One year ago, on Nov. 17, 2016, in only his third game at Seton Hall, Myles Powell was heading into a hostile environment for the first time in his collegiate career. Nobody knew what to expect from Powell heading into that night, but the Trenton native showed everyone why Kevin Willard and his staff brought him to Seton Hall, dropping 26 points in a decisive 91-83 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes.
From that point on, Powell not only earned the reputation as a deadeye shooter that opposing teams could not afford to leave open, but also a budding star for Seton Hall. In the team’s recent matchup against Monmouth on Nov. 12, Powell led the Pirates to a 75-65 win with 18 points, including four three-pointers.
There have been some bumps in the road for Powell, as he had a 10-game stretch in the middle of Big East play last season in which he failed to get into double figures in eight of those games. Instead of relegating Powell to the bench, Willard stuck with him, told him to keep shooting and it has paid off.
Powell’s hard work on the court and in the weight room has led to the sophomore becoming a two-way threat for the Pirates.
Offensively, Powell is no longer a one-dimensional shooter, as he has become increasingly comfortable putting the ball on the floor and driving to the hole. His work in the weight room has allowed him to become quicker out on the court, meaning Powell can now play defense up to the standards that he has set for himself.
“I feel like now I can move the way I want to move,” Powell said of his defense. “Now, I can play both ends of the floor on a high level.”
Some top recruits come to college and are not willing to put in the necessary work off the court in order to succeed. Powell is the opposite and it has helped having seniors Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez and Ismael Sanogo in his corner, showing him how to do things the right way.
“Being around four seniors, I realized that hard work always pays off,” Powell said. “If I’m having bad days where I’m not feeling like myself, I just go to the gym, shoot, and work out. Hard work is hard work, so that’s what you have to do.”
His work has not gone unnoticed, as Powell has drawn praise from Willard, who noted the direct correlation between Powell’s body changing and his game improving after Sunday’s victory over Monmouth.
“He’s become addicted to being in shape,” Willard said. “He loves the way he looks and he understands how well he’s playing is directly because of how he’s changed his body.”
After making two starts as a freshman, Powell has now assumed the starting shooting guard duties on a full-time basis. More is expected of him now, but Powell is not one to shy away from the responsibilities and expectations that come with being in the starting lineup. In fact, his confidence seems to be at an all-time high.
“I feel like when everybody has everything going, we’re unstoppable,” Powell said. “Angel [Delgado] on the inside is unstoppable and once they start double teaming him; he kicks it out to an open man. Everything just flows, whether it’s my night, Khadeen [Carrington]’s night, or anybody’s night.”
While Powell continues to grow, the Seton Hall offense has the chance to improve. His shooting ability makes opposing teams account for Powell at all times, opening things up for other players. Despite the strides that Powell has made, Willard believes Powell is just scratching the surface of what he can bring to the table.
“I don’t think everyone’s seen how good he’s going to be just yet,” Willard said. “Once he gets his game right, I can see him getting 20 or 25 on any given night because of the way he shoots the ball.”
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.