Chats with the Cats: Stacey Poole Jr.

jtipton@herald-leader.comOctober 10, 2011 

Stacey Poole Jr. directed the offense during Kentucky's 91-57 victory against Boston University on Nov, 30, 2010.

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

  • About Poole Jr.: Poole Jr. was a top-50 recruit coming out of high school, and it's too early to tell whether he can tap into that potential at Kentucky. Poole Jr. played in 16 games and played a total of 45 minutes as a freshman last season. Coach John Calipari said over the summer that Poole Jr. was among a group of players that will have an opportunity to make a greater impact on games this season.

    Height, weight: 6-4, 200

    Position: Guard

    Class: Sophomore

    Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.

    High school: Providence

  • This is the 12th in a series of question-and-answer sessions with each of the 15 UK men's basketball players. Chats with the Cats are edited excerpts from interviews conducted in August and September. More excerpts will be published in the Herald-Leader's college basketball preview section on Nov. 6.

    Coming Tuesday: Marquis Teague

Question: Uh, obviously, you didn't play as much as you'd like last season ...

Answer: (Interrupts) I didn't play at all. It's cool.

Q: It's cool?

A: I'm saying, it's cool. You didn't want to say it. I can handle it. Last year was difficult. You're right, I didn't play. I think I handled it well. I still came to practice, doing what I had to do. I enjoyed it. I always kept a smile on my face. You never knew I was mad. I just dealt with it. Now, it's all about where I'm headed. So I'm just moving on. I'll play this year.

Q: Behind your smiling face, what was going on?

A: It was a like a burning fire inside me. Most people really didn't know. A burning fire, burning with desire. It put me in a situation to be reckless, to do anything and everything I have to do. I don't care if I have to kill myself coming out here, I'm going to do what it takes. It got me mentally tough.

Q: What did you learn from last season's experience?

A: "I just learned you can't wait for anybody to tell you what to do and how to do it. This year, I'm going to do it from jump. Just reckless. Go get it. Do what I've got to do. Do what coach wants me to do. Just for me. Be Stacey Poole Jr.

Q: What role do you envision?

A: In high school, I was a scorer. I can put the ball in the basket, and that's what I did. But, here, I'll just do the things Coach wants me to do. Probably going to be rebounding, defense, lock up people. Just staying focused on doing the things I have to do.

Q: Would it be accurate to think of you as the next DeAndre Liggins?

A: DeAndre and I are two different people. Everybody says, "You can be like DeAndre." I'm not DeAndre. DeAndre's my guy. DeAndre and I are cool. I just feel I'm a different player.

Q: How so?

A: We're totally two different people. I'm not getting into the details.

Q: Your father was a star for Florida. Was it hard for him to see you play so sparingly?

A: "Yeah, it did wear on him. He stayed positive with me. I love him. He's my role model. He's going to continue to push me. He's a realist. He doesn't sugar coat it. He's not going to lie to you."

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