1. Herb Pope is looking more like the Herb Pope of 2009
So far this season, the senior has averaged 22.5 PPG and 11.5 RPG, including two double-doubles in Charleston. Last night against Northwestern, Pope put the team on his shoulders with a career-high 32 PTS and 9 REB. It’s also important to note that his conditioning has improved drastically, thanks to those offseason workouts with John Lucas. As long as he keeps out of foul trouble and stays healthy, he’s going to have a monster year. Just please, Herb, stop taking three pointers.
2. Jordan Theodore is embracing the captaincy
Statistics aside, it’s obvious that Theodore is the leader on this team. He’s been more vocal and is setting a great example for the younger players. He’s been putting up great numbers, although he should have more assists for a point guard. Look for Theodore’s hardworking play to inspire the rest of the team during tough stretches of games.
3. Patrik Auda has been disappointing to say the least
Auda was supposed to be a key player for the Pirates this year, but has had a poor start to the season thus far. The sophomore scored a combined 10 points in the three games in Charleston, while being held scoreless in the final despite playing 23 minutes. Auda was also ejected in the game against VCU for swinging his elbows at an opposing player. The Pirates can’t rely on just Pope and Theodore, so Auda will have to pick it up for the team to have success.
4. Bench production has been awful
We knew that depth would be an issue, but it’s been pretty bad this season. In Charleston, the bench players combined for 16 points in three games. That’s just pitiful. The only bright spot has been Haralds Karlis, who has been consistent in the first few games. Other than that, the bench has been non-existent, which will not bode well for the rest of the year.
5. The Pirates have a resilient attitude
Down by seven at the half to St. Joseph’s and 10 to Northwestern, the Pirates have shown some grittiness by making runs in both games. Although the Northwestern comeback ended in a loss, it was still the type of effort you like to see. That attitude is going to go a long way when Big East play begins next month.