Justin Powell is Auburn basketball's early season MVP in more ways than one
The freshman guard has been asked to play out of position. But that hasn't stopped him from being exactly what the Tigers have needed.
PG/SG Justin Powell (Shanna Lockwood/Auburn Athletics)
When Auburn won the tip against South Alabama last Friday night, it immediately put the ball in the hands of a brand-new starter.
Justin Powell walked the ball up the floor in Auburn Arena, where the freshman guard was making his home debut. The opening play call was a simple one. Powell would dribble to the right wing and feed the ball to power forward JT Thor on the other wing. Thor would then pass the ball back to Powell and cut inside, making South Alabama’s zone defense collapse some.
At that point, Powell could cross the ball back to the left for small forward Devan Cambridge. When Cambridge quickly kicked a pass back to him, the defender at the top of the zone would not have as much time to go back out to cover Powell after sinking inside to deal with Thor at the free-throw line.
It was an easy way to beat a zone — threaten the soft spot in the middle, swing the ball quickly on the perimeter and create an open outside shot. Pow…