Myles Powell was out of sync.
Before the team hosted St. John’s on Sunday, Jan. 23, the Pirates played three road games in six days where Powell was visibly struggling to find the bottom of the net.
During this span he shot 5-29 from the floor and converted on an 3-23 attempts from deep.
Powell’s low point came against Providence in the middle of the road trip, where he scored a season-low two points. It was the fifth game this season he failed to hit a three-pointer.
“That was my first time having that type of three-game stretch,” Powell said. “It was different but I just stayed confident – had to get my confidence back.”
With Powell back at the Prudential Center, he had a chance to restore his confidence on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Back at the Rock, Powell didn’t skip a beat, pouring in 19 points while shooting 58 percent from the floor and nailing three of his eight three-point attempts en route to an 86-73 win over St. John’s.
As valuable as it was to return home, Powell credits his performance and confidence to his teammates and coaches.
“A couple days in practice my teammates were just picking me up and telling me to keep shooting the ball – that they still believed in me,” Powell said. “Coach would too.”
Kevin Willard’s faith in Powell never staggered during the Pirates’ tough road stretch. He knows how vital the freshman is to Seton Hall’s offense.
“We all know how important he is and what a weapon he is – the guys know it,” Willard said. “They like when he’s on the floor cause it really spreads things out for these guys, and I think we all have so much confidence in him when he shoots.”
So Powell waded through the rocky waters of his first demanding road trip and returned home determined to show his worth.
“Coming into the St. John’s game I wanted to prove that I was the same player I was at the beginning of the year,” Powell said. “And that’s what I did.”
Willard said that the sharpshooter got some time off prior to the game against the Red Storm.
“More than anything he got two days of rest,” Willard said. “This is a lot for a freshman.”
In addition to rest, Powell said that going up against fellow rookies, St. John’s Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds, fueled him on Sunday.
“Today was a big booster for me, especially going against the two big freshmen over there,” Powell said after the game. “I just wanted to prove that I’m just as big as them.”
Kyle Kasharian can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ItsKyleKash.