Pookie Powell is in trouble academically; must do well on the ACT

The recruiting class that will be coming to the University of Memphis next fall are receiving much respect as a talented group to watch out for. They are currently ranked No. 2 in the country by at least two major websites. Well, there is trouble for one of the recruits. The 6 foot 1 guard Pookie Powell out of Orlando, FL may not be at Memphis come June because of his grades.

There are some questions on whether or not all five players will qualify academically and be ready to enroll into the University of Memphis this summer.

Coach Pastner has said publicly that Dr. Phillips High School senior guard Rashawn “Pookie” Powell is “right there on the borderline” of qualifying academically. Powell is currently ranked No. 20 in his position and No. 95 nationally by Rivals.com.

On Saturday Powell stated that he needs to make a qualifying score on the ACT but remains optimistic that he will wear a Memphis uniform next season. As a senior, Powell averaged 28 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals at Dr. Phillips High School.

“I have confidence that I will be there. Just have to pass the ACT and get a good score,” said Powell by text message. “My grades are good and perfect. I just have to pass the ACT. That’s all.”

“I took it last week. I think I did pretty good. Will see when the results come back.”

As for the rest of the recruiting class, three of them are looking great academically. Briarcrest Christian power forward Austin Nichols, East High School swingman Nick King, and Melrose guard Markel Crawford will be ready to enroll in school come June.

“June 7 is my first official day as a Memphis Tiger!” said King in a text message Saturday.

Things are being indicated that Windsor, Conn native Kuran Iverson, who is rated No. 28 overall in the class of 2013, will qualify if he finishes his coursework strongly.

“I’m optimistic all five will be ready to go, but I don’t know if all five will be here for the beginning of June,” said Pastner. “All five guys still have to complete requirements in order to be eligible.”


Pastner is on track to signing two to three more players for next season with the Tigers looking to add frontcourt depth following the graduation of three seniors and the departure of Tarik Black, who is transferring.

Pastner and his assistants are scattered everywhere looking for talent to come to Memphis next season. Pastner and Damon Stoudamire were recruiting in LA on Saturday, evaluating potential prospects.

Assistant Aki Collins was in Pittsburgh and assistant director of operations Julian Swartz was in Dallas. Swartz is currently replacing Jimmy Williams, who departed from Memphis earlier this week.

The entire staff will spend Monday through Wednesday recruiting at high schools and junior colleges across the country. They will officially wrap up the spring recruiting period next weekend with another stop at AAU tournaments.


As everyone have heard, Williams will be leaving Memphis for better opportunities. He stated that he appreciated his time at Memphis, where he coached the Tigers’ big men.

Tarik Black pointed out Williams, crediting him for his development as a big man. Williams also mentioned that he was touched by a text message he received from junior guard Joe Jackson.

“He said I had a tremendous impact on his season this year and he thanked me for the things that I’ve done for him,” said Williams, who worked with Jackson on his jump shot. As a result, Jackson shot 52 percent from the field this past season. He was also named Conference USA Player of the Year.

I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.