Point guard Pookie Powell was originally expected to be a member of Memphis’ highly regarded freshman class this season, however those plans were scuttled when the NCAA did not clear Powell academically. That didn’t turn out to be a huge issue for the Tigers, with their four senior guards in line to receive the majority of the minutes anyway.
But with that came the expectation that after sitting out the 2013-14 season, Powell (who wasn’t allowed to practice with the team) would be the most likely option to take over the point guard duties in 2014-15. That won’t be happening however, as it was reported by Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal that Powell has decided to transfer.
Powell’s father said the following to Smith in regards to the reason for his son’s decision to leave:
“The reason is a basic conflict of interest with coach (Josh) Pastner that apparently couldn’t be settled,” Powell’s father said.
Powell’s departure does hurt from a depth standpoint, but experience-wise the Tigers were going to be incredibly young on the perimeter either way. None of the three options mentioned by Smith, redshirt freshman Markel Crawford, incoming freshman Dominic Magee and junior college transfer Avery Woodson, have played a game at the Division I level.
With that being the case, it will be interesting to see if head coach Josh Pastner takes a look at the graduate transfer market this offseason. Michael Dixon Jr. was a one-year transfer this season, posting averages of 11.8 points and 2.4 assists per game and winning American Athletic Conference Sixth Man of the Year honors.