College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, November 20, 2011
Having to play a tough Big East schedule, the Seton Hall Pirates may not be the equal of teams like Syracuse, UConn or Louisville, but they do have a potential player of the year candidate in senior forward Herb Pope.
At 6'8", 236 pounds, Pope can be an unstoppable force at times, as he was against Northwestern Sunday, though the Pirates came up short in an 80-73 loss, their first of the year after winning three straight, in the Charleston Classic tournament final.
Pope came up with 32 points - a career high - on 14-for-17 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers, but, even though he shot 82% from the field, his teammates were only 15-for-42 (37%) and the Pirates went to the foul line only six times (making five), compared to the 17-for-19 tally at the line for the Wildcats.
Seton Hall fell behind early and trailed 40-30 at the break, but Pope led a Seton Hall comeback to take a brief lead with under nine minutes to play.
Northwestern's Drew Crawford and John Shurna brought home the win with clutch shooting in the latter stages of the game. Crawford, a junior swingman, had 27 points, hitting 11 of 15 from the field including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Senior John Shurna pitched in 19 points for the Wildcats.
Crawford scored 28 against Tulsa in Northwestern's 69-65 win over Tulsa on Friday and was named the Charleston Classic MVP, scoring 72 points with 18 rebounds in Northwestern’s three tournament games. The Wildcats are 4-0 and appear to have a team capable of competing in the Big Ten.
As for the Pirates, they hope to survive the Big East schedule and improve upon last season's 13-18 record.