Seton Hall Shoots Past Columbia Behind Powell's Big Night | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / April 20.
  • Seton Hall Shoots Past Columbia Behind Powell’s Big Night

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    By DENNIS CHAMBERS

    NEWARK — After a picture-perfect win following a two-loss trip in the AdvoCare Tournament, Seton Hall freshman Myles Powell said “Cheese” to Columbia as the Pirates eased past the Lions 95-71 behind Powell’s seven three-pointers.

    The Pirates rookie – making his first career start – registered 21 points in the win and continues to provide consistent outside scoring to a team that shot just 34 percent from deep last year.

    Head coach Kevin Willard sees the fruits of Powell’s labor over the long summer in the early goings of this season.

    “He can play longer,” Willard said of Powell losing 45 pounds over the summer. “He’s not just shooting three’s, he’s getting to the rim, his game has really changed because he has worked so hard to change his body … Once I saw his dedication to his work ethic and how good he was, I sat there and said ‘the sky is the limit for this kid.'”

    Powell believes shedding all the extra weight over the summer is making his transition to college basketball that much simpler. A slim-downed version of the knock down shooter is becoming more of a threat in other areas of the game.

    “I wasn’t always a spot-up shooter, I was just overweight,” Powell said. “All the things I wanted to do, I couldn’t really do. So now that I’m 45 pounds lighter I can do that.”

    Adding in Powell’s successful Thursday night from beyond the arc, his season percentage from deep rests at 43 percent. For playing just seven games in his collegiate career, Powell operates with the poise of an upper classmen.

    Khadeen (Carrington) always pulls me aside and says ‘You’re not a freshman’,” Powell said. “So when your captain tells you that, I don’t really think that I’m a freshman.”

    With a consistent deep threat added to the offense, operation inside the paint becomes easier for the post-men like Angel Delgado. The junior forward recorded his third double-double of the season Thursday, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

    The Pirates low post leader understands the importance Powell brings to their offense as well.

    “We didn’t have that last year,” Delgado said. “Isaiah (Whitehead) knocked down a lot of threes, but we didn’t have like a good shooter last year. I think he’s going to help so much. I talked to him and said it’s a lot of pressure on you because you’re a freshman, but don’t take it like that you just gotta play like a grown man.”

    Playing like a grown man, he is. After the 21-point outburst from Powell Thursday night, the freshman has now reached double-figures in five of the Pirates seven games, breaking the 20-point plateau twice (Powell scored 26 in the team’s win over Iowa).

    The elevated play from Powell on the court is a result of the listening approach he takes off the court. Delgado likes that the freshman is all ears when the veterans offer up their advice.

    “He really listens to us,” Delgado said. “I really like how he stays quiet, listen to me, listen to the other guys too when we talk to him. That’s really helping, I’m really proud of him.”

    Continued success on the court for Powell could lead to much more past the regular season. The Pirates will look to land in their second straight NCAA tournament, and Delgado hopes that Powell can even bring home some personal accolades at season’s end.

    “I hope he gets freshman of the year,” Delgado said. “He’s worked for it.”

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