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By LARRY VAUGHT

Stacey Poole will not officially announce whether he’s going to Kentucky or South Carolina until a 5:30 p.m. Thursday press conference on ESPNU. However, all indications continue to be that the 6-5 Jacksonville forward will pick the Wildcats and be coach John Calipari’s first commit in the 2010 recruiting class.

So how good is Poole? I asked Scout.com recruiting analyst Evan Daniels how Poole would rank with the five freshmen UK has this year.

“He would probably be the caboose to be honest. I think Stacey is very talented,  very athletic and get a lot done at the rim. But we have him at 68th (in our rankings). You can be outside the top 50 and still be good. But compared to the five they brought in last year, they were all ranked in the top 40 or at least the top 50.

“I think it is unreasonable to think you can get that kind of class every year. Calipari recruits good players and will always get good players. Signing a class like last year that was a consensus No. 1 and doing it so late was just a great job. But it is not a guarantee every year.”

While Evans doesn’t forecast Poole has a McDonald’s All-American, he says he is still a player many, many teams would love to have.

“He is a good player. He brings so many variables tot he table. He will fit well with the dribble-drive offense. He gets out in transition very well and can finish at the rim,” Evans said. “If he would turn out to be the worst player in your recruiting class, you would have a darn good recruiting class because this kid can play. And he’s a great kid, too. He’ll handle himself well at Kentucky if that is his choice.”

16 Responses to Recruting analyst says Poole will be good fit at UK

  • Jim Boyers says:

    Well I was really glad to hear that a player could be outside of the top 50 and still be good. What a relief that the 68th rated player (Out of 10′s of thousands that play high school ball) will be okay. There is far too much emphasis put on these ratings. For the most part, these recruits are men amongst boys against high school competition, so how they will perform in college isn’t always a certainty.
    I don’t think that a championship team can be built with more than a couple of elite players. The key to winning a championship is having a team that develops together over the years. You need players that aren’t having their heads filled with dreams of going into the NBA after one or two years. UK has always had tremendous TEAMS with 4 year players when they won a championship. Don’t get me wrong, I will enjoy watching the elite players that come here and will welcome them when they do, but they need a strong, mature supporting cast to accomplish anything. Anything that is accomplished this year will be because of Patrick Patterson, Ramon Harris and Perry Stevenson’s leadership. We need more Stacey Pooles and Darius Millers to come into the program and mature into leaders.

  • larryvaught says:

    I think you are on to something. Plus, Cal is not going to recruit bad players. Just trying to explain to all that even if he’s not as highly rated as any from last year, he can still be very, very good.

  • Jim Boyers says:

    I wasn’t blasting on you Larry. I was making fun of Mr. Daniel’s poor choice of wording.

  • anthony G says:

    rankings are overrated IMO. you need to recruit players that fit your style of play and hope they can contribute in their 1st or 2nd year at a high level. the only negative of getting Poole is the fact it cuts UK out any chances at landing Doron Lamb IMO.

  • larryvaught says:

    No problem Jim.
    And Anthony, I think something has happened where UK and Lamb have cooled off. Not sure which end caused it, but that is why I think the Cats went after Poole so hard recently. Figured getting Poole was lot better than chancing Lamb

  • anthony G says:

    i agree Larry. thanks!

  • Elliott says:

    Just to show you how everyone has an opinion, Rivals has Poole rated 27th in the class. Regardless, this kid comes from a good family and has a bright future, hopefully in Lexington.

  • larryvaught says:

    27th. Now that is impressive. And scout now tells me they have him No. 58. Guess he jumped 10 spots today (ha ha)

  • John Mc says:

    If or when he does commit, I’ll be glad to see a player who can come in and contribute in games and challenge and learn from guys in practice. I’ve never seen Poole play, but he looks cut like a beast. I agree with those above that too much stock goes into some of these rankings. There will be the obvious Top 5 or 10 who could or would try to skip to the NBA without the age rule, but then there are those like Jodie Meeks with heart and a passion to improve and develop while being a leader. Just by looking at him and from what I’ve read, I see a lot of that same potential. Looks like a great fit! Go Cats!

  • larry vaught says:

    Nice call with Meeks. He sure proved rankings are not always right. Still think it is a done deal with Poole even though he is trying to say it is not

  • Doug Ridley says:

    My grandson plays on same team with Stacy (he is a freshman on the B team)and he thinks he can play for anyone. He may be starstruck though. What does a freshman know?

  • larry vaught says:

    Doug, any chance you can put me in touch with your grandson to get a few comments on poole when he does make it official. might be some really interesting stuff with him. just send me an email at larry@amnews.com

  • Blake says:

    Scout’s rankings are based on current skills while Rival’s base the ranking more on skills and potential.

  • Marion County says:

    My favorite Kentucky team of all time was the 92 team with Pelphrey, Feldhaus, Farmer and Woods. They were hardly basketball top 50 players, or top 250 players even maybe, but they had hearts that were bigger than any number 1 player in college or pro basketball has ever had. I want top players sure, but I also want the players who Kentucky means something to deep down inside, like it does the fan base.
    I hope Calipari does not forget some of those things with all of these one and done players, who wearing Kentucky on their chest is merely a means to an end.

  • larry vaught says:

    I think Cal will want those things, too. That was one of the favorite all-time teams. No doubt about that. Those kids had so much to prove and were such great ambassadors. But apparently Poole is a great kid also

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