The talented 6-8 forward scored 21 points, mostly in the second half, and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Pope showed off his ball handling skills and post-moves during the second half, and hammered home a powerful alley-oop slam that ignited the Jots rally from an eight point deficit.
Jots coach J.O. Stright told InsideTheVille.com Friday evening that three schools – Kansas State, Louisville, and UConn – headed the list for the versatile forward. Pope, however, wasn't ready to talk favorites.
Herb Pope isn't ready to name favorites.
"I have a lot of interest in everybody," he said. "I want to look around and see what every school has to offer me education-wise and athletically. I get my number changed a lot because I don't like talking to coaches on the phone. I just like to talk face to face and see where people are coming from and see if they're sincere about what they're saying or not."
Any favorites? A Top 5? "No sir," Pope replied. "I really haven't sat down to think about it. My aunt told me to wait until after the summer was over to see who shows up at a lot of the games and shows me a lot of interest."
There have been a lot rumors floating around the Internet since Bob Huggins took the Kansas State that the Wildcats might be the team to beat. Pope seemed to dispel that line of thinking when asked about those rumors.
"That's J.O.'s right hand man, so of course that automatically puts him in the running," Pope said. "That's all it is. Some schools think that they see all the ink about Coach Huggins and think that's a lock, but it really isn't."
Rick Pitino has been involved with Pope for several months, and made the trip to watch one of Pope's high school games last season. "That put them in contention," he said. "I like Louisville a lot. I like Rick Pitino a lot – I think he's a great coach. He can help any player get to the next level."
Pope said he speaks with Louisville assistant Marvin Menzies on a regular basis.
"My coach talks to Coach Menzies a lot," Pope said. "I call Coach Menzies and talk to him – actually my coach calls him and I talk to him."
Pope said UConn's style of play has piqued his interest in the Huskies.
"They've shown a lot of interest in me since the beginning of last season," Pope said. "They've told me I have a scholarship. I like they're game and how they let ‘big guys' that can handle the ball go out on the perimeter. I like any school like that."
So what's Pope looking for in a college?
"Somewhere I think the coach is a very good coach," he explained. "I want a coach that can (help) players get to the next level at my position."
Pope said he'd like to make his decision before the start of his senior season. He also said he'd probably return to Aliquippa (PA) High School for his senior year.