Poole to Sign with Rutgers

New Rutgers coach Mike Rice picked up his first commitment of his tenure when St. Benedict's of Newark (N.J.) combo guard Mike Poole gave a non-binding oral commitment to play for the Scarlet Knights this upcoming season. The 6-foot-6 Poole made the decision after visiting the campus last week. He is expected to sign a binding national letter of intent this week.

Mike Rice secured his first commitment as Rutgers' coach when St. Benedict's of Newark (N.J.) combo guard Mike Poole made a non-binding oral pledge to join the Scarlet Knights for the upcoming season.

Poole, a 6-foot-6, 215-pounder, is expected to sign a national binding letter of intent this week. "Rutgers is a good school,'' said Nate Blue, Poole's advisor. "He's going to get a lot of playing time if he works hard. Mike Rice is a great coach. It's playing in the Big East, and playing against top level competition every day in practice.''

Pool is the second player from St. Benedict's to join the 2010 recruiting class. Teammate Gilvydas Biruta signed a binding national letter of intent in November, and said he will remain with Rutgers through the transition to a new coaching staff.

As a senior at St. Benedict's, Poole averaged 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He shot 49.7 percent from the field.

"Mike has always been known as a great defensive player but what he'll be doing at Rutgers is continue to get stronger,'' Blue said. "He can score. He's not a ball hog, but he can score whenever he wants to. He'll get his points in the offense.

"On defense, he'll be guarding the offense's best player. He'll continue to do that. He generates offense while playing defense. Mike Rice will do the same things he did at Robert Morris, which is defense first.''

Poole selected Rutgers after several other suitors, including Seton Hall, backed off.

The Pirates told Poole they would offer him if he came to campus for an unofficial visit, but a scheduling snafu caused him to cancel a weekend visit. He was set to visit Wednesday, but that will no longer happen.

"He told (Seton Hall) he liked the school and enjoyed the visit,'' Blue said. "Other schools, maybe they didn't want to lose a recruiting battle with Rutgers. I guess it's a new staff, and they didn't want to lose a recruiting battle to Mike Rice and Rutgers.''


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