Bloomington – The rest of the college basketball world seems to be learning what IU Coach Tom Crean has thought for some time.
Jacksonville, Fla., standout Stacey Poole is one of the nation's best shooting guards.
Six months ago, the 6'5", 180-pounder from Andrew Jackson H.S. was the 18th-ranked shooting guard in the nation, a borderline top-100 recruit. Thanks to a big junior season and some outstanding AAU efforts this spring and summer, he's jettisoned up the rankings, currently coming in at No. 50 overall and No. 7 among the country's Class of 2010 shooting guards.
"I've been doing my thing so far," said Poole. "I made up my mind that I was going to go out and play hard and be productive and show everyone what I have."
While his recent play has attracted some new suitors such as UConn and Louisville, Indiana was after Poole long before his newfound popularity. While Poole says he's open to anyone at this point that is showing interest, Indiana's early interest isn't lost on him, either.
"I like that they've been on me for so long, been with me and watching me," said Poole. "I get a feel they want me to come in and make an impact. They also want to make me a better player, and that's something I'm looking to do as well."
During the AAU season Poole has turned in a series of big efforts, most notably at the NBA Camp and at the Reebok All-America Camp. He was the second-leading scorer at the NBA Camp with 15.8 points per game, trailing only Josh Selby (16.2). As the summer has gone along, he's noticed more and more college coaches watching his efforts from courtside, something he appreciates as he contemplates where to play in college.
"That's a big deal to me, a real big deal," Poole said about seeing coaches at his AAU games. "I want the coaches there front and center watching me play."
Poole said he's seen Indiana's coaching staff at many of his contests, and that fact coupled with the relationship he's built with them has the Hoosiers in good standing at this point in the process.
"They are real straight up with me, and I like that," Poole said. "I like honesty, and they have been that way with me. I get a feel they are honest with me with everything they're saying to me."
What Indiana is saying is that Poole is among their most important priorities for the 2010 class. Indiana isn't the only school thinking that way, as Poole has offers from IU, Clemson, Xavier, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida, among others. He said he's looking to make his five official visits in August, with IU, Kentucky, Louisville and UConn among those that he definitely wants to check out.
From there, a decision could come pretty quickly.
"I'll probably decide at the beginning of September or late August," Poole said. "I'll make my visits and see what's the best fit for me."
Hoosiers In Good Standing With Poole
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