Memphis head coach Josh Pastner received a big commitment Saturday from 6-foot, 170-pound point guard Rashawn "Pookie" Powell (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), who is ranked No. 90 overall and No. 22 at his position in the ESPN 100. Powell picked the Tigers over Illinois and Alabama, all of whom recently came for in-home visits.
"I feel Memphis will help me improve my game and the coaching staff will help me take my game to the next level and become a pro," Powell said.
Memphis assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who is a former University of Arizona star and NBA point guard, was the lead in the Powell recruitment, and Powell shares many similarities with his future position coach. Both are attacking, scoring point guards who can get buckets in a variety of ways in addition to setting up teammates and running the offense.
Powell has improved tremendously over the past two years of evaluations. He is coming off a great spring and summer and is one of the few true point guards in the Class of 2013 who can consistently shoot the ball with range. Powell can drive, draw and kick, drop off passes inside or kick out to a teammate spotting up at the arc. He can also use his tight handle to make plays when the set play breaks down or as the shot clock winds down.
Powell will excel in the Tigers' fast break with his speed and quickness, and he is a threat to get to the rim, stop and pop, or deliver the pass on time and on target to an open teammate. Powell will also be allowed make plays in the Memphis halfcourt motion-style offense in addition to improving his all-around game under the coaching of Pastner and Stoudamire.
Powell ran with the Showtime Ballers on the travel team circuit, and coach Diana Neal loves Memphis as a fit for the floor leader.
"Pookie already fits their style of play -- they don't have to change anything because he is coming," Neal said.
Powell is the third commitment in the Class of 2013 for Pastner and the second ESPN 100 recruit. No. 28 prospect Nick King (Memphis, Tenn./East) is a small forward and a big wing scorer at 6-6, 210, while 6-4 shooting guard Markel Crawford (Memphis, Tenn./Melrose) is a terrific athlete who can also drain jumpers out to the arc. Memphis now has the No. 10 recruiting class for 2013.
Both King and Crawford are local kids with national names and games who will provide Powell will some shooters on the wings to get the rock to. And with Powell joining the mix at the point, the Tigers have some high-level perimeter firepower on the way.