Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 25 Player Countdown. Each day, we publish a new article counting down the 25 best players in the Atlantic 10 this past season, as voted by our staff. Today, we feature #16 Pookie Powell of La Salle.
Since taking the court as an Explorer for the first time in 2016, Pookie Powell has been the PG John Giannini. For the 2018-19 season, there will be a different coach but a similar look at the top of the key. Without B.J. Johnson scoring in double figures night-in and night-out, Powell has the chance to be a guy who scores 20+ every night next season. How much help he’ll get from his team is a question that still needs answers.
Last season was one of high scoring performances for the junior Powell, and even though he only cracked the 30 point mark once, he came darn close on multiple occasions. Powell scored at least 25 points on 6 separate nights. None were bigger than 29 points to beat Temple at home, a marquee non-conference win for this squad. They’d also take down Saint Louis behind 28 points from Powell in a game where B.J. Johnson was sidelined. Powell wasn’t just a scorer last season though; the Explorers would lose to SJU on the road, but Powell’s 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists kept La Salle within striking distance of a team that caught fire.
9. Powell had 9 games with at least 6 assists last season; his season-high was 11 in one contest.
28.8. Pookie Powell had a 28.8 assist rate in conference play last season, a metric that placed him 5th in the conference during league play.
As previously mentioned, this becomes Powell’s team under new leadership, and he’ll have to be better than ever if the Explorers want to begin to make some noise in the A-10 again. Powell saw a last second shot in the A-10 Tournament just miss, and that would be the end of the Explorers in 2017-18. Let that be a reminder that Powell is going to come back hungrier than ever and ready to lead this team.
Previously: #17 Yuta Watanabe