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College Basketball Insider

Pookie Powell will enroll (but not play) at Memphis this year

Memphis coach Josh Pastner told CBSSports.com on Tuesday that Class of 2013 standout Pookie Powell will enroll in classes but not play this season for the Tigers.

Whether Powell will be allowed to practice remains undetermined.

"But the bottom line is that he's here," Pastner said.

Powell is a consensus top-100 prospect who committed to the Tigers last September. His availability has long been in question because of academics, and Pastner declined to get into specifics Tuesday. But a source told CBSSports.com that Powell will "basically be like Ben McLemore was at Kansas," meaning Powell will sit this season and then have four years of eligibility starting in 2014-15.

This development could be considered a positive for both Powell and Pastner.


Because Memphis will this season have three senior guards who averaged double-digits in points last season -- Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford, Geron Johnson -- and a fourth who did so two seasons ago, provided the NCAA grants a waiver to Missouri transfer Michael Dixon. Simply put, it's unlikely Powell would've been able to crack the rotation this season. So this development won't force Pastner to find minutes for the talented scorer in 2013-14, and it won't require Powell to lose a year of eligibility.

Pastner reiterated Tuesday that the school is still waiting to hear from the NCAA about Dixon's waiver but added that he remains optimistic. Also worth noting is that consensus top-100 recruit Markel Crawford has been cleared by doctors to compete without limitations after suffering a torn ACL last summer. Pastner told CBSSports.com on Tuesday that Crawford will not redshirt this season.

"He missed all of last season [in high school] and missing another season would just be too hard for him," Pastner said. "So Markel is going to play."

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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