Top 100 Camp notes: Brother of ex-Cat Poole says there's no hard feelings

jtipton@herald-leader.comJune 14, 2012 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Although his older brother transferred away midway through his sophomore season, prospect Solomon Poole would welcome the chance to play for Kentucky.

"If they're interested, I'm interested because it's a big-time basketball school," Poole said Thursday after his first game in the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp here. "If the opportunity came, I'm not going to turn it down."

Stacey Poole transferred to Georgia Tech last December. His brother sidestepped a question about the decision to leave UK.

"He didn't really say," Solomon Poole said before adding, "He kept playing hard. But stuff happens."

The younger Poole nodded in agreement when a reporter suggested that Kentucky's annual influx of standout freshmen played a part in the decision to transfer.

"I would have loved to see him play in the white and blue," Poole said. "I thought he looked good. But they had other talented players they probably considered better than him."

Another Southeastern Conference school carries what-if implications for Poole and his family. His father starred at Florida in the early 1990s. As with his older brother, Solomon Poole made no secret of his desire to follow his father's footsteps.

"I thought they were recruiting me, but I haven't heard from them in a while," he said of the Gators. "I'm open for them. I really am.

"I was always a Florida boy. I like the Gators."

The younger Poole brother said he had drawn recruiting interest from such schools as UCLA, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Louisville and Miami.

Package deal

Many so-called package deals in recruiting fall apart. No so for the Harrison twins, guards Andrew and Aaron.

When asked if the highly regarded brothers might go their separate ways, Andrew said, "Oh no. That's definitely not going to happen at all. We're definitely going as a package deal."

The brothers have visited UK twice. Of his attendance at last year's Big Blue Madness, Andrew said, "It was crazy. I probably took 100 pictures with fans."

Andrew listed the brothers' college options as UK, Maryland, Baylor, Villanova and SMU. SMU got on the list because of the family's relationship with new coach Larry Brown. As eighth-graders, the brothers attended a Brown-led Charlotte Bobcats practice.

Andrew said the brothers hope to make a college commitment by their birthday on Oct. 28.

Looking ahead

Emmanuel Mudiay, the top-rated point guard in the high school class of 2014, spoke highly of UK and Coach John Calipari.

"He's been doing an excellent job over there," said Mudiay (pronounced Moo-dee-A). "Sending everybody one-and-done. I'm sure a lot of people want to go there just for that."

Other schools involved at this point include Texas, Baylor, Virginia and Kansas, he said.

Mudiay said he had spoken to UK coaches earlier this week.

"They say they want me," he said. "I didn't tell them I was going there."

Not yet, anyway.

"My options are open," he said.

But Mudiay noted the long line of NBA-bound point guards to play for Calipari (Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight, Marquis Teague).

"It's actually big," he said. "They're point guards. I'm a point guard. That opens my eyes a little bit."

No Willis

For a second straight year, forward Derek Willis of Bullitt East turned down an invitation to participate in the Top 100 Camp. Bullitt East Coach Troy Barr said that Willis, who has committed to UK, decided to play in the Junior Kentucky-Indiana series, which will include games in Indianapolis on Friday and North Oldham on Saturday.

Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com

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