Powell's Plight

Arkansas sophomore Marshawn Powell was available to the media on Monday and took questions on the progress of his injury, his play this season and hopes for the finish, his desire to get some revenge from Kentucky and his relationship with head coach John Pelphrey.

Ahead of a game in which he hopes to set the tone for a strong finish, Arkansas sophomore forward Marshawn Powell opened up Monday about a season that hasn't gone as planned individually.

Powell was an all-SEC preseason selection headed into this season, but was slowed by a broken foot in the summer that clearly has affected him both mentally and physically.

"I probably started a little too soon to be honest," Powell said. "But it's gotten a lot better. It's going to come. All I have to do is just give it time."

He is averaging 10.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, far under his standout freshman season numbers of 15.1 points and 6.7 rebounds.

Powell, however, has been in double figures in nine of his 12 SEC games and is averaging 12.8 points and 4.5 boards in league games.

"It hasn't been going the way I thought it would have," Powell said. "I didn't plan on getting injured, breaking a foot, what happened. But just take it as it comes. It's been all right. It's been tough and sometimes it's been good."

Arkansas (16-10, 5-7) hosts No. 22 Kentucky (19-10, 7-5) Wednesday night in a rematch of the Wildcats' 101-70 humbling of the Razorbacks last season in Lexington.

Kentucky, which has won the last 10 games in the series between the two teams, led 57-27 at halftime last year.

"I don't really know too much about it (the losing streak)," Powell said. "But I just know last year they killed us. I just want some payback from that I guess."

Fellow sophomore Glenn Bryant, who had five blocks against Alabama Saturday night, feels the same way after last season's embarrassment.

"Yeah, they took it to us pretty good," Bryant said. "The pride factor comes in and everything like that. We're just going to play as hard as we can."

The two players know a win over Kentucky, just 1-5 on the road, would be big for the team.

"I think we can," Powell said of finishing the season strong. "I believe if we get a win over Kentucky on Wednesday it would be a big, big boost for us."

Powell stressed at the end of the last season that he wanted to become the team's leader, but admitted that he regressed in that department earlier in the season because of the injury.

"I haven't tried to do that the whole season due to my injury," Powell said. "It's the psychological part of it, just getting over it. But I'd say since the winter break, since we came back off of Christmas break, I've been trying to do a lot better things. (I) do what coach tells me to do and just suck it up no matter what is going on."

Powell had 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 turnovers while playing 20 minutes in Arkansas' 69-56 loss at Alabama on Saturday night.

"I never got in sync," Powell said. "I never got into the game to be honest. But I have games like that sometimes. Even Kobe has games like that sometimes."

Asked about rumors of a strained relationship with Razorback head coach John Pelphrey, Powell didn't want to go into that.

"I can't really comment on that," Powell said.

Asked why not, Powell said "I choose not to, man" and later noted he viewed that as personal.

A request was sent through the media relations office for a response from Pelphrey, who went before the players in the press conference.

Arkansas is currently practicing.

The head coach also noted that center Delvon Johnson was probable for the game with a hip pointer and that Rickey Scott was out and his injury would be re-evaluated on Thursday.

"He's really tough," Bryant said of Johnson. "He's a tough kid. He's tougher than the norm. He can play through a lot of pain. The last injury he had at the end of practice, he had the ankle sprain and just stayed here all night to get treatment. So he's pretty tough."


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