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Oklahoma State Basketball Recruiting: Austin Pope Offered

Just one day after the fifth point guard for the 2015 recruiting class had been offered, came the sixth. Austin Pope is a JUCO point guard and highly touted. Could this be a continuation of Travis Ford's JUCO fetish?

Austin Pope is a long point guard, who has significant upside.
Austin Pope is a long point guard, who has significant upside.

Analysis: Austin Pope is still raw in some areas. He has the ability to bang inside, and be strong in amongst the post players, and the ability to step out and take the three. He has a slower shot release so if/when he moves to the next level, he will be a guy that will have to be wide open off a pick for a catch and shoot for me to be comfortable with him taking a large amount of threes. There are two major positives though for Pope. One being his size which allows him to be active inside, grabbing offensive and defensive rebounds, and the other being his active hands. Pope is a stealing threat and is also a threat to make blocks. To many Cowboy fans that will sound familiar that a guard with significant size is able to be the defensive cornerstone on the floor with blocks and steals. Pope has the makings of a very good player and if I had a comparison to make with him, I would say Charles Mann, who is a combo guard at Georgia. The SEC may not be the strongest of conferences but I think that Mann's output the last two years, and Pope's potential output at OSU would be very similar.

Rankings: Top 3 JUCO Player Nationally, Top JUCO Point Guard

Impact: Austin Pope has some things that OSU hasn't had in a point guard. Marcus Smart had significant length, but Pope's 6'6'' frame is a weapon in itself. There are a lot of point guards now in the current era of the game that are this size and this would be a great step for OSU to make a modern step in the right direction. Pope also comes in with experience already, so that would be a great piece to his contribution early on. I think Pope would be a solid sixth man off the bench in his first year, and become a formidable starter at point in his second and final year of eligibility. It is obvious that Travis Ford is trying to strengthen this position over all other positions on the squad, and depending on the players that are brought in, that can either be a great strength, or a grave weakness.