Mike Poole was the youngest player on the floor in either game at Baruch College last week, but the Rosedale native was also one of its most productive.
The 6-foot-5 wing out of New Jersey powerhouse St. Benedict’s Prep had 19 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals for Queensbridge in a 122-93 basketball loss Aug. 2 to X-Men, the kind of well-rounded performance Rutgers fans got used to during his surprisingly productive freshman season.
Poole wasn’t surprised by any of his accomplishments — he averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 19 minutes per game — but he doesn’t want to rest on what he did, either. That’s why he’s playing with Queensbridge at Nike Pro City, the summer league full of fringe NBA players and others who play professionally overseas.
“It helps me get stronger, quicker, makes me smarter playing against pros,” he said. “It’s a great experience. I’m only allowed to play in one event, so I came to play in this because it’s the best event in New York City.”
Tommie Eddie and Greg Plumer led X-Men with 21 points apiece, Gordy Malone added 18 and Chris Weyhe had 16. Former St. John’s Prep and UConn star Taliek Brown had 16 points for Queensbridge and Alexus Foyel had 28.
Poole is spending most of his free time working on his weaknesses, trying to become a more consistent perimeter shooter and better ball handler.
Poole went as far as to say that Rutgers’ goal next year is to win a national title, though Coach Mike Rice and his players would obviously just be happy to reach the NCAA tournament after a 20-year drought. Rice has put together an impressive recruiting class which includes former Rice star Kadeem Jack and talented New Jersey guards Eli Carter and Myles Mack, among others.
“Coach did a great job finding what we needed to be successful,” he said. “They’re very, very talented.”
As for personal goals, Poole said he doesn’t have any.
“I just want to help my team with whatever it needs,” he said.
©2011 Community News Group
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