|Myles Powell Continues to Impress/usatoday.com|
Newark, NJ-- Seton Hall's Myles Powell lit up Columbia on Thursday Night for 21 points as the freshman from Trenton continues to impress his teammates and fans as the Pirates tamed the Lions by the score of 95 to 71
After a 1-2 campaign in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, FL, Seton Hall looked to regroup on it's home floor against Columbia before heading to Hawaii for the Pearl Harbor Tournament next week. Tonight went about as well as Kevin Willard could have hoped as the Pirates turned it on in the second half behind Powell's hot shooting. He scored 21 points with all of his points coming from behind the three point arc. The freshman played with the confidence of a senior and almost put the game away by himself by scoring 12 points in the second half. Powell's emergence as a scoring threat has opened up the court for the rest of the team and tonight Angel Delgado feasted on the Lions interior defense by putting up his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Desi Rodriguez and Khadeen Carrington each scored 17 points for Seton Hall and the team had Ish Sanogo back in the starting lineup for the first time since last Thursday vs. Florida. While Sanogo's scoring will never pop out on a stat sheet the senior provided a baseline defense that prevented any extended Columbia run. Sanogo drew several charges and the team followed his lead with playing lockdown defense in putting the Lions away in the second half.
Tonight was Powell's fifth double figures game in his first seven collegiate games. The freshman is averaging 13.2 ppg. so far in his young collegiate career. It's been well-documented but Powell lost 45 pounds in four months (You can get a detailed account of his weight loss here: http://www.stack.com/a/heres-how-seton-hall-freshman-phenom-myles-powell-dropped-45-pounds-over-the-summer) and Powell has clearly won over his teammates and his coaches with his work ethic and demeanor.
"I think once he lost all this weight his game has transformed.", said Willard, "He can play longer, he can get to the rim. Anyone who can lose 45 pounds in four months has to be dedicated. Once I saw his dedication to his work ethic I realized the sky's the limit with this kid."
"It's like throwing a rock in the ocean", said Powell about his shooting tonight. The freshman played it cool about getting his first collegiate start against Columbia. "Basketball is basketball", Powell told me after the game, "When you block all the other extra stuff out it does make it easy. I know my teammates will find me on the floor and I'm going to hit open shots."
Mike Smith was impressive for Columbia in the loss. The guard had a game high 23 points on 8/13 from the field. The Pirates defense held Nate Hickman (CU's leading scorer at 19 ppg.) to four points.
The Pirates now bid aloha to the mainland as they leave tomorrow for a trip to Hawaii to play the Rainbow Warriors and California in the Pearl Harbor Invitational. The team will be playing in Bloch Arena in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.
"It's a phenomenal opportunity for this generation to understand the sacrifices the past generation has made.", said Willard about the significance of playing in Pearl Harbor. "It's an honor once the anthems played to understand how many soldiers lost there lives just so we can play this great game."
It will be a twelve hour plane ride to Hawaii but the Pirates have a star-in-the-making in Powell. A couple of good road wins against Cal and the Rainbow Warriors and Seton Hall could be saying, "Aloha", to the top 25.