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Kentucky showing interest in Justin Powell, among early favorites

Could the Kentucky native come play for his home state school?

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

After just one season with the Auburn Tigers, Kentucky native Justin Powell has entered his name in the transfer portal, and it appears John Calipari and company are looking into bringing him home.

KSR’s Jack Pilgrim reports the Wildcats have reached out to the sharpshooter, just one day after he put his name in the portal. Other schools who’ve reached out include Louisville, Duke, Gonzaga, Virginia, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Memphis among others. That tells you just how big of a transfer Powell is.

In addition, Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader says that, “Kentucky and Louisville should be seen as the favorites at this early stage in the transfer process for Powell.”

Powell graduated from North Oldham High School in Goshen (KY) in 2020. He signed with Bruce Pearl and the Tigers as a three-star recruit.

As a freshman, he averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists and shot an impressive 44.2% from three-point range before suffering a season-ending concussion.

With Kentucky’s three-point shooting woes this season and Powell being both a sharpshooter and a Commonwealth native, the fit makes perfect sense, especially if the NCAA passes legislation to grant first-time transfers instant eligibility or continues to be flexible with waiver requests.

Saying this, it would appear Louisville is another in-state option and major suitor for Powell. The Cardinals figure to lose Carlik Jones and possibly David Johnson to the pros this offseason, so they could definitely use a guy like Powell next season, arguably more than Kentucky depending on what Davion Mintz and BJ Boston do this offseason.

In the meantime, check out some highlights of Powell dropping 20 points in a win over Memphis.

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