Poole gives UK a versatile weapon

Stacey Poole (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) has made incredible strides on the basketball court in the past year.

This spring, playing for the Jacksonville Lee Bulls under the guidance of coach David Jones, he started to emerge at major events. With improved confidence and an aggressive style of play, Poole has earned a spot in the ESPNU 100. He catches your eye and does so on a consistent basis. What stands out about his performance is his eye-popping athletic ability. He also brings great energy and urgency at both ends of the floor to go along with a scorer's mentality. He tries to score and plays with the great effort that coaches look for on a nightly basis.

Poole is a treat to watch; he attacks the rim repeatedly in the open court, where he is a highlight waiting to happen. In transition, Poole sprints the lane and keeps constant pressure on the defense. He can and will power slam on any clear paths to the rim with his explosive athletic ability. He is a perimeter player who slashes to the basket and finishes in the lane with great body control, using either hand.

Poole, whose father, Stacey Sr., was a standout player at Florida, covers a tremendous amount of ground on his first step and is very difficult to contain off the bounce. What makes him so effective on his dribble drive is that he exhibits three important skills: he can score at the rim through contact, pass from his penetration and pull-up with the floater or jumper to avoid the charge. He is relentless on the offensive glass and helps his team score second-chance points. As an outstanding athlete, he is quick off the bounce and oftentimes his second jump is as quick as his first. He excels in the transition game yet is highly effective in the half court. Poole scores from many areas on the floor, including the free throw line. When he finishes this season, he needs to convert from the charity stripe at an 80 percent clip to maximize his production.

For a look at how Poole will fit in the Kentucky offense, what he still needs to work on and what the future holds for both Poole and the Wildcats, become an ESPN Insider.Insider