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Justin Powell officially updates early recruitment

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The Cats have been pegged as the early favorite.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 12 Holiday Hoopsgiving - Auburn v Memphis Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers lost one of their best young pieces on Tuesday afternoon when freshman Justin Powell announced he was transferring out of the program. Immediately, Powell became the biggest name on the transfer market.

Unsurprisingly, his recruitment became national almost instantly and rumors began to fly. The Kentucky Wildcats were one of the first schools to reach out.

The 6-6, 205-pound Louisville native averaged 11.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 rebounds per game this season. However, he missed the rest of the season after suffering a concussion in early January.

Powell told 247Sports’ Travis Branham that he has been in contact with the following schools: Arkansas, Baylor, Dayton, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, NC State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, TCU, Texas A&M, UCLA, UConn, Virginia, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky.

Despite the amount of contact, Powell said that he hasn’t yet received any offers and contrary to the aforementioned rumors that have began swirling, Duke has not reached out. As for who has stood out so far, the two home state schools have made an impression. Here’s what he said to say about the Cats.

“It’s obviously a great program,” he said. “They have a great track record of success and it’s also a great school.”

Powell said he’d continue to field phone calls from college coaches around the country and will begin moving forward with the process in the coming weeks, including Zoom calls as soon as next week.

Kentucky’s been mentioned as the early favorite and that’s no surprise. I’m sure Powell will wait to see how rosters shake out first, but that could happen pretty quickly with UK’s offseason starting early.

This is definitely one to keep an eye on and one I expect Kentucky to be involved in until the end.