Auburn basketball: Looking forward to Justin Powell

Auburn basketball signee Justin Powell is a shooter, but how much he’ll contribute day one at Auburn is hard to predict due to his high school career.

Powell is definitely a gifted shooter. Five minutes of game film or a box score from any game he played in will tell you that.

Powell also has good size, and Auburn coaches supposedly expect him to continue growing. That and Powell’s decent guard skills make him look like a player who will thrive in Bruce Pearl‘s space and pace based offense.

The question of how much Powell will contribute early on is still valid, because of how little competitive basketball he has played in the last two seasons.

Before his junior year of high school, Powell was ranked as the No. 51 player in the 2020 class and transferred to Montverde High School. He transferred back to North Oldham High School and was forced to sit out the rest of the year due to transfer rules, and his ranking dropped below 200.

The following AAU season, Powell started out with 26 points on 6-6 shooting from three in his first (EYBL) game of competitive basketball since transferring back to Kentucky and finished the 2019 Atlanta session shooting 58 percent from three and leading his team to a 4-0 record.

An injury forced Powell to sit out the rest of the AAU season, and re-aggravating the same injury during his senior year of high school basketball made him miss the majority of that season as well.

The lack of recent playing time and Powell making the move from high school basketball to the SEC makes it hard to predict how much he will contribute early on, but his ability to shoot from anywhere on the court makes it clear that he’ll have a chance to contribute at a high level at some point during his Auburn career.

Powell also had impressive games during his senior season of high school.

One of those games was his 27-point, seven-rebound, five-assist game against Male, which Powell’s North Oldham team won 78-71.

Powell’s ability to shoot was on display from the start, as he made multiple deep threes and contested shots:

Three point shooting is what Powell is known for, but he uses a spin move frequently in high school and AAU basketball games I’ve seen. He scores and passes out of it well. His guard skills are also more advanced than I expected. He ran a few fast breaks and threw some no look passes in his AAU highlights and shows his awareness and ability to make a tough pass here:

If practices aren’t delayed too much, Powell could be a candidate to contribute as a bench shooter early on, but it could take him a little longer to get going. Either way, he looks like the kind of player who can play a big role for Pearl at Auburn.