Powell's Recovery On Track
FAYETTEVILLE - There are plenty of similarities that can be drawn between Arkansas football player Ryan Mallett and Arkansas basketball player Marshawn Powell.
Both had breakout seasons in their first year of eligibility for the Razorbacks and both suffered a broken foot in the subsequent off-season. Now Powell, like Mallett, is wearing a walking boot and riding a specialized scooter for his injured foot. And it's not just any scooter - it's the same one Mallett rode to YouTube fame last spring.
The scooter is designed to keep weight off an injury to the lower body. With a broken left foot, Powell's left knee rides at close to a 90-degree angle while he pushes with his good foot.
"Whoever invented that scooter should get a whole lot of money," Powell said Monday. "He should have a nice income."
Powell broke his foot while playing a game of pick-up basketball near his home in Virginia on Aug. 15. The sophomore forward is currently in the second of a seven-to-eight week recovery period and is expected to return by the time Arkansas begins preseason practices on Oct. 15.
"I injured it playing games with guys that I usually play with back home," Powell said. "A guy fouled me hard and I came down hard on my foot.
"I feel good right now. I'm ready to get back and get going by the first day of practice."
Powell said he will be able to begin upper-body conditioning this week and aquatic workouts in about four weeks. Perhaps most importantly, Powell was able to avoid surgery.
"I think we have a great trainer in Dave England and Kelly Lambert is a superstar strength coach," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "Marshawn is a great player and I don't see this injury affecting his season."
Powell averaged 14.9 points and a team-leading 6.7 rebounds per game last season, and was named to the SEC's all-Freshman team by league coaches. Prior to the injury he attended a pair of college elite camps hosted by Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
"The Kevin Durant camp was lovely other than the fact I got sick there," Powell said. "The LeBron camp is something where you have to be there to experience it. It was special just being around that guy. He's one of the best NBA players of all-time probably. It benefited me a whole lot and helped my game out."
Powell is no stranger to preseason injuries. He broke his left hand prior to last season but didn't miss any playing time.
Good Works Team
The Razorback basketball team and coaches were at the Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club on Monday giving out backpacks and school supplies to kids at the center. Before distributing the supplies, Pelphrey gave a short speech about the importance of academics.
"This is a great opportunity to help young people out," Pelphrey said. "We are very fortunate that we are in a position to assist those that are in need and any aid we can give to the people of Northwest Arkansas, whether they are young or old, is something that we absolutely need to do."
The Razorbacks stayed for close to an hour, playing basketball and even posing for a few pictures.
"It's fun being able to see the kids' faces when you're handing them a backpack," junior guard Rotnei Clarke said. "We got to play a little basketball with them and talk to them. It's fun to be a part of it."
Schedule Almost Finished
Arkansas' 2010-11 schedule is nearly finalized, Pelphrey said.
A glimpse into the Razorbacks' schedule has been given thanks to the release of other schedules around the country. Arkansas will face Alabama-Birmingham on Nov. 26 in North Little Rock's Verizon Arena; Oklahoma on Dec. 1 in Bud Walton Arena; Seton Hall on Dec. 8 as part of the SEC-Big East Invitational at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.; Texas A&M on Dec. 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas; and will travel to Texas on Jan. 4.
"It's a very challenging schedule," Pelphrey said. "You talk about having Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Seton Hall and UAB; you've got some really big-time challenges on there. The rest of them will be as well."
All Accounted For
Pelphrey said all but one player was on-campus for the start of classes at the University of Arkansas on Monday. Marvell Waithe, a junior college transfer, couldn't make it because of a delay in travel plans. He was scheduled to arrive Monday night.
Waithe is one of three newcomers for the upcoming season. Freshmen guards Rickey Scott and Mardracus Wade are the others. Guard Jeff Peterson, who transferred to Arkansas from Iowa prior to last season, will also be eligible this coming year.
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