Caldwell-Pope 'trying not to worry' about his future

semerson@macon.comMarch 12, 2013 

ATHENS - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's spectacular sophomore season was capped by being named the SEC player of the year on Tuesday. And that led to immediate questions about whether he'd be back as a junior to defend his award.

Caldwell-Pope was reluctant to get into it.

"I'm really trying not to worry about that right now," he said. "We've got the SEC tournament to worry about. And I've just got that on my mind right now."

He said he'd start worrying about it once the season was over. He also didn't say whether he'd have to be projected at a certain point - first-round pick, lottery pick, etc. - in order to leave.

"I don't even know too much about that. I'm not worried about it," he said.

Caldwell-Pope's prospect status is hard to pinpoint: The web site Draftexpress.com rates him as the No. 41 overall prospect for the 2013 draft. Another web site, NBAdraft.net, projects him as the 30th pick overall, the final pick of the first round, while Hoops World projects him going No. 29 overall. And a mock draft last month by respected CBSsports.com analyst Jeff Goodman didn't even include Caldwell-Pope - probably because he wasn't projected to be entering the draft, at least at the time.

(On Tuesday, a media member prefaced a question to Georgia head coach Mark Fox by saying "some people have (KCP) being relatively high pick." Fox responded: "Who has that?" The media member's response: "Internet rumors. Late first-round mocks.")

Fox, who was stung two years ago by the early departures of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, said he and Caldwell-Pope have talked about it, but the focus has been on the season.

"This is Kentavious' life and career we're talking about," Fox said. "So I take that very seriously. I'll make sure that Kentavious has accurate information from the right sources. And he has been very focused on his season.

"We have had conversations about this for the last year. He knows that I will get him that information. And we'll discuss things at the right time. It's not something that has to be done anytime soon. He's aware of that, and he's just trying to play basketball."

Caldwell-Pope did say that the way this season has played out, with the strong finish by Georgia, will make him think about the potential for next year.

"I kinda do. Because we do have a great team and we did improve faster than I thought we would," he said. "Every day we get better."

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