Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Herb Pope, a talented 6-foot-9 sophomore forward who played at New Mexico State, said Monday night that he is taking his services to Seton Hall.
Apparently, Pope was going to return to NMSU as of Friday, but Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez helped convince him to change his mind. He averaged 11.6 points and 6.8 rebounds last season.
“I am going to Seton Hall,” Pope, who was granted a release by NMSU, told the Las Crucus Sun-News.
“I have family matters back home and I wanted to get closer to the east coast,” Pope said. “I am a father and I want to get closer to my daughter because I don’t want her to go through the same things that I went through.”
Pope said he made his decision in the last two days. He said he hopes to receive a waiver from the NCAA in order to play immediately.
“My hope is that it goes through, but it’s up to the NCAA,” Pope said. “I’m prepared to sit out this year if that’s what it takes. I’m not the same person as my days in high school and I’m looking forward to moving on with my career.”
IF Pope gets a waiver and suits up this year, it would be a huge boon to Gonzalez, who is still waiting on the eligibility of 6-10 freshman big man Melvyn “Big Mel” Oliverand needs a frontcourt power in the worst way.
Seton Hall is also hoping to secure a waiver for guard Keon Lawrence, who transferred from Missouri. Here is the official release on Lawrence’s transfer…
Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez announced Tuesday that Keon Lawrence (Newark, N.J.) has transferred to the University. Lawrence played basketball the last two seasons at the University of Missouri and will sit out the 2008-09 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Lawrence will be eligible to practice with the Pirates this season, but won’t see game action until 2009-10. The guard will have junior playing eligibility at that time.“Keon is an incredible recruit for us,” Gonzalez said. “He has a huge name in the state of New Jersey and he’s coming back home to Newark. He can play the one and the two. He’s a natural scorer and really an electrifying, exciting player that the fans are just going to love. When he decided to transfer, everyone in the country wanted him, but he chose us. I think that really says something about where we’re headed as a program.”Last season at Missouri, Lawrence played in all 32 games and averaged a team-high 29.2 minutes per game. He led the team in field goal attempts and averaged 11.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while making 20 starts. A native of nearby Newark, N.J., Lawrence topped the 20-point plateau twice last season including a 25-point performance at Kansas, the 2008 national champions.At Weequahic High School Lawrence was nicknamed the “Human Pogo Stick” for his acrobatic dunks and athleticism. A First Team All-State selection as a senior, he led the state of New Jersey with 31.2 points per game and became just the third player in Essex County history to record over 2,000 career points.
If they get both Pope and Lawrence for this season, look for the Pirates to make some waves this year.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.