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San Diego State’s Malik Pope is returning to school

Sir'Dominic Pointer, Malik Pope

St. John’s Sir’Dominic Pointer (15) and San Diego State’s Malik Pope (21) battle for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA tournament college basketball game in the Round of 64 in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, March 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

AP

Steve Fisher announced on Wednesday that talented freshman Malik Pope will be returning for his sophomore season at San Diego State.

“After a long discussion with Malik and his family, and after receiving feedback from the NBA office, Malik has decided to return to San Diego State for his sophomore season.” Fisher said. “He is very excited about improving his game and being part of a great team next season.”
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Pope is a rangy, 6-foot-10 combo-forward with three point range that had some explosive performances with the Aztecs this season, and given his athletic ability, there’s certainly the potential there for him to be a first round pick.

But there’s also a chance that he can be much more than simply a first rounder. He was coming off of a couple of serious leg injuries while in high school and didn’t get healthy until midway through the season. With a full offseason of work, Pope has a chance to be very, very good as a sophomore.

And with him back, SDSU will likely be the favorite to win the Mountain West.