Justin Powell’s path to Washington State

On Tuesday, Mouhamed Gueye withdrew from the transfer portal to return to Pullman and the icing on the cake? The Cougs land in Tennessee, transfer guard Justin Powell.

PULLMAN, Wash. – Last week was a big week for basketball fans in Washington state. On Tuesday, Mouhamed Gueye withdrew from the transfer portal to return to Pullman and the icing on the cake? The Cougs land in Tennessee, transfer guard Justin Powell.

“It was a whirlwind, that’s for sure. It’s been pretty hectic trying to figure out the right fit and stuff like that and making sure this is the right place,” Powell said.

Powell is no stranger to making big decisions.

He began his college career in Auburn and then transferred to Tennessee last season. Now the Kentucky native has found his next home in Pullman.

“You know, this is my third school in three years, so I have to get this right. It has to fit right,” Powell said. “I did a lot of research and did a lot of homework. They obviously did their homework for me too. Just finding the right fit, it was about a lot of different things.”

Powell received interest from Power Five schools across the country, including SEC, which is much closer to home, but two key factors drew him to WSU.

“Just the relationship, you know, Coach Smith, he’s just a guy that you can have a really good chat with, just not about basketball, but he’ll do his best,” Powell said. “And then you just want to go somewhere where there’s an opportunity, a great fit. Such things. I just wanted to go somewhere where I could show what I can do and somehow go back to where I was at Auburn.”

He came on the scene as a freshman at Auburn averaging over 11 points per game, but a concussion derailed his season, allowing him to only appear in 10 contests.

He then saw a smaller role in Tennessee, averaging under 15 minutes per game.

Now that Pullman is training with the team, he’s already feeling his momentum regaining momentum.

“It’s very much the style of play at the moment and Coach Smith has that. That he has that confidence in me, like ‘here’s the ball, go play’, that’s essentially what he’s doing now when we’ve played, so it was like that.” It’s just great to get that confidence back and go out there and have the ball in my hands, get off ball screens and be the player that I kinda always was. It’s just coming back and it feels good to be out there now and to be able to do stuff like that,” Powell said.

Powell’s hope of returning to the player he knows he can be will lead to one thing.

“You know, I just want to win,” Powell said. “I want to go to the NCAA tournament, I want to do a deep run at the NCAA tournament, I know everyone here wants to do that. So, you know, I think I can be a good leader for this team and I can lead everyone and I think I can hopefully lead us there.”

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/ncaa/ncaaf/cougars/justin-powells-path-to-pullman/293-875e8a07-81d0-4e93-874f-06bb6e952b3b Justin Powell’s path to Washington State

Emma Bowman

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