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September 24, 2009Four-star Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence wing Stacey Poole made his college decision on ESPNU this afternoon, picking Kentucky over South Carolina.
"This decision was very hard, and it came down to the line," Poole said during the broadcast. "Me and my dad were up late last night talking about everything, and I made my decision... I'm playing for the University of Kentucky."
Poole (6-5, 200) is rated the No. 27 prospect in the country by Rivals.com. He is the Wildcats' first verbal commitment in the Class of 2010.
The Sunshine State star cited new UK coach John Calipari as a key factor in his decision.
"Coach Calipari, he has history," Poole said. "He wins, and he enjoys what he does. I just feel that he's going to put me in the best situation possible... For where I want to go, I know that will be a perfect situation for me.
"The Dribble-Drive (Motion offense) is good. It's a hard offense to defend. I love to finish, go to the hole and make plays, and in that offense, I can do that. That's one of the reasons why I chose this school, to play in this offense and play my game."
As a junior, Poole averaged 26 points, 10 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals for Andrew Jackson High School. He transferred to Providence this year.
Rivals.com national basketball analyst Jerry Meyer on Stacey Poole: "Poole is an elite athlete in regard to explosiveness, strength and body control. He excels at attacking the basket, drawing contact and finishing. An average outside shooter at this point, Poole has promise in this regard based on his touch near the basket on the move. A solid wing ball handler, Poole also has the ability to dominate his position as a defender and rebounder."