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Monday, May 16, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Men’s basketball secures JUCO standout and former ACC guard

Yazid Powell, known for his 81-point performance, signs with Buffalo

Incoming men’s basketball guard Yazid Powell paid tribute to Kobe Bryant by scoring 81 points in a game.
Incoming men’s basketball guard Yazid Powell paid tribute to Kobe Bryant by scoring 81 points in a game.

After an underwhelming 2022 season that saw UB fall in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, seven Bulls have announced a departure from UB — be it through graduation or the transfer portal — since March. 

Senior forward Jeenathan Williams and senior guard Ronaldo Segu, UB’s two top scorers from a year ago, have entered their names in the NBA Draft and will forgo their final year of NCAA eligibility. 

Sophomore center David Skogman has committed to Davidson, while graduate forward Tra’von Fagan committed to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Junior guard Ty Perry and junior forward Lucas Saleh entered their names in the transfer portal and redshirt senior guard Keishawn Brewton has elected to forgo his remaining years of eligibility. 

Every offseason brings its own challenges, and UB has to recruit well if it wants to contend in the MAC next season. Head coach Jim Whitesell has already catalyzed the process.

Here’s a look at UB’s two newest commits: 

Kanye Jones

Freshman guard Kanye Jones will be leaving the ACC for the MAC after playing just one year at Boston College. The 6-foot-4, 170 lb. Orlando native played 30 games with the Eagles and averaged 9.7 minutes, 1.8 points, 0.2 steals, 0.2 assists and 0.7 rebounds per game. 

“Kanye is a versatile guard who can not only score the basketball at a high clip, but is also a very good defender,” Whitesell said in a UB press release. “We have had an eye on Kanye for a while, and we think he will fit in very well with our style of play. We can’t wait to have him on campus.”

As a senior at Windermere High School, Jones was selected for FHSAA Class 7A All-State team and led the Wolverines to the FHSAA Class 7A region-two semifinals. Jones averaged 21 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals per game.

Yazid Powell 

JUCO standout Yazid Powell will be joining the Bulls after two seasons at Harcum Junior College. Powell averaged 17.4 points and 7.1 boards per game and had eight blocks, 65 steals and 67 assists in his JUCO campaign last season. His performance earned him an NJCAA All-American honorable mention.

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Prior to Harcum, Powell averaged 14.1 points per game in one year at Community College of Beaver County in Monaca, PA.

“Yazid has shown at every level his ability to score both from the outside and driving the basket,” Whitesell said in a press release. “He has been a winner everywhere he goes, and his game will compliment the pieces we have already put in place. We are extremely excited to have Yazid in Buffalo!” 

At Beaver County, Powell was featured on Sports Illustrated for his 81-point performance the day after his idol, Kobe Bryant, passed away in a helicopter incident. Powell missed his final free throw to remain at 81 points, matching Bryant’s iconic 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006.

Kayla Sterner is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at kayla.sterner@ubspectrum.com


KAYLA STERNER
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Kayla Sterner is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. She is studying communications with the hopes of being a sideline reporter. In her spare time, she can be found in the gym, watching football or vibing to Mac Miller. Kayla is on Twitter @kaylasterner. 

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