Good thing San Diego State’s Malik Pope figured out he is not ready for the NBA

Posted: 04/08/2015 in basketball, college basketball
Tags: , , ,

The email came across saying “Malik Pope to return to #AztecMBB for 2015-16 season” and I didn’t know whether to laugh a little or laugh a lot.

Like was Pope considering foregoing his eligibility to become an electrician? Was he going to concentrate on his studies in hopes of someday becoming the head of San Diego State’s music department? Or did he think about going to Rome to see what it takes to become a real Pope.

He surely couldn’t have been entertaining the possibility of entering the NBA Draft, right?

Every year around this time, 15 to 20 players who shouldn’t be departing college do so and two years later they wonder why they are playing in Belgium. Or why they’re on their way to being D-League lifers, which places them about two notches above YMCA veteran.

Pope averaged a whole 5.1 points while coming off the bench for the Aztecs. Remember, that is for a team that couldn’t score and desperately needed a player who could score.

The 6-foot-10 Pope has promise – so do most of those other players who depart school early and never make it in the NBA – so this assessment over his decision doesn’t mean he can’t play. He displayed on a couple occasions that he has ability and could develop into a difference-maker.

But reaching double digits a measly four times in 31 games played doesn’t make you NBA ready. What it shows is you aren’t close to being ready to play against grown men for a living and you need to get back in the gym and improve your game.

Pope has been injury-prone so playing a full college campaign next season will be telling. The Aztecs need him to be a double-digit scorer and he certainly should be able to average between 12 and 15 points per game.

My favorite part of the press release is this quote from Steve Fisher.

“After a long discussion with Malik and his family, and after receiving feedback from the NBA office, Malik has decided to return to San Diego State for his sophomore season,” Fisher said.

It was a LONG discussion? Shouldn’t have lasted more than five minutes.

Because Malik Pope isn’t close to being ready to be an NBA player.

Excuse me while I laugh some more.


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