Powell took part in pregame warm-ups, then got the green light to go about 30 minutes before the start of the Pirates' 74-66 win over DePaul in Chicago in the team's Big East season opener.
Seton Hall coach wanted to work Powell back into the swing of things, but Powell had other ideas.
"He is the toughest son of a gun there is out there,'' Willard said. "Nothing he does, nothing when he comes back, surprises me. I was hoping to get 20 minutes out of him, and he wouldn't let me take him out."
Powell went 7 for 15 from the field and 11 for 15 at the line in 34-plus minutes as Seton Hall improved to 9-4 overall. He had 18 points in the second half, repeatedly driving to the basket and showing no sign of any fear in the wake of what he said was his first concussion.
"Once I kind of got out there I wasn't really trying to think about that," Powell said. "I was just trying to go out there and make winning plays for my teammates."
Powell sustained his concussion during a loss to Rutgers earlier this month. He missed wins against No. 7 Maryland and Prairie View while in the concussion protocol.
The All-American guard and preseason Big East Player of the Year entered the night averaging 21.2 points this season, which ranked 17th in the nation.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.