Q&A with Norman Powell

Norman Powell, the 6-2 guard from San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln, is now getting national attention. Here he talked with the Scout.com Duke site during the recent NBA Players Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia...

Norman Powell, the athletic, 6-2 guard from San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln, talked to TheDevilsDen.com at the recent NBA Players Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia.

TDD: First thing Norman, do you go by Norman or are you known by another nickname?

Usually it's just Norman, sometimes it's Stormin Norman. People call me that, my teachers call me that because some of my teachers said there was a show where there was a guy named Stormin Norman, so they call me that.

At the TOC at end of May you listed half the country it seemed like in terms of teams recruiting you, are you narrowing things down?

I'm just feeling the love basically, seeing how many offers I can get by the end of July. Once that period ends I'm going to sit down with my mom and my coach and narrow down what schools I think are a good fit for me.

What constitutes a good fit for you in terms of a college? The coaching staff, the players in front of me and the style of play. One thing with me is I like to push the ball, be aggressive, get to the rim, I can play in the half court setting too.

When you evaluate the coaching staff, what are you evaluating? Like I look at how the coaches treat the players, like if you mess up, are they the type of coach who is going to get on you, but will also try to help you fix what you're doing wrong instead of just being mad and making me sit on the bench and then if you want extra work on your game, they'll be there to work with you.

It sounds like you're looking for a father figure in a sense---is that accurate?

Yeah, that's accurate for sure. I always love being pushed by my coaches, like, I feel like I can always improve on something, so if a coach is going to push me to be better, that's great to me.

Being a West Coast guy, did you primarily watch West Coast basketball or did you watch some East Coast as well?

I watched both to be honest because I have family on the East Coast who live in Virginia, in the Portsmouth area.

Who do you make an effort to watch on TV?

For college, I like watching guys like John Wall, NBA, I'm a big Kobe, LeBron, Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings fan.

Has anybody stepped up with interest from the ACC since you have family in the Virginia area and you've played some tournaments on the East Coast?

Well, I was pulling for Duke in the National Championship game, and getting to play on their main court at Duke was like exciting for me, I never really pictured myself playing on Duke's floor, so getting the opportunity to play there on a National Championship floor, it was just real exciting for me.

You play with a guy in Shabazz Muhammad who is a high priority recruit for Duke and UNC, does he talk with you about them?

Yeah, with me and him, there's like a chemistry there between us, we both consider ourselves as good players and friends, so we talk off the court about what kind of colleges we're looking at, how bad do they want us. Shabazz and I have been trying to get Duke and UNC interested in me. They haven't stepped up with any interest as of yet, but I do like them.

You mentioned John Wall, who plays a certain style of point guard-when you play in college, what kind of point guard are you looking to play with?

Really, I want to play with a point guard who can do both get guys involved and also be able to score points when the team needs him to. You need a point guard who is all well rounded, like if you have a guard who gets a play going but then the defense does something and he needs to break the defense down, that's where to me it's important to have guards who can handle those different situations.

How is NBA Camp helping you develop as a player?

It's been great, all the individual skill workouts, the Breakfast Club, I'm coming to every single chance we have each day to get better. It's great having so many different kind of coaches that you can work with here, if somebody mentions to me that I need to work on this part of my game or another, there's a coach here that I can work with on that specific aspect of my game. Like this week I'm doing a lot of ball-handling drills because I feel like my left hand is weak and needs to improve. I'm trying to focus on my weaknesses and get drills and workouts that I can take back home to San Diego and keep working on my own as a player.

You're a lot more aggressive at Camp in terms of driving to the rim versus when we saw you at TOC, how do you decide to do what you've been doing?

Really, it's both, depending on how the game is going, sometimes I have to be aggressive, get down, do the little things.

Academic wise, what is the best fit for you?

Really, I'm big into my studies and am strong academically because my mom does not allow me to play basketball unless my academics are strong, so for college, I'm open to different styles of schools but smaller would probably be better. I focus on making sure my study habits are staying tight. If I need help, I make sure I get the extra help I need, so I think something else I'm looking for with college is a school where they give you good academic support to help you earn your degree.

What's going to narrow things down for you in terms of what you're evaluating about colleges?

I would say the amount of effort they show, a lot of college say, "oh we need you, you're going to come in and start," but really if you call me one time and then I don't hear from you for another couple of months, and you're not emailing me, then I can tell you're not really serious about me. Schools that are persistent about emailing me consistently, calling me on the phone with their allotted call, giving me information on the school and the program, what they want, who they are looking at. Some schools will call me and they will tell me that they've seen me play, they've talked to me about players they've had in the program before that remind them of me and how they see themselves being able to develop me, those are the schools that are serious to me and I'll be serious with them.

Who's making a consistent effort with you then in the last 3 months?

UCLA, SDSU, Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon.


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