Following the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night, Seton Hall and college basketball fans took to Twitter to voice their complaints over former Seton Hall men’s basketball star Myles Powell going undrafted. Many outlets had projected that Powell would be taken late in the second round, but when the New Orleans Pelicans selected Utah State’s Sam Merrill as the last pick of this year’s draft, both confusion and frustration swarmed social media.
From tweets comparing Powell’s senior season statistics with those of players drafted before him to tweets of validation for the Trenton native’s work ethic and heart, arguments from all angles were made as to why Powell deserved to be drafted. Fellow All-American Markus Howard and Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander also surprisingly went undrafted after asserting themselves as two of the best players in the Big East and college basketball alongside Powell last year.
However, as the dust settled around Powell’s draft night situation on Thursday morning, Adam Zagoria broke news that Myles Powell will be signing with the New York Knicks as an undrafted free agent. The report also stated that former Seton Hall big-man Romaro Gill would be signing an Exhibit-10 deal with the Utah Jazz.
“I was upset because he outplayed a lot of the guys drafted in front of him,” Michael Sedutto, a senior at Seton Hall and fan of the men’s basketball team, said. “He outscored Cassius Winston when we played Michigan, and he had a better season than guys like Xavier Tillman, Paul Reed and Immanuel Quickley. He literally won an award that says he was the best shooting guard in the country last year.”
Powell scored a season-high 37 points in the Pirates’ 76-73 loss to Michigan State last season and scored 27 points against Kentucky when the Pirates beat the Wildcats 84-83 two years ago at Madison Square Garden.
Powell’s former Seton Hall teammates Myles Cale and Sandro Mamukelashvili also took to Twitter following the conclusion of the draft, respectively tweeting “Buggin” about NBA teams overlooking last year’s Big East Player of the Year.
Powell will join No. 8 overall draft pick Obi Toppin as well as Leandro Bolmaro and Saben Lee as the Knicks’ newest acquisitions from the year’s draft pool. Toppin and Powell had been training together throughout the summer in preparation for their potential futures in the NBA.
“It’s a moment of hope and faith for the future,” Ethan Cohen, a senior at Seton Hall and Knicks fan, said. “Myles brings that Seton Hall grit and determination to New York that will really set the tone for the organization. He gets to play with his friend Obi Toppin and compete for a spot in this young roster. I’m excited to hopefully see him play at MSG when the arena opens again.”
The Knicks finished 12th in the Eastern Conference last season with a 21-45 record and have not made the NBA Playoffs since the 2012-13. They have since been working to reestablish themselves as a playoff team through multiple rebuild strategies with the newest being focused on a new young core of players including Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.
It may not have been in the manner Powell and Seton Hall basketball fans had expected, but he will get his opportunity to make the cut at the NBA level. This isn’t the first time Powell’s faced adversity to get to where he wanted to be in his basketball career, and it won’t be the first to keep him from doing so with the Knicks either.
Justin Sousa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JustinSousa99 and the Setonian Sports @SetonianSports.