It's Deja Vu for New Mexico State's Herb Pope

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Once upon a time, Herb Pope was considered one of the best recruits in the 2007 class. Teams like Louisville, UConn, Pitt, and Memphis were recruiting him. Then, they started backing away. Pope had a disastrous summer AAU season in 2006. His effort was questioned. He fought with his AAU coach.There were increasing signs that he wasn't worth the risk.

Eventually he signed with Reggie Theus and New Mexico State. Pope was shot several times in March 2007 while at a party. New Mexico State stood by him, and even after Theus left for the NBA Pope decided to stick with the Aggies. Granted, it took a lot longer with some academic questions from the NCAA. NMSU stood by Pope even after a DUI arrest.

Pope had a bad family history as he bounced to family members and changed schools several times. He appeared to find some stability in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania (outside of Pittsburgh). Yet, just before the start of his junior and senior years he nearly transferred to a prep school in Florida -- only to change his mind back at the last minute.

So, really, should it have come as a shock that Pope would explore transferring from NMSU just as the new school year is about to get underway? Well, he looked into Seton Hall and possibly Duquesne. The problem was that Pope wanted to have the NCAA give him a hardship waiver to play this season -- before he actually transferred. They system doesn't work that way -- and it was hard to figure what family issues would excuse playing in New Jersey when his family is in Western Pennsylvania and Maryland.

So, after all of that, Pope decided to remain with the Aggies. If history is any indication, NMSU Coach Marvin Menzies can expect this to repeat itself at least one more season -- if Pope lasts that long.

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