- Tennessee Volunteers - January 24, 2017 - 9:00 PM EST - Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tenn. - ESPN
When you talk about a players-first program, the most disappointing thing is when a young man doesn’t feel that he can accomplish his dreams where he is. I’m disappointed today.
We do everything we can to make sure no one is lost in the shuffle because this program is about every player from top to bottom.
We are asking our players to chase their dreams, be aggressive, go after it, but we also ask them to be patient because, at times, circumstances dictate opportunity.
Some players may be behind physically and with others the competition may be further ahead in their skill set or basketball knowledge. In any case the competitor must continue to work hard to prepare for any opportunity to shine. It’s easy for me to say, but it’s hard for players to deal with that.
In Stacey Poole’s case, I feel if he would have stayed, eventually he would have had a breakthrough and had his opportunity. I told his family, “Look, if he needs a week or two weeks to decide what he wants to do and he decides he wants to come back and play the year out, he can do that. I’ll do whatever he wants to do.”
Having said that, Stacey and his family felt it is in his best interest to play somewhere else and I fully respect the family and their decision. I want to wish Stacey nothing but the best in whatever and wherever he chooses to go. He will always be a part of our family and the Big Blue Nation.
A message from Coach