San Diego State freshman forward Malik Pope will return to school for his sophomore season, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Pope’s play this season helped the Aztecs to achieve a 27-9 record and a trip to the NCAA tournament, where his team fell to National Champion Duke in the third round.
There are varying opinions on the 6’10” Pope as an NBA prospect. Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) rates the forward as the No. 15 overall prospect, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com has Pope pegged as the No. 43 overall player. The player’s numbers this season weren’t eye-popping, so the decision to remain in school was likely a wise one for the 18-year-old.
In 31 contests for SDSU this season, Pope averaged 5.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. His shooting numbers were .455/.408/.675.