When coaches travel to Mitchell High School in Memphis, Tenn., to see Thaddeus Young, one of the elite players in the class of 2006, they usually go home with notes on another player from the same school. Brandon Powell, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound shooting guard, has opened eyes with his jump shot and athleticism. He's collecting just as many offers as his highly-touted teammate.
Mitchell head coach Jerry Johnson says he has numerous conversations with assistant coaches. They usually say the same thing.
"We just came to see Thad but I went back and told coach about that Powell kid he told me that we want to recruit him, too."
That's the echoing statement from a number of high-majors. Powell continues to shine alongside Young, the No. 7 ranked junior in the country, and Andre Thornton, a hard-working power forward. Johnson isn't surprised by the interest in Powell.
Arkansas, Clemson, Colorado, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Mississippi State, Memphis, Oklahoma and Tennessee are just some of the many schools that made it out to see Powell.
At the Low Down Classic in Houston, Texas shortly after Christmas, Powell showed the throng of coaches in attendance that he should be considered amongst the nation's best prospects. Johnson said his scoring guard continued that back home.
"He played about as consistent as any of our guys this year. As good as he did in Houston, he was just as good for us back here in Memphis until our last three games of the year," Johnson said. "He scored 42 points in two games and then he went for nine points in the last two. When he didn't score, he made other people flourish though."
Powell is also trying to extend his game this summer.
"He's earned his rep as a jump shooter and that's fine but people that are close to him know that he's more than that," Johnson said. "It's a natural reaction to play up on a shooter so Brandon has learned to how drive past guys and drop it off to Thaddeus and (Andre) Thornton. One on one, Brandon's gotten a lot better.
"He's tall, he's a good defender, he can shoot that ball. I think he has all of the tools to be such a good athlete at the next level."
Johnson said there are no official visits planned for the fully qualified student athlete. Powell has taken the ACT but won't make any trips until after the high school season, says Johnson. In fact, Johnson said he tries to encourage his players to sign late just because of the turnaround with coaching in the NCAA and player's affection for the coach and not the school.