This post is sponsored by Labatt Blue, who invites you to visit RefreshmentDuo.com, where you can enter to win a ticket for you and a friend to attend a massive concert and party with the Refreshment Duo and Blue Light girls.
When Labatt Blue Light asked to sponsor a post about a pair of Pirates who stand out as magnificently as the Blue Light Refreshment Duo, it was a very tough decision to narrow the honorees down to just two Pirates, but nonetheless we've chosen: Jeremy Hazell and Herb Pope.
Like the Blue Light Refreshment Duo, they're called on for big moments, capable of delivering excitement, and of course, they're blue-and-white. Whether the Pirates look to Jeremy to deliver a game winning shot or the BIG EAST's leading rebounder to dominate the competition, they're counted on by their teammates just as Labatt Blue is counted on by patrons at your favorite pub.
First, let me reiterate, Herb Pope's health takes precedence over his ability to play the game of basketball, however, if he is cleared for action, it's hard to imagine where the Pirates would be next season if he and Hazell did indeed leave for the NBA Draft. Last season, Hazell dropped a combined 79 points in his first two BIG EAST contests against Syracuse and West Virginia, including hitting two DEEP treys in the final 17 seconds to force overtime against the Mountaineers. Jeremy went for 25+ in ten games and at 20.4PPG, he was the third-leading scorer in the conference despite playing the majority of the second half with various injuries.
In his first season as a Pirate, Herb Pope put forth 10 double-doubles in his first 14 games played and finished the season averaging a double-double at 11.5PTS/10.7REB on the season. He led the BIG EAST in rebounding and is widely considered as one of the best rebounders in the NCAA. Herb had 7 games where he contributed 15+ rebounds and finished with highs of 20 against VMI in non-conference play and 18 against Rutgers in BIG EAST play.
There are many keys to the Pirates success in the coming season, from Jeff Robinson's emergence to Jordan Theodore's new found leadership as the lone floor general, however if either Herb Pope or Jeremy Hazell left South Orange for professional basketball, we'd be looking forward to a .500 record in conference play. With both standouts returning, the Pirate faithful are once again dreaming of the big dance. With this dynamic duo, the dream is a lot closer to a reality than it has been in year's past.