Evansville, Indiana – This was an opportunity that Kieron Powell couldn’t pass up.
He felt the energy visiting the campus this week. He got excited about the show as he entered the first division. He embraces an opportunity to represent a town that means a lot to him.
The former Bosse High School star returns home.
Powell announced Friday his decision to transfer to Southern Indiana University. He spent the last two years in Houston before eventually entering the NCAA transfer gate over the weekend.
“I feel like this is going to be special,” Powell told the newspaper. “Being so close to home, all the support from the community and people in Evansville – I feel like we have a chance to make some noise this year. Let’s make this stadium vibrate.”
Powell will need the NCAA to agree to a one-time transfer waiver in order to play this next season. He still has four years of eligibility left – he was a medical guy last season and the NCAA gave all athletes an extra year for the impact of the coronavirus on the 2020-21 season. And if he is acquitted, he is expected to immediately play a major role. Maybe even on opening night in Missouri.
“Hopefully I can get in and be especially big on the defensive side and have an impact on rebounding as I extend my game into the periphery,” Powell said. “I want to keep doing what I do (defensively) but also be more impactful on the defensive end.”
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It didn’t take long for him to feel a special relationship with the USI coaching staff. He had the opportunity to watch the team fight and feel the potential. He wanted to remain part of a talented group after Houston was ranked throughout his tenure on his way to the Final Four and Elite Eight at the NCAA Tournament.
Powell’s addition puts USI’s roster at 15 players for the upcoming season. While details are unknown, he will likely take one of the 13 scholarships that Screaming Eagles can offer.
The 6-foot-10 striker will be the 10th time on the USI roster. He is also the third transfer to join the Eagles from a senior conference after doubles transfers at Trevor Lakes (Nebraska) and Peter Nock (Michigan State).
Having appeared in 14 games as a freshman for Houston with an average of 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds, he gained a lot of valuable insight under coach Kelvin Sampson. He’s had big games during two NCAA tournaments. This knowledge he wants to pass on to his new teammates, many of whom will play their first DI campaign this fall.
“(College basketball) takes every part of you. Everything you have. You have to be tough every moment you’re on the court,” Powell said. ”
Powell was one of the best defenders in the state to have graduated from high school. He averaged 14.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, 7.9 blocks, and 3.6 assists during his first season at The Boss. A three-star recruit, he ranks first in program history in bouncing balls and blocks.
He improved his offensive game throughout his high school career, shooting 65% from the ground and becoming comfortable with the jump jacket to 15 feet. He became the eleventh player in the program’s history to be named to the Indiana All-Star Team.
He wants USI fans to know they can expect a strong work ethic whenever he takes court.
“Playing hard is No. 1. They taught me that it takes every day to win,” Powell said. “When I get down to earth, I just try to do my best because that can lead to great things. I feel like a versatile player.”
USI will open its season on November 7 in Missouri. The schedule also includes challenging matches with teams such as Notre Dame and St. Bonaventure, so the software will be tested out of the gate.
These challenges are something Powell welcomes. It’s ready to go with Screaming Eagles.
“We can try to go out and be that winning team that I know we can be,” Powell said. “We’re going to make some noise and fill that yard.”
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