Kentavious-Caldwell Pope turned in a fine freshman campaign for Coach Mark Fox and the Georgia Bulldogs, averaging 13.2 points to go along with a team-leading 5.2 rebounds per game. KCP also led the Dawgs in steals with 58 on the season, finishing second in the SEC in that statistical category during conference play (at 2 steals per contest).
Pope’s efforts caught the eyes of both the media as well as opposing SEC coaches, earning him a spot on the conference’s All Freshman team.
Apparently, folks in the professional ranks have taken note of KCP’s talents as well. NBADraft.net has Pope listed as the No. 9 pick in their latest 2013 Mock Draft.
If KCP were to take the leap to the NBA after next season, he would be the first Bulldog to exit the UGA basketball program for the pros after just two seasons of play since Jumaine Jones did it back in 1999.
The “Thrilla from Camilla” made the jump to the NBA after a stellar sophomore season in which Jones netted 18.8 points and 9.5 boards per game en route to being named First-Team All-SEC. Jones was selected in the first round with the 27th pick by the Atlanta Hawks before being immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
As much as I would love to see KCP in the Red and Black for at least two more seasons, if he is still projected to be an NBA lottery pick this time next year he may make a decision similar to Jumaine Jones’.