Chris Bahn: Remembering Marshawn Powell’s Painful Razorback Career

Quick, what’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the name Marshawn Powell?  How will you remember him?

Powell, when you stop and look at it, had a nice career at Arkansas. There are some memorable moments and accomplishments to chose from when thinking back on the forward’s time with the Razorbacks.

As the UA pointed out in announcing his decision to leave pursue a professional career, Powell was the fifth Razorback to score 1,000 points, grab 450 rebounds, block 75 shots and record 100 assists. The others? Todd Day, Corliss Williamson, Scott Hasting and Ron Huery. Not bad company, eh?

Marshawn Powell scored more points as a freshman than any player in school history not named Joe Johnson or Scotty Thurman. His first-year rebound totals put him behind Sidney Moncrief on the list of top freshman producers in Fayetteville.

Research reminds me there was a 33-point game in a win against Oklahoma this year. Powell’s best game ever might have been the one where he scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Kentucky as a sophomore.

Our friends at loved his dunk against Mississippi State that didn’t count, but was nevertheless spectacular.

What about you? What immediately comes to mind?

Me? I have two thoughts when I reflect on Powell’s four years with the Razorbacks.

First, I think back to August 2010. Arkansas players were at the Fayetteville Boys & Girls Club for a community service project. Powell rolled into the facility on a medical scooter, his broken left foot protected by a walking boot.

Powell, reluctantly, but honestly and humorously answered questions about his situation. (That pretty much describes every Powell interview ever, by the way. He seemed to rarely want to talk to reporters, but was almost always candid and funny when he did). As Powell explained to us that day at the community center, he broke his foot in a pickup game back home in Virginia.

My next memory of Powell comes from November 2011. Powell was walking to the bench at Verizon Arena prior to tipoff against Houston wearing a cap, street clothes and a dejected look on his face. He’d torn his ACL the night before in practice and wound up missing all but two games in the 2011-12 season.

That was tough to witness, knowing Powell had finally escaped an offseason without injury and seemed to have a new attitude and hunger thanks to Mike Anderson’s arrival. Let’s not forget Powell arrived on campus with a broken hand in 2010-11.

What figures to be Powell’s final season was the first injury-free one he had here.  When you consider how little time he had to prepare in the offseasons, what Powell did for Arkansas is even more impressive.  He was rarely at full strength for a full season.

And this is why he needs to go, why we shouldn’t have any problem with him going.

Powell needs to get paid for his services. He has a nice career ahead of him somewhere in pro basketball. Maybe not in the NBA, but check what guys like Vincent Hunter, Charles Thomas and Billy Pharris have done overseas and think about how good Powell could be, especially if he continues to develop his 3-point shooting.

Sure, you wish he’d gotten a taste of postseason basketball for his efforts here. If he sticks around another year he might get it, but that reward pales in comparison to what he can get in the form of, you know, actual payment for his services.

Hopefully, Powell’s bad luck with injuries has run out and he gets to play professionally and make a nice living like those guys he’s with in the record book. That is how I hope to remember Powell a decade from now.

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