Go ahead, Seton Hall fans. Dream of a monster season — Myles Powell is returning for his senior year. The Pirates now have the pieces for a throwback campaign in South Orange, reminiscent of the P.J. Carlesimo glory days.
The 6-foot-2 sharpshooter from Trenton announced his decision Wednesday, hours before the deadline for college players to either stay in the NBA draft or retain their college eligibility.
Powell signed with an agent, Sam Permut of Roc Nation Sports — who represents former Seton Hall stars Isaiah Whitehead and Angel Delgado — as is allowed under new NCAA rules. He worked out for five teams, took part in the NBA G-League Elite Camp in Chicago, and had his Pro Day in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Ultimately, though, Powell opted to return to school, and lead what most experts believe is a top 15-caliber team. Marquette’s Hauser brothers, Sam and Joey, have transferred to Virginia and Michigan State, respectively, and Villanova’s two best players, Phil Booth and Eric Paschall, have graduated, so Seton Hall may be the team to beat in the Big East next season.
The Pirates have lost just one contributor from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, forward Michael Nzei, and have added two key pieces: 7-foot-1 shot-blocking menace Ike Obiagu from Florida State and four-star Canadian wing Tyrese Samuel. Coach Kevin Willard has put together a daunting non-conference schedule to challenge his loaded team. The Pirates will host likely preseason No. 1 Michigan State in the annual Gavitt Games. They also will face Maryland, Rutgers, Iowa State and Saint Louis, and will take part in the Battle 4 Atlantis, which includes national powers Gonzaga, North Carolina, Michigan and Oregon.
Led by Powell last season, Seton Hall returned to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season and reached its second Big East Tournament final in four years. Powell averaged 23.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, scored at least 30 points eight times and earned All-America honorable mention recognition.
Powell could become Seton Hall’s all-time leading scorer. Terry Dehere holds the mark, with 2,494 points, and Powell stands 12th with 1,663.