Hampton basketball senior point guard and 2015 Mid Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player, Deron Powers, has decided to transfer.
“Honestly, I want to play for a better program,” Powers, a Williamsburg, Va. native, told The Daily Press of Hampton. “I’m definitely up for anything, and it doesn’t have to be at the highest level. There are a lot of good programs I wouldn’t mind going to, but I am looking for a higher profile team that needs a point guard.”
Powers, considered one of the best point guards in the MEAC and a third team all-conference selection, averaged 10.1 points, 29th best in the conference and fourth best on the Pirates squad, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists, fifth in the league. A former MEAC rookie of the year, Powers played three years for Hampton and is fifth on the school’s all-time assist list.
The decision is odd considering that he led the Pirates, a fifth seed, to the MEAC tournament title and then guided them to a win over Manhattan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Hampton lost to top seed Kentucky in the second round. All three games were nationally televised. Powers joins a list of MEAC standouts who have decided to transfer following the 2014-15 season.
Norfolk State double-double machine, 6-8 junior forward Rashid Gaston, announced recently that he was leaving the Spartans. Gaston averaged 15.5 points, eighth best in the MEAC, 9.6 rebounds, second behind Player of the Year Kendall Gray of Delaware State and shot .626 from the field, second only to the .660 of first team all-MEAC forward Jordan Parks of North Carolina Central. Despite those great stats, Gaston was not selected to the first, second or third all-MEAC teams.
A Warren, Ohio native, Gaston announced that he will return to his home state to play at Xavier. “I feel like making the transition would give me better exposure, and just better player development and things like that,” Gaston told Cincinatti.com. Coppin State guard Sterling Smith graduated with a year of eligibility and is transferring to Pittsburgh for his final season. Smith led Coppin State in scoring averaging 13.9 points per game, 12th best in the MEAC. He was a second team all-conference selection.
Jermaine Rutley, a 6-4 guard who topped Florida A&M in scoring (17.4 ppg.), rebounding (6.7 rpg.) and assists (2.1 apg.) also announced he was leaving the Rattlers to play at Arkansas-Little Rock. Rutley was the league’s third-leading scorer. Sophomore guard Clemmye Owens, a former all-MEAC rookie who played in only 12 games for Bethune-Cookman with six starts, announced in January that he was leaving the Wildcats after averaging a team-best 15.3 points off the bench.