NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College men's basketball rising senior Mike Poole has received an NCAA Legislative Relief Waiver and will be able to compete for the Gaels in the 2013-14 campaign. Poole transferred to Iona following his junior campaign at Rutgers University.
"I'm really excited to have a student-athlete of Mike's caliber join us this season," said head coach Tim Cluess. "His leadership and toughness during summer workouts have been tremendous and he will be an integral part of our program."
Poole appeared in 95 games and made 16 starts over three seasons with Rutgers while averaging 5.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals. He never missed a game and scored 524 points in his Big East career. Poole's career-high scoring total ironically came against Iona last season in an 18-point, seven rebound effort at Madison Square Garden. He posted 16 games with 10 or more points and recorded one double-double, an 11-point, 10 rebound effort at UConn as a freshman on Jan. 11, 2011. His season-high scoring average came as a sophomore. Poole averaged 6.5 points in 22.1 minutes played. Also known for his defensive presence, he ranked among the top performers in steals on the Rutgers leaderboard in all three seasons. He was also named to the Big East All-Academic Team last July.
The Rosedale, Queens native is a 2010 graduate of St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ. He averaged 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 49.7% as a senior to help the Gray Bees to a 20-1 record and a No. 4 final ranking nationally from USA Today and ESPN/Rise. Poole was a Newark Star-Ledger All-Prep selection, playing three seasons at St. Benedict's under head coach Dan Hurley and served as team captain as a senior. As a junior, his squad finished 24-3 record and a No. 7 national ranking in the final USA Today Super 25 Poll on a team that included fellow Gael teammates Kelvin Amayo and Tavon Sledge.
The Gaels return five of their top seven scorers in senior Sean Armand, junior David Laury, senior Tre Bowman, sophomore A.J. English and junior Tavon Sledge. Armand was one of the top three-point shooters in the nation last season with a school record 112 trifectas. Laury is the MAAC's top returning rebounder after posting 10.3 boards per game. Bowman and Sledge shined in the postseason for the Gaels. Bowman scored a game-high 20 points in Iona's win over Manhattan in the MAAC Championship while Sledge led the team with 20 points against Ohio State in the NCAA Championship second round. Backup point guard DaShawn Gomez rounds out the Gaels returners from last year's MAAC Championship squad.
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