Nov. 2, 2007
After spending the summer and much of the pre-season with the NBA's Golden State Warriors before being released, Gamecock graduate and the 2005 NIT MVP Carlos Powell, was chosen No. 2 overall in the NBA's D League Draft last night (Thurs., Nov. 1).
The Dakota Wizards of Bismark, N.D, drafted Powell, a native of Florence, S.C. and a 2005 USC graduate. The Wizards are affiliated with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are coached by Duane Ticknor and were the 2007 NBDL Champions.
Powell reports on Nov. 9 and said after a couple exhibition games the team will open with a weekend series with Iowa at home on Nov. 23 and 24.
While at USC, he was All-SEC second team by the league coaches as a senior. He was also named Third Team All-SEC by the AP his junior and senior seasons. He finished his collegiate career at South Carolina as the school's all-time leader in games played (132 - which is now second behind behind Brandon Wallace at 135) and also ranks sixth all-time in points scored (1,541), and sixth in field goals made (600) and attempted (1,266). He started 86 of 132 career games and his senior year he led the team in scoring (16.4 ppg), rebounding (6.5 rpg), and field goal percentage (.530), starting 31 of 33 games.
"I very pleased, but a bit surprised that I was drafted that high. There were a couple guys that have been doing it for awhile and they weren't drafted at all. It's a big accomplishment to say I was drafted No. 2 out of 140 people," said Powell, a 6' 7 225lb. forward. "My mom told me it's freezing in North Dakota and that I better pack like I was going back to the Ukraine, but I am excited to get up there and get started.
"I have working a lot to make my jump shot more consistent and just worked on my basketball skills over the last year," said Powell.
As far as his chances for the NBA - Powell is hopeful. "Any team can pick you up, signing you to a 10 day contract or for the rest of the year," said Powell. "I talked to a number of NBA coaches and they recommended I go to the D League. I feel like I am very close to making an NBA team - I just have to keep working hard and pushing."
If Powell makes an NBA roster - he will join a growing fraternity of Gamecocks in the NBA. Former teammates Renaldo Balkman (New York Knicks), Tarence Kinsey (Memphis Grizzlies) and Brandon Wallace (Brandon Wallace) are all on NBA rosters to start the season.
Powell believes he learned the game of basketball while playing at South Carolina. "Coach Odom and the whole staff really taught me the game," said Powell. "They taught me you have to adjust and while I was more of a star on my team in college, I won't be that in the NBA. I will need to know how to pass, get the ball up the floor - know everything about the game and really accept my role anywhere on the court."
Powell has been keeping in shape in Columbia by practicing on and off with South Carolina's men's basketball team - a team that features his freshman cousin Sam Muldrow (mother's are sisters). Powell said it's been a pleasure working out the team and even talking a bit of trash.
"I needed somewhere to work out and Coach Odom have made me feel very welcome," said Powell. "When the coaches say something, I repeat what the coaches are saying and let the younger players know the coaches are right. I tell them to keep paying attention and everything will be ok."
For more information on the draft and the teams see:
POWELL'S PRO CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Participated in NBA training camp with the Golden State Warriors in the fall of 2007.
Played with the Warriors in NBA Summer league in 2007.
Started the 2006-07 season with the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL, averaging league high 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 33 games.
Earned First Team All-NBL honors. Moved on to play with Azovmash Mariupol in Ukraine, appearing in six FIBA EuroCup games and averaging 10.5 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Played with Benifica Lisbona in Portugal in 2005-06, averaging 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 22 games.
Participated in NBA summer league with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005.
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