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Tennessee Transfer Guard Lands In Pac 12

Former Tennessee guard Justin Powell announced he is transferring to Washington State late Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard entered the transfer portal in late April after spending one season at Tennessee. Powell was a promising transfer guard entering the Vols’ 2021-22 season, bringing strong shooting and good assist and rebounding numbers from his limited college experience.

Powell previously spent his freshman season at Auburn where he impressed in 10 games before a concussion ended his season.

In his lone season in Knoxville, Powell averaged 3.7 points and 1.5 rebounds while playing 14 minutes per game. The Kentucky native’s minutes decreased as the season went on and his confidence seemed to slip.

At one point, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said that Powell could earn more playing time by shooting when he is open.

“I told Justin; I told the people out there; Justin would play a lot more if he’d shoot the ball when he’s open,” Barnes said after an early February win over Texas A&M.

“Tonight, he turned it over twice. He’s too good of a ball-handler, but the first turnover he had in the game, he should have shot the ball as soon as it hit his hands. Those were two big threes that he hit, because they had gotten it down to two or three. Those were big.”

The back-to-back second half threes Powell hit against Texas A&M was the last major contribution he’d make in his lone season at Tennessee. The guard scored just four more points the rest of his sophomore season.

Washington State hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2008 but has been on an uptick the last few seasons under Kyle Smith. The Cougars went 58-98 (37%) in the five years before Smith’s arrival and are 52-48 since. Washington State’s 22-15 record last year marked the program’s best since 2011.

The NCAA would have to approval a waiver for Powell to be eligible in Pullman right away since the shooting guard received immediate eligibility transferring to Tennessee.

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