John Niyo, Matt Charboneau and James Hawkins recap UM's NCAA tournament highs and MSU's lows and look ahead to the Wolverines' Sweet 16 appearance. Detroit News
Ann Arbor — Jordan Poole hasn’t turned down an opportunity to watch replays of the biggest shot of his career, a 25-foot game-winner with no time left to send Michigan to the Sweet Sixteen.
Poole, 18, received close to 800 texts after making that 3-pointer late last Saturday night and has seen his social media numbers skyrocket, while also stepping up his star-power connections. Academy-award winning director Jordan Peele, also half of the comedy duo Key and Peele, accidentally received many congratulatory messages on Twitter for the game-winning shot.
Poole and Peele have exchanged messages on Twitter and Peele is now one of Poole’s 17,000-plus followers.
“That was crazy,” Poole said Tuesday before the Michigan basketball team left for Los Angeles and the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. “(Peele) hit me up earlier today, and that was something I found was super-duper interesting, especially watching all his videos as a kid. After a shot like that, being able to connect with guys like that is definitely awesome.”
Senior teammate Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman said Poole has had no problem handling his newfound fame.
“We just try to keep him humble,” Abdur-Rahkman said, smiling. “It’s easy. Just make jokes and things like that and bring him back down a little bit. He deserves it. He hit a big shot, made history, and he deserves all the accolades and acknowledgment he’s getting.”
His Instagram followers nearly doubled to just more than 51,000. Before the shot he had 8,000 Twitter followers and has more than doubled that total.
Jordan Poole talks about campus reaction to Michigan's tournament run. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Poole said his mother has sent him clips of the video “30 times” and through social media he’s seen it over and over.
“I’ve been seeing it left and right,” he said.
How many times?
“Oh my God, probably at least 500 times,” Poole said. “Every time I watch it, I keep getting goosebumps and butterflies because it’s just amazing that I hit the shot.
“I just can’t not smile every time I look at it, like I actually hit that. Being a freshman and all the stuff that comes with it, it’s definitely super exciting.”
Poole is certain he was fouled on the play. He was going for a foul, regardless, which is why he kicked his legs out.
“If it wasn’t that situation, they probably would have called a foul, but in a situation like that, that’s definitely a super duper controversial foul if the ref calls a foul on that,” he said. “I feel after looking at the replays a couple times, I was definitely fouled.
“I definitely was looking for a foul no matter what. If I can get to the free throw line and end up having to shoot free throws instead of a 25-foot 3, it probably would be a little bit easier.”
Poole had a new accessory — protective glasses that sat on his head while he spoke to media.
Michigan coach John Beilein on Sweet 16: 'Why not us?' Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Against Houston in the second half, he was poked in the right eye. He said he told teammates on the bench it felt like he had a “filter” in the eye.
“In the game it was watering a little bit,” Poole said. “Actually, when the sunlight hits my eye right now it feels absolutely terrible, but we’ve been working on it and using stuff. If I don’t have to use them in the game, I won’t. Right now, my eye is a little bit irritated.”
Clearly, Poole has enjoyed basking in the moment without getting too high. He said he responded quickly to texts from people he’s closest to, and is making an effort to respond to each one.
And while he has watched replays of his shot so many times, he hasn’t tried recreating it in practice.
“Nah,” Poole said. “I’m going to let the moment live by itself, for sure.”