FHS’s Pope No. 5 prospect in Louisiana

Published 4:42 am Saturday, November 25, 2017

Franklinton’s T.Y. Pope is the fifth-ranked prospect in the state for the class of 2019 by Prep Hoops.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior has displayed a solid all-around game on both ends of the court. Pope has shown he can put up points inside and outside and he has a good midrange jumper as well.

Last season, the forward was a first-team all-district player after averaging 15.7 points per game in league play to go with 10.7 rebounds.

For the entire season, he averaged 14.3 points a game, 10.5 boards and 2.4 blocks per contest.

Defensively, Pope has proven to be tough, and he is a solid rebounder on both ends of the court.

“I’ve been improving a lot this year during the offseason,” Pope said. “I’m a post player, but I’m trying to work on my ball handling to try and be a guard because I know in college, I won’t be a post player.”

Pope said Franklinton’s basketball team is looking good this year, but they have a lot of improving to do.

Pope said they have a lot of freshmen and sophomores and said he tries to be a leader towards them, which is something kind of new for him.

“I’m kind of new to it. This is my first year to actually become a leader because last year, we had a lot of seniors,” he said. “I was kind of new to high school because I was a sophomore. This is really my first year trying to adapt to the leadership thing.”

Pope started playing basketball when he was 6.

“We had a little association tournament at Franklinton Junior High School. Ever since then, it just went from there,” Pope said.

Pope said he loves the game a lot.

“I love it more than life itself. I like what it does for me, so I travel a lot with the game. I love it,” Pope said.

Pope said he puts a lot of work into basketball.

“I wake up about 4 or 5 in the morning and get a workout in everyday. Get every rep in, as much as I can,” Pope said.

Franklinton coach Brad Oestriecher is entering his second year with the Demons and praised his young star.

“He’s by far the most talented basketball player I’ve coached,” Oestriecher said. “He’s 6-5, rangy, he gobbles up rebounds, he’s starting to develop his outside game, and most of all, he’s the hardest working kid I’ve ever had. He actually gets mad at me when I won’t open the gym, but I don’t mind it.

“He’s a great leader. He single-handily runs practice at 6:30 in the mornings for us. He’s just a pleasure to coach.”

Oestriecher spent three years as Varnado’s head basketball coach before going to Franklinton, so he had a chance to see Pope play in person during his freshman season.

“I knew about him because we played against him and he has just developed and gotten better tremendously,” Oestriecher said. “He is a different player than he was a year and a half ago. I credit it to hard work and a lot of God-given ability.”

Oestriecher said Pope is a quiet person.
“If you don’t really dig into him and get to know him, he seems just like a quiet, laid-back type kid,” he said. “But once you get to know him, you get to understand he is a bulldog that is just wants to fight and wants to scratch and get better. He refuses to let anyone be better than him.”

Oestriecher said Pope’s biggest strength is probably his rebounding ability.

“He’s got long arms, he’s athletic and he’s got the quickest ‘second jump’ I’ve ever seen,” he said. “If he goes up, when he comes down, he can get off the floor in a split second like I’ve never seen it before. That’s why he’s such a good rebounder.”

The Demons opened the regular season in the Covington Tournament that took place from Nov. 15-18.