNamara on the Big East's career scoring list. He averaged 21 points as a senior, earning First Team All-American and Big East Player of the Year honors while leading Seton Hall to a share of the conference's regular season championship.
Unfortunately for Powell — and every other college basketball player, for that matter — this past season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. He never had the opportunity to end his senior year with a Big East Tournament title or a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Had Powell led Seton Hall to a Final Four, his NBA Draft stock would have improved significantly. Pro scouts and executives could have seen him put a team on his back and shine on the big stage. As it is, he's a fringe second-round pick who may not be drafted at all.
Powell has always reminded me of former Villanova star Scottie Reynolds, both in size and skill set. They were both dynamic scoring guards at the college level. Both scored over 2,200 points and were named First Team All-Americans. But like Reynolds, Powell isn't a true point guard and doesn't have the size or elite athleticism required to play off the ball in the NBA. Despite being one of the best players to ever suit up for his college program, Reynolds never played a minute in the NBA. Powell is hoping to avoid that same fate.
To borrow a borderline ridiculous basketball expression, Powell can “score the ball.” He averaged more than 23 points as a junior before scoring 21 points per game this past season. Powell scores in bunches and took over games on a regular basis at Seton Hall. When he heated up and started making shots from the perimeter, he was basically unguardable on the college level. He's fearless driving to the basket and very crafty in terms of finishing around the basket. Powell can score in a variety of ways.
Powell always plays hard and is accustomed to being the focal point of opposing defenses. He's very good at moving without the ball and he's used to dealing with double teams. He also doesn't lack for confidence and never shied away from the big moment. Powell seemed to relish the opportunity to be a star in the New York metropolitan area. He always brought his A-game to Madison Square Garden and the Big East Tournament. He won't back down from any challenges as he tries to prove he's an NBA player.
As mentioned, Powell doesn't have a natural position. He was a combo guard in college. He’s a decent passer and facilitator, but he generally had a score-first mentality. He's too small and too inconsistent of a shooter to be considered a traditional NBA two-guard. After shooting right around 37 percent from three-point range as a sophomore and junior, Powell dipped to just over 30 percent this past season while attempting more than nine three-point shots per game.
Powell also has the tendency to be careless with the ball. He averaged in the neighborhood of three turnovers per game the last two seasons. There are also valid questions about his ability to defend at the pro level. Powell lacks the elite lateral quickness required to stay in front of NBA guards.
If Powell makes it in the NBA, it will likely be as a scoring guard off the bench. He's a guy who could provide some offensive punch in limited minutes. The Sixers could use a guy like that.
Powell will likely be available late in the second round and right now the Sixers have the 49th and 59th overall selections. They could consider drafting him with one of those picks, or they could try to sign him to a two-way contract if he goes undrafted.
I have a lot of respect for Powell as a competitor. It wouldn't surprise me if he defies the odds and carves out a decent NBA career for himself.
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