Seton Hall senior Herb Pope averages 18.6 points and 10.9 rebounds, he has eight double-doubles and he is a leading candidate for first-team all-Big East.
All those accomplishments, however, apparently weren't enough to make a future Big East opponent aware of him.
On the eve of Connecticut's matchup with improving Seton Hall on Tuesday night, Huskies freshman center Andre Drummond admitted to local reporters he didn't know much about Pope.
"I don't even know who that is," Drummond said. "I'm not trying to be disrespectful. They said the name to me in practice and I was like 'Wait, who's Herb Pope?'"
"I haven't watched Seton Hall so I wouldn't know who's on their team or anything like that."
A comment like that will probably become bulletin board material for Pope and the Pirates on Wednesday night, but it's pretty clear Drummond meant no disrespect. The 6-foot-10 NBA prospect by all accounts is an affable, down-to-earth kid who probably is genuine when he insists that he spends more time worrying about his own play than scouting future opponents.
Drummond's comments also reflect how under the radar both Pope and Seton Hall are. How many outside South Orange, N.J., are aware that Pope is enjoying an all-conference caliber season or that the Pirates are 12-2 with victories over West Virginia, Dayton and St. Joseph's?
Certainly, the UConn coaching staff is well aware of Pope's emergence even if they've yet to show film of him to Drummond and the other Huskies big men.
"He's an all-Big East first team, the way he's been playing," UConn associate head coach George Blaney told the New Haven Register. "I'm really impressed with the defense he's playing. He's hedging out on the pick-and-roll and stealing the ball, even, on the pick-and-roll. He's always been a great rebounder, and obviously he's got scoring talents. We're just going to have to be solid with him and keep him off the boards as much as we can."