PISCATAWAY, NJ - Former Rutgers men's lacrosse standout Delby Powless (Hagersville, Ontario) was selected by the Buffalo Bandits with the first overall pick in the 2004 National Lacrosse League (NLL) draft on Tuesday evening. The Bandits chose Powless after acquiring the first overall pick in a trade with the Minnesota Rock last weekend.
Powless was Rutgers' leading goal-scorer last year with 31 tallies, and he added seven assists for a team-best 38 points. The former Canadian box lacrosse star arrived in Piscataway from Herkimer Community College, and finished his career with 63 goals in just 29 games. In 2003, he netted 32 goals to earn First Team All-ECAC honors while leading Rutgers to the NCAA Tournament.
Powless scored at least one goal in 11 of 14 games last season, including a seven-goal outburst against Quinnipiac on March 13 that earned him ECAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He had four goals in wins over Syracuse (4/17), Dartmouth (2/28) and Fairfield (4/1). As a junior in 2003, he scored seven goals against Navy, a feat that lead to his appearance in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd."
"For as talented and gifted a goal-scorer as Delby was at the collegiate level, I think he is even better suited for the indoor game," said head coach Jim Stagnitta. "There is no doubt that he will have an immediate impact because the style of play is something he's very comfortable with. He's in an excellent situation and I am very happy for him."
The National Lacrosse League is North America's oldest professional indoor lacrosse league, featuring eleven teams playing in the major markets of the United States and Canada. NLL teams each play a 16-game regular season schedule that begins in December and runs through April, followed by the Champion's Cup Playoffs. The Bandits finished 8-8 overall last year and play their home games at the HSBC Arena. The 2005 season opens on Friday, Jan. 7, against Toronto.
Powless will become the second active player from the Scarlet Knights in the NLL as fellow RU alum Keith Cromwell (1997-2001) is entering his fourth season with the Philadelphia Wings.
Rutgers finished its 2004 season 8-6 overall and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Scarlet Knights played five ranked opponents and were ranked in the Top 15 of the USILA coach's poll every week of the regular season.