Has Kentucky emerged as the overwhelming favorite to land Auburn transfer Justin Powell?
If John Calipari extends an offer, KSR’s own Matt Jones is reporting that the former North Oldham star is “likely to accept it immediately.”
To open the second hour of Kentucky Sports Radio on Wednesday, Jones first reported that Kentucky and Louisville were the two schools fighting for Powell’s services at the top of his list, with a third unknown school also in the picture. And of the top schools, there are strong rumors that Kentucky is looming large as the early favorite.
“Justin Powell – the kid from Oldham County who went to Auburn – is now transferring after his freshman year, says he’s going for a change of scenery. There are a lot of whispers that I’ve heard through the grapevine that the two schools he may be interested in the most are Kentucky and Louisville,” said Jones. “… There are people who believe he’s going to Kentucky. I can’t say that, I don’t know that for a fact, but there are people out there who will tell you he’s going to Kentucky. This is what I was told: there are three schools he’s looking at, two of which are Kentucky and Louisville, and I don’t know the third.”
In response to Jones’ report, KSR co-host Ryan Lemond added that he had heard from a source of his own that Louisville was not expected to be the final choice.
“This is my Justin Powell scoop: I don’t know where he’s going, but apparently his dad said he ain’t going to Louisville,” said Lemond. “I have no idea where he’s going, but this guy has been texting me about Justin Powell for over a month and he’s been dead on. His dad told him he was leaving Auburn a month ago.”
A few minutes later, Jones received a text with more positive news, adding that UK would likely land Powell with a scholarship offer.
“Right now Virginia, Duke and Louisville have offered the kid, but he would like to go to UK,” Jones added. “If Kentucky offers, he is likely to accept it immediately. This is someone I know would know that. If Virginia, Duke and Louisville have offered, wouldn’t Kentucky have to offer?”
Is an offer coming for the standout guard, who averaged 11.7 points on 42.9% shooting and 44.2% from three to go with 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest for the Tigers in 2020-21? Sources tell KSR that Kentucky was among the first schools to reach out and have expressed serious interest in the in-state talent.
Kentucky joins the likes of Louisville, Duke, Gonzaga, Virginia, UCLA, Memphis and Georgia Tech to express early interest in Powell, who officially entered the transfer portal on Wednesday.
Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, Gonzaga, Virginia, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Memphis are among the schools expressing early interest in Justin Powell, sources tell KSR.
The Auburn transfer will have his choice when it comes time for a final decision. Officially entered portal today. https://t.co/nTNAxbNMDR
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) March 10, 2021
While discussing the 6-foot-6 guard’s transfer on the radio show, KSR’s own Drew Franklin added that the Powell family was “a little disappointed” in the lack of attention from the UK coaching staff the first time around.
“I have heard through trusted sources that the Powells were a little disappointed in the lack of attention they got from UK the first time around,” he said. “I hope they really, really consider him this time.”
Powell originally chose Auburn over offers from Cincinnati, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Xavier, along with interest from Kentucky, Ohio State, Purdue and Syracuse. He was rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN and a three-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals.
Given a second shot at Powell as a transfer, it appears Calipari and the UK coaching staff are going to be giving plenty of attention to the Prospect, KY native this time around.