Return To The Court

It's been a long time since injured Arkansas star Marshawn Powell has taken the court, but he'll get to do so Sunday when the Razorbacks get their Italian exhibition tour underway with a 1 p.m. (CST) game in Lake Como against Amici del Campetto.

LAKE COMO, ITALY - When Arkansas takes the court here Sunday in Lake Como for its first of four exhibition games in Italy, it's likely no one will be happier than Marshawn Powell.

The redshirt junior – whose season ended two games into the 2011-2012 season with a knee injury – will be seeing his first game action since last November.

The team arrived in Italy Saturday morning and Powell showed no ill effects from the 13-hour plane flight.

"It is going to be real fun," Powell said. "I have played a couple of pick-up games, but I didn't play that many. It is just been totally practice structured for me since I have been back. It is going to be nice to see what I can do."

The Razorbacks take on Amici del Campetto in Lake Como in a game that begins at 1 p.m. CST.

Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson is looking forward to seeing what Powell can do.

"It's good to see Marshawn back on the floor," Anderson said. "Ever since this guy has been here he has had some kind of injury so to see him battle back and see his mindset as he's had a chance to sit and watch throughout the year is great.

"He's anxious to get back out there working," Anderson said. "I told him we want to bring him along slowly but he means a lot to our team. With his experience our guys look up to him. He is a good basketball player."

Powell admits that being out of shape because of the injury made practicing far tougher than it has previously been.

Anderson pegged his conditioning at a 5 on a scale of 1-10.

"I would say about a five or six," Powell said. "It was difficult for the first couple of days, but it is getting a little bit better day by day…I couldn't even make it past halfcourt (the first day because) I was so tired."

Powell is heavier than he wants to be at this point.

"I am at 238," Powell said. "I would say like 220 to 225 (last year). I am going to get back down there eventually as long as I keep coming back here and working."

Powell is sporting some stitches above his eye, which came courtesy of an elbow from teammate Hunter Mickelson.

"Hunter hit me with an elbow one day," Powell said. "He caught me pretty decent."

He is excited about what this version of the Razorbacks look likes, especially with the amount of players now available for practice.

""I feel like we are going to be really, really good," Powell said. "You can see we added a lot of length to our team…I don't even know how to describe him. We have a lot of other pieces. We are going to be pretty decent."

Powell thinks the practices have been of great benefit to the team.

"I think they are very valuable, not even with just the learning of basketball, but just us building team chemistry better than we have in past years," Powell said.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories