by Josh AdamsFollow @ncaahoopsdigest
NEWARK- Three regular season games are left in Myles Powell’s historic Seton Hall career. His legacy as one of the all-time greats to ever put on a Pirates basketball uniform is secure. It’s a sure bet that no other Pirate will wear #13 as his number and his jersey are sure to be retired and hang in Walsh Gym and the Prudential Center until the end of time. Until then though, there’s work to be done.
When you talk to Powell as I did last Sunday after the Pirates win over St. John’s in Newark, he realizes that he’s struggling to find his shot on offense. It’s been a few games since Powell has put together a signature performance that we’re all accustomed to. His game against the Red Storm last Sunday was one where he shot 6 for 18 from the field and only hit 2 out of 11 three pointers. Against Butler last Wednesday, it was more of the same with shooting 33% from the field. What matters to Powell more though then his shot going through the hoop is that both games were Seton Hall wins.
“We’re winning, so people can’t tell me anything right now”, Powell said to me Sunday after the St. John’s game. “I know I’m not shooting the ball as well but I don’t care. As long as we’re winning I’m fine.”
The bottom line at this point of the season is avoiding an injury and getting mentally prepared for the gauntlet that is the Big East Tournament followed by the NCAA Tournament. This year’s schedule provides the Pirates with a little sneak preview of the challenge ahead with a game Saturday at Marquette followed by Senior Night at home against the rival Villanova Wildcats and ending the season traveling to Omaha to play Creighton next Saturday. As Powell prepares for his last three games of his regular season college career, he knows what’s at stake.
I asked Powell if he gets the same satisfaction with filling up a stat sheet with assists and rebounds as he would a 37 point game. “As the leader of this team I don’t have time to worry about if my shot’s going in. This team needs me for other things. These guys look at me as the energy guy to get everybody going.” Powell told me. “At the end of the year the only thing that matters is winning. I could have scored 37 today and if we lost, no one’s going to be talking about Seton Hall.”
Powell’s due to break out and have a huge game and the narrative is there against the next three opponents that Powell could put the team on his back like he’s done so many times in his career. The pressure to score isn’t there but the pressure on bringing Seton Hall a Big East Championship and a possible NCAA Championship is the motivation he has as his career comes to a close. “The only thing I have missing is a championship”, Powell told me, “When it’s all said and done with I want to be talked about as a champion.” He then laughed and said, ” If I have zero points, thirty assists and a championship, hey, I’ll take it.”