One of the five players who decided to leave Rutgers in the aftermath of a scandal that led to the firing of head coach Mike Rice has found a new home.
6-5 junior guard/forward Mike Poole announced his decision to transfer to Iona Tuesday night, joining the list of New York metropolitan area natives who have transferred to the MAAC school.
In making the decision Poole noted his comfort with the coaching staff, as both head coach Tim Cluess and assistant coach Jared Grasso recruited Poole while he was in high school.
“I felt comfortable with the coaching staff,” said Poole, who scored a season-high 18 points in a win over Iona on Dec. 8. “When we played this year, they all wished me the best.”
Poole averaged just 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest for the Scarlet Knights this season, with his value coming as a defender and a “glue guy.” The question in regards his move to Iona is whether or not Poole can improve his offensive production.
Iona led the nation in scoring (80.4 ppg) last season and with guard Sean Armand and forward David Laury III returning the Gaels will once again be formidable offensively. But they also allowed 76.3 points per game on 45% shooting, ranking last and next-to-last in the MAAC in those categories.
Reportedly Poole will request a waiver that would allow him to play imemdiately, and if cleared to play next season he can help Iona defensively. That would ultimately improve Iona’s chances of earning a third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.