Puzzled Powell

After Thursday night's 74-68 loss to Tennessee, Arkansas sophomore forward Marshawn Powell sat down to talk about his season, the recent passing of his grandma, rumors regarding his remaining with the Razorbacks and speculation on the fate of his head coach.

After Arkansas' 74-68 defeat to Tennessee Thursday night at the SEC Tournament there were plenty of questions left to be answered.

They were asked, but some of them will have to apparently wait a few days to be answered.

Is the Razorbacks' season over or will there be a berth in the NIT?

Is John Pelphrey's tenure over at Arkansas or is he about to be given the ultimate show of support from his athletic director?

If there is a change will any of the five coveted recruits that Pelphrey signed in the 2011 class ask for a release and attempt to go elsewhere?

What caused Marshawn Powell's up-and-down season, did he really consider transferring and will he and other current Razorbacks return to play next season?

While most of those are left to be decided, Powell stepped up to answer the questions about himself.

"It's going to be tough for us to make a coaching change," Powell said. "If they keep him (Pelphrey) and we get our recruits coming in next year we're going to be tough to deal with next season in the SEC. The future looks good. Hopefully it will be good."

Powell said the speculation over Pelphrey's fate was actually something that brought the team together during a stretch where they won four of five games.

"It just made us want to play harder," Powell said.

Powell's season was subpar compared to a banner freshman season. He had several things that worked against him in the 2010-2011 campaign.

"I was just talking about that to my cousin," Powell said. "I told him that this is the worst year that I have ever had in my life – break my foot, car accident, not playing well at times when my team needs me. It was just a lot of different things."

That continued last weekend when he lost his 80-year-old grandma Maxiene Smith to a stroke – something he found out about after last Saturday's loss at Ole Miss.

He played Thursday night with a heavy heart, noting he was "real, real close" to the North Carolina native.

He had 4 points, 4 fouls and 4 turnovers in 19 minutes of action.

"I was in the game, but nothing was going good for me," Powell said. "If it wasn't for my teammates continuing to encourage me, who knows how bad a game I really would've had."

Powell had stated at the end of last season that he wanted to be the team's leader.

"I take this loss on me because I didn't come to perform like a leader, like who I was supposed to be," Powell said.

Powell was asked about his relationship with Pelphrey during the season and he thinks the response by the media and in turn fans was overblown.

"Yeah, you realy did," Powell said. "I just said no comment because that's me and my coach and our relationship should stay personal, you know?"

Reports of him transferring are also overblown according to Powell.

"I'm planning to come back, but who knows?" Powell said.

He did admit the thought crossed his mind.

"It was how I was feeling in the moment," Powell said. "It wasn't towards like leaving or anything like that."

What would keep him from coming back?

"If I could make a million dollars," Powell said.

That is not meant to say he will be following former teammate Courtney Fortson's footsteps and playing professional overseas.

"Nobody ever said I was going to try and do that," Powell said. "It is not any of my intentions now."


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