The Iona men's team, already expected to be among the leading contenders for the upcoming season's championship, just got a little better.
The school learned, on Wednesday, that rising senior Mike Poole received an NCAA legislative relief waiver and will be immediately eligible to play for the Gaels. Poole played at Rutgers the previous three seasons and transferred to Iona this spring.
The ruling means that Poole, a 6-foot-5 swingman, does not have to sit out the traditional season required of most transfers.
"I'm really excited to have ... (him) join us this season," said head coach Tim Cluess, in a release issued by Iona's sports information office. "His leadership and toughness during summer workouts have been tremendous and he will be an integral part of our program."
Poole appeared in 95 games and made 16 starts while at Rutgers, averaging 5.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game at the Big East level. His career high scoring total of 18 came against Iona, ironically enough, this past season. He also had seven rebounds in the contest that was played at Madison Square Garden.
Iona returns four of its five starers (only MAAC Player of the Year Momo Jones is not returning) from this past season in which the Gaels won the conference's post-season tournament and the resultant automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
Poole, though, is a well-regarded veteran piece added to a strong nucleus. He'll almost certainly be a key member of the Gaels' playing group.