2006 Focus: Cordell Pope

Cordell Pope was more of a role guy a year ago under Walter Sharpe, but this season he stepped up and carried the team most of the team.

Cordell Pope watched and learned a year ago from Walter Sharpe at Birmingham Parker (Ala.). Then he stepped up and took over as a junior this season.

The 6-foot-6, 175-pound averaged 17 points, 10 boards and 5 assists per game this season in establishing himself as one of the elite talents in Alabama. However, he struggled and was 3-of-15 from the field in a season-ending playoff loss to Richard Hendrix and Athens High last week.

Pope is long and prefers to play on the perimeter. He's a tough matchup because of his ability to shoot it from the outside. He still needs to add strength and work on his footspeed, so that he's able to defend smaller and quicker wings.

``This year I didn't look at it like I was going to be the man or anything like that," Pope said. "I just knew I had to do a little bit more of everything."

That's exactly what he did.

Pope, who has a 2.8 GPA, said that his top three schools are Connecticut, Cincinnati and Georgetown. He also mentioned Georgia Tech, LSU, Vanderbilt and Auburn.

``Right now I like Cincinnati and UConn the most," Pope admitted. "But I want to go somewhere that has my major (business), has good coaches and players and somewhere that I feel comfortable overall."

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