Rutgers' Poole Guarantees Postseason Bid

NEW YORK — The way Mike Poole figures it, if UConn can win a national championship with a large group of freshmen, why can’t Rutgers?

Well, for one thing, UConn had Kemba Walker and the Scarlet Knights have no one remotely resembling the first-round NBA Draft pick.

But that doesn’t stop the 6-foot-5 Poole from dreaming big and guaranteeing a postseason bid for Rutgers during the 2011-12 season.

Rutgers hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991, and last went to the NIT under Gary Waters in 2006. (They were NIT runners-up in 2004.)

“I guarantee Rutgers will be in the postseason,” Poole, a sophomore wing, said Tuesday night after scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in Queensbridge’s 122-93 loss to X-Men in the Nike Pro City league at Baruch College.

With the addition of a heralded recruiting class, led by former St. Anthony point guard Myles Mack, Poole believes the Knights can make a postseason run a year after the team finished 15-17 during Mike Rice’s first year at the helm.

“UConn won the title with seven freshmen,” said Poole. “We have seven freshmen. I don’t see why we can’t do the same thing.”

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