THE FLATS - Georgia Tech signed two high school basketball players on the first day of the early signing period Wednesday, 6-1 guard Solomon Poole of Jacksonville, Fla., and 6-8 forward Quinton Stephens of Atlanta, head coach Brian Gregory announced.
"I'm very excited about the addition of these two highly-regarded prospects," said Gregory, who began his second season heading the Yellow Jacket program Friday night. "Both Solomon and Quinton will be great additions to the Georgia Tech program because they bring the qualities that we are looking for as we continue to build. They both come from great basketball families. Their fathers played at the collegiate and professional levels, and they were taught the importance of academics from an early age."
Poole, an all-state guard last season at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, where he averaged 21 points a game, will join his older brother, sophomore Stacey, Jr., on the Yellow Jackets' team next year. He is rated a five-star prospect by Rivals and as high as 14th among all prep players. Rated as high as No. 7 among point guard prospects, Poole is attending the North Florida Educational Institute for his senior year. He played on the AAU circuit for the Atlanta Celtics, and his father, Stacey, played college ball at Florida.
"Solomon has the explosiveness and athletic ability that fits in extremely well with our style of play," Gregory said. "I really like his ability to create scoring opportunities for others and for himself in both the open-court and half-court situations. His tremendous work ethic and toughness will allow him to immediately compete on the ACC level."
Stephens, an all-state selection from The Marist School in Atlanta, is a 3-star prospect in all three major recruiting rankings and ranked as high as No. 78 nationally, No. 18 among the nation's small forwards. He averaged 18.9 points, six rebounds and three assists for the War Eagles last year. He becomes the first scholarship player for the Yellow Jackets from Marist since Matt Harpring, who played 11 years in the NBA and is the No. 2 all-time leading scorer at Tech. Stephens played AAU ball for the Atlanta Express. His father, Bob, played at Drexel collegiately and overseas for more than 10 years.
"Quinton is one of the most versatile players nationally in the class of 2013," said Gregory. "He has great length, is a tremendous shooter with range and has a basketball IQ beyond his years. From the day I got the job here, he has been a top priority for us because he fits in with our style of play and he's a proven winner."