Pope says he's departing Seton Hall

Seton Hall forward Herb Pope will declare for the NBA draft, the player said in an e-mail sent to family advisor Tony Pullen.

"After careful consideration of my options, and considering the needs of my family in Pittsburgh and a desire to compete at the next level, I have decided to enter the 2010 NBA draft," Pope wrote in a statement attached to the e-mail. "While I will continue to attend class at Seton Hall, allowing me the option of 'testing the waters,' I am 110 percent committed at this time to staying in this draft.

"I have room to improve, but I am confident that I will perform well in on-site workouts."

A transfer from New Mexico State, Pope had a strong sophomore season at Seton Hall, averaging 11.7 points and 10.7 rebounds.

"He's the best rebounder in the country," one NBA general manager GM told ESPN.com earlier in the year. "He's the DeJuan Blair of this year's draft."