Michigan basketball signee Jordan Poole transferred to national powerhouse La Lumiere for his senior season.
It's safe to say that transfer paid dividends for himself and his team.
Fresh off a high school national championship win, the only step left for Poole to prepare for collegiate basketball before heading to Ann Arbor. During his time at La Lumiere, he was able to play with the best the nation has to offer in terms of basketball talent. Poole says that the nature of the competition every day would naturally make him a better player.
If you're not competing when you're surrounded by this kind of talent, why bother?
"Obviously being a student of the game you find ways to make yourself better and add to your arsenal," Poole said. "Being around guys like Tyger [Campbell], Jaren [Jackson] and
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard believes that he is mentally prepared for the rigors of college basketball compared to other freshmen around the country. Why? Because he's been away from home during the last year of his high school in a demanding system of basketball.
"I feel, personally, that I'm already a step ahead of a lot of the other freshmen in the country coming in," Poole said. "Obviously being away from home my senior year and going through the tough struggles of being away and not knowing what Coach wants. But also figure out on your own what the coach wants and needs you to do. Being able to come in mentally prepared already at the highest level is a huge advantage for me. Obviously, I've been committed for a while so I know how I'm going to fit in, what I need to look at and how their system plays. I obviously think I'm going to come in ready to play more than anything because I've been working on how I would best fit there. Just little things like that. I think I will be ready for sure, I'm going to be giving the guys there already a challenge because every person wants to play. I'll come in with my competitive nature and we'll see how things go from there."
The competitive nature that Poole has might translate him to playing multiple roles this upcoming season. With the departure of point guard Derrick Walton Jr., there is an opportunity to seize some playing time at the point guard position, perhaps even steal a starting role from a returning player.
It appears that the coaching staff is confident that he can get the job done.
"They want me to come in and play a lot of the one," Poole said. "Losing Derrick and me being the playmaker that I am, a lot of the one and the two. Obviously, the two because I can shoot the ball and create my own shot a little bit. They want me to play a lot of the one as well because I am able to create plays for others, make the right play because I have a high basketball IQ and stuff like that. That's why they're pretty confident in getting me out there in the backcourt."
For Poole, the down time until his arrival in Ann Arbor can allow him to refine his game and work on some things to make him a better player. Poole says that in today's basketball, so many people are focused on the highlight reel plays. The highflying dunks and crazy passes.
Whereas with Poole, he's simply focusing on getting better by doing the little things right.
"In today's game people are so focused on highlight reels and when to make a flashy play or do a lot of dribbling," Poole said. "You really analyze and sit down college basketball there's hardly any schools that let you just dribble 90 times up the floor, throw a behind-the-back pass and get away with it. That's not realistic. I'm working on a lot of getting to a spot and pulling up and working a lot of reads coming off ball screens. Even though my release is already pretty quick, making it quicker in case I get a switch and I get a 6'8, 6'9 guy on the switch and I have to get the shot up over him. Little stuff like that, something that will be super effective at the next level. Obviously, keeping my handle tight because I'll be playing a lot of the one. A lot of straight to the point stuff, a lot of straight pull-up's, getting to the basket and isolate. None of this flashy stuff that kids nowadays get dragged into in today's society."