Mike Poole, formerly of Rutgers, becomes third straight Iona newcomer to receive waiver to play immediately following transfer to New Rochelle. (Photo courtesy of Dave White via On The Banks)
For the third straight year, Iona has managed to get a waiver for one of their arriving transfers to play immediately.
Following the transfers of Lamont "Momo" Jones (2011) and Tavon Sledge (2012) to New Rochelle from Arizona and Iowa State, respectively, the Gaels added a boost to their reigning MAAC championship roster when it was announced earlier this afternoon that Mike Poole, a 6-5 swingman and Rutgers expatriate, received the waiver that head coach Tim Cluess and his staff applied for when Poole arrived at Iona following the fallout from the scandal that cost former Scarlet Knights head coach Mike Rice his job in April. Poole will be able to suit up immediately for his senior season as Iona seeks its second straight conference championship and third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
"I'm really excited to have a student-athlete of Mike's caliber join us this season," Cluess said in a release issued moments ago by Iona sports information director Brian Beyrer. "His leadership and toughness during summer workouts have been tremendous, and he will be an integral part of our program."
Poole already has the benefit of playing against the Gaels last season, when Rutgers defeated Iona in the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in December. Although the Iona roster has changed significantly since then due to the graduation of both Jones and forward Taaj Ridley among others, Cluess' uptempo style has not, and Poole should fit in on the wing alongside fellow seniors Tre Bowman and Sean Armand inside the athletic and offensively-oriented Gaels attack.
In three seasons in Piscataway, Poole averaged 5.5 points and 3.2 rebounds for Rutgers, playing in all 95 of the Scarlet Knights' contests during that span, with his 18-point outing in the aforementioned Holiday Festival victory over Iona serving as his career high scoring total. He is also familiar with Tavon Sledge and fellow newcomer Kelvin Amayo, having played with both under Dan Hurley at St. Benedict's Prep prior to beginning his collegiate career.