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July 24, 2011

Poole gets to the point

MORE: Muhammad knows Vegas spotlight well

LAS VEGAS - His athleticism is undeniable. He makes scoring look easy. But is Solomon Poole a point guard? He certainly thinks so, and he played like one on Saturday.

Poole was the point man for the Atlanta Celtics in a rout of Kansas City Pump N Run in the 16-Under division of the adidas Super 64. As usual he had some jaw-dropping athletic plays and scored 18 points in limited minutes.

More importantly, however, he directed his team and provided confidence from the point guard position while dishing out three assists to only one turnover.

"I want to play the point in college," Poole told Rivals.com. "First of all, I am a point guard. I always look for my teammates. I don't want to sound cocky, but I know I can score. One on one has always been my game. But when I beat my man, I'm looking for my teammates first."

As talented as Pool is, the five-star prospect seems to be under-recruited at this point. South Carolina is recruiting him the hardest. UCLA offered him the other day. But the only other schools he is listing are Miami, Georgia, Memphis and Louisville.

Out of all these schools only an assistant coach from Memphis was watching him. And Poole is not even listing Kentucky as a school recruiting him even though his brother Stacey Poole is on the Wildcats' roster.

Poole, however, isn't thinking about his recruitment as a rising junior and is taking an 'if they don't want me then I don't want them' attitude about his recruitment.

When he does get to the point of focusing on his recruitment, playing the point will be the focus.

"I want to play for a program that will trust me to run the team and be the general on the court," he said. "I want to play for a coach that has trust in me."

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Conversely to five-star Poole, four-star combo guard Bronson Koenig is receiving heavy recruiting attention from some of the elite programs in the country. Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin have been staples at his games this month.

Head coaches Bo Ryan and Roy Williams have been fixtures at his games, but Saturday was the first time for Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski to watch him play.

After the game, Koenig admitted that he was quite aware that the prominent coach was sitting along the sidelines.

"It was in the back of my mind," said Koenig. "I did feel some pressure, but it really is more of an honor."

In a loss to a tough New Heights squad, Koenig had a solid outing but not his best outing. He finished with 10 points on 4-11 shooting, two rebounds, a block, a steal and one assist to three turnovers.

ONE TOUGH SQUAD

Bringing a tough-minded New York City approach to the court, New Heights 16U squad plays stifling defense and attack the rim offense. They have had a strong July primarily behind the standout play of their three top prospects.

Jordan Washington is a bruising big man with great hands and touch around the basket.

Terrence Samuel is a rim-attacking combo guard.

Shamiek Sheppard is an athletic and physical wing with a solid midrange game.

All three of these prospects are receiving heavy Big East recruiting attention.

SCHOOL LISTS

Mike Hall, an intriguing 6-foot-10 prospect who needs to gain strength, now has offers from Miami, Florida State, California and Virginia Tech. He will visit Harvard next month and plans to visit Stanford as well. He is also hearing from Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Clemson, South Carolina and Penn.

Rugged 2013 post prospect Luke Worthington, who matched up well against Jordan Washington is being recruited the hardest by Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is also getting significant attention from Boston College, BYU, Utah, Washington State and St. Louis. Most of the Ivy League is recruiting him as well.



 

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