By: Cole Shelton
After reaching the NBLC Finals once again, the Halifax Hurricanes came up short. With that, the team was set to see a ton of changes which happened. Several players went overseas or to the G League. But, one player who decided to come back was Mike Poole.
Last season, Poole was a bench player who was only getting about 20 minutes a game. However, he played the role he needed to, and played it well so coming back to Halifax was a no-brainer for him.
"Basically it was a good situation and I felt comfortable," Poole said. "Halifax as a city always loved me so I just felt comfortable coming back."
Another reason why Poole decided to come back is the fact that he was promised a bigger role. He was now expected to be a starter, a leader, and a main focal point of the offence and defence. Which is exactly what he has been doing.
"That's what I was told that I had to be," he said. "I was not coming back to play the role I was playing last year. I was coming back to be the guy that I am today. It was already in my mind and I'm just happy I'm doing what my teammates and coaches expect me to do."
When Poole knew he was getting a bigger role, he once again spent the summer working on his shot. He understood to have success in this league you need to be able to knock down shots consistently, which he has done. Currently, he is shooting 45% from the field and 35.4% from three.
"I always work on shooting. I feel like that is a skill everybody needs," Poole explained. "Good shooters are the most successful guys so I always stay on top of that."
Meanwhile, playing a bigger role has allowed Poole to showcase his complete game. He is currently averaging 16.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game being a big part of the Hurricanes offence.
"It is great. The team and coaches trust me to go out there and do my thing," he said. "It feels good like when I am out there I'm just thinking of what my team needs me to do. Looks like scoring is my main thing so I am trying to be the best at it."
While Poole gets a lot of credit for his offensive game, his play on the defence isn't going unnoticed. He is a very good defender in the post, and often gets into passing lanes or makes it hard for others to get a shot of. For Poole, that is something he takes pride in.
"I want to be the best player. The best players do both," he said. "It isn't just about being an offensive guy. To be one of those best you have to be able to do both and play defence. I take pride in it a lot. That is why I play good defence."
While many credit the fact Poole has played in this league before as to why he is having success. For Poole, he believes it is the fact he is playing a role that bests suites him. As being a veteran of this league can hinder your play as opposing teams now how to guard you.
"I think so. It could have went either way," Poole said "Coaches know me and now how to play against me so it could have went either way. More or less, it is my teammates and my coaches and putting in hard work and it is showing."
Ultimately, Poole and the Hurricanes are once again having a good season. The team should be heading back to the playoffs where anything can happen.
"Earlier in the year we struggled, because we had a lot of new faces compared to the other two years. This year it was a slow start, we knew it was going to be slow, but we are sticking to it and our chemistry is going up," he concluded. "This is what we expected. It doesn't surprise me that we are playing well right now."