On Tuesday afternoon, Memphis Tigers head coach Josh Pastner relayed some disappointing, yet somewhat expected news — incoming freshman RaShawn “Pookie” Powell will enroll at the university, but he will redshirt during the 2013-14 season.
Powell’s eligibility with the Tigers this upcoming season had remained in question over the past couple of months, mainly because of reported academic issues, although Pastner did not go into the specifics when talking about Tuesday’s latest update. Regardless, the good news for the Tigers is not that Powell will be on campus and that he will be a member of the Memphis basketball program moving forward. At this time, there is no formal word on whether or not Powell will practice with the team while redshirting this upcoming season.
Powell is part of a loaded freshman class that should instantly help raise the Tigers’ expectations in the newly formed American Athletic Conference. Widely considered to be a top 100 recruit, Powell was amongst some of the top floor generals in the country at the high school level last season. At 6-foot-1, Powell is an original native of Orlando, Florida and during his time on the AAU circuit he ran with the Florida Assault.
While the decision to redshirt Powell for the 2013-14 season is a bit disappointing, it does have its benefits. The biggest one stems from the team’s current back court rotation. Powell will get to learn under the guidance of Joe Jackson and others while keeping intact four seasons of eligibility that will begin the following year.
This could be a situation that benefits both sides down the line.