Washington State adds sweet-shooting transfer guard from Tennessee
On the same day it saw forward Mouhamed Gueye pull his name out of the transfer portal, Washington State also added some backcourt help from the portal.
Justin Powell, a former Tennessee guard, is transferring to Washington State, the program announced Tuesday. Powell spent his freshman season at Auburn (2020-21) before transferring to Tennessee.
“Justin is a great addition to our program,” WSU head coach Kyle Smith said in a release. “He is a proven player at a very high level. His size in the backcourt and his ability to make plays for himself and others should help us improve offensively. More importantly, playing and contributing for a top-10 program with NCAA experience will add incredible value to our team.”
Powell entered the transfer portal at the end of April. He spent just shy of 13 months with the Vols’ program. The role in Rocky Top just never materialized.
The 6-foot-6 guard struggled to find consistent playing time at Tennessee. He started just once in 30 games, averaging 3.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. He shot 38% from 3-point range, but went just 14-for-34 on all other shots.
Still, the long-range ability is there, and Powell had a fantastic start to his freshman season before entering concussion protocol and having his year cut short.
Powell played in 10 games while earning seven starts as a true freshman. After pouring in a combined 52 points across two games in mid-December, he was named SEC Freshman of the Week. In a wins over South Alabama and Memphis, he scored 26 points in back-to-back games. Against the Jaguars in his first collegiate start, he drilled seven triples.
For the year, Powell averaged 11.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists a game while shooting 43% from the field, 44% from 3 and 77% from the charity stripe.
According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Powell is expecting a waiver that’ll make him immediately eligible. If that comes through, the Cougars will get a bigger guard to add to the rotation.
This offseason, Washington State has also added former Saint Mary’s guard Jabe Mullins (6-foot-6) to pair with rising junior TJ Bamba on the wing. The 2023 class also includes 6-foot-2 combo guard Dylan Darling.