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.
New Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard could be without the Big East’s leading rebounder when he begins his first season next fall.
Herb Pope, a sophomore who led the Big East in rebounding at 10.7 and scored 11.7 points per game, announced that he will enter his name into the June NBA Draft.
“After careful consideration of my options, and considering the needs of my family in Pittsburgh and a desire to compete at the next level, I have decided to enter the 2010 NBA draft,” Pope wrote in a statement to family adviser Tony Pullen that was obtained by ESPN.com. “While I will continue to attend class at Seton Hall, allowing me the option of ‘testing the waters,’ I am 110 percent committed at this time to staying in this draft.
“I have room to improve, but I am confident that I will perform well in on-site workouts.”
If Pope does not hire an agent, he can return to campus next season but he must decide by May 8.
“He’s the best rebounder in the country,” one NBA general manager GM told ESPN.com. “He’s the DeJuan Blair of this year’s draft.”
In Seton Hall’s last game of the season, a first-round loss in the NIT, Pope sucker punched Texas Tech forward Darko Cohadarevic in the groin as as the player ran upcourt. Pope was ejected from the game and then apologized to his teammates in the locker room afterward.
“Man, I never got someone even knee me that hard in a practice by accident. He just took a swing,” Cohadarevic told SNY.tv.
Willard is meeting with several Seton Hall players prior to being introduced Wednesday alongside new women’s coach Anne Donovan.
Willard met Monday with guard Keon Lawrence, who was suspended on Nov. 9 following his involvement in a wrong-way car crash on the Garden State Parkway and then reinstated in December.
He also met with Paterson Catholic senior wing Fuquan Edwin, the lone player to sign with Seton Hall for next season.
(Photo courtesy NJ.com)
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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.