Questions From A UW Fan

rocklloyd

He Da Man
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All you need to know is that when he played here he led the team in floor burns. All heart! He will get it done.
We affectionately called him the "Human Hack" in college. All hustle
 

tbonezone

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honestly i thought great recruiting was an issue for next year. the cupboard is bare (esp if 2 dudes leap)
 

NKR1978

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Hop was great recruiting for Boeheim. When it looked like he was recruiting for himself we slipped. He did a horrible job coaching in his tryout. I'm in the minority, but I'm genuinely glad we now have the opportunity to do a real nation search when we need a new coach.
 

MSOrange

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Hop was great recruiting for Boeheim. When it looked like he was recruiting for himself we slipped. He did a horrible job coaching in his tryout. I'm in the minority, but I'm genuinely glad we now have the opportunity to do a real nation search when we need a new coach.
I'm not sure you are in the minority as much as you think. I've wanted someone with head coaching experience all along. Not thrilled with more uncertainty I have to admit
 

NKR1978

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I'm not sure you are in the minority as much as you think. I've wanted someone with head coaching experience all along. Not thrilled with more uncertainty I have to admit
I think we're overstating the problems caused by uncertainty. K isn't much younger than JB, but they don't have any problems with recruiting because they haven't announced a stupid succession plan that puts an end date on K's tenure.

Hop had the opportunity to recruit for himself. He couldn't get it done. Sanctions obviously compounded that a bit, but people want to play for JB.

We're probably on the same timeline, but as far as the world knows, JB will be here for at least two more years. And now he can retire quietly at the end of the 2018 or 19 season and instead of passing the job off to someone we'll be able to hire an experienced coach.
 

IthacaBarrel

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Hop good guy, good recruiter, ton of question marks how will be as a head coach as well as an X and O guy. The tryout left much to be desired. I don't think we are going to do much next year with or without him, but I would much rather hire a proven HC after JB. I am not sold on Hop at all. As far as UW goes, if I was a fan of their program, I would be middle of the road on the hire and obviously have to take a wait and see approach.

I am never a fan of hiring a HC with no experience, would much rather hire a guy with proven success at a smaller school or program. UW taking a huge risk but it looks like they are willing to be patient which is good, will be tough for a first time HC first year or two.
 

tbonezone

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informal poll so far

By
Seattle Times sports staff

What do you think of the Huskies hiring Mike Hopkins as men’s basketball coach?
Good move 66.02% (548 votes)

Should've kept Romar 22.89% (190 votes)

Bad move 11.08% (92 votes)

Total Votes: 830
 

FrancoPizza

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Hop had the opportunity to recruit for himself. He couldn't get it done. Sanctions obviously compounded that a bit, but people want to play for JB.
Wrong on all accounts.
 

Day2

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The 4-5 thing is insignificant. Lots of our fans thought that was indicative of Hopkins as a coach, but under JB this year, we lost the same kinds of games.
Different SU teams with (mostly) different players. Hopkins took over a team that had just won the Battle 4 Atlantis and would go on to make a Final Four run. I'll give him a pass for the Georgetown game, but we probably beat St. John's and Clemson with JB, perhaps Miami as well.
 

SBU72

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I wouldn't fear Hop will go exclusively zone. Many here seem to forget that he was on the bench back when JB used a lot/mostly man-2-man. And it was good. I recently re-watched the 2004 turny game against BYU. JB left the zone part way through the 1st half and went man for the rest of the game. It was a very good aggressive defense. That move saved the game. And Hop was on the bench then. Also Hop coached on Team USA with Coach K and JB. Can't get much better to learn all defenses than that.
 

TinyManInside

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{disclaimer: I used to run a website called OrangeNation.net and got to interact with Hopkins several times over my 7-8 year stretch of running the site. I will admit to being a big fan of his during this time period (2000-2008). Keep in mind that my impressions were formed a decade+ ago and that I haven't interacted with him since, so things could obviously have changed over that length of time.

General Impression: It was very clear to me that he bled orange and was a tireless worker who wanted nothing less than the highest level of success for SU basketball. He was extremely passionate about basketball in general and Syracuse in particular. He was a very high energy guy. I will admit to having a pretty biased favorable perception towards Hop, but I will try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge in an unbiased manner. Ok, now that that is out of the way, on to your questions.}
Washington fan here, got some questions if you guys don't mind asking. Just skimming through your forum, it seems that Mike Hopkins is thought of very highly here.

Overall, what do you think of the hire? How did he do as the HC during Boheim's suspension? I think he was 4-5.
Regarding his coaching debut last year - he wasn't exactly inspiring during his short stint. In fairness, he was put in a tough position having to coach in the middle of a season. It's not like he could really imprint his own style on the team when Boeheim's system is so unique, what with Boeheim coming back to resume the reins.

But that said, his on-court demeanor was surprisingly... bland? Not sure what other word to use, but he didn't showcase the fiery and passionate personality that I know he has. It was really somewhat of a shock to me that he didn't show much emotion out there, and also seemed a step slow on in-game adjustments.

I have heard that Hopkins has basically been running the program for the past few years while Boheim is just the head figure. Is this true?
Yes and no. Hop has been the daily captan of the ship for a long, long time. I was a grad student at SU from 1998-2002 and went to more than 75 practices during that timeframe and Hopkins ran drills and practices and did all of the heavy lifting. I'd say he took on about 80% of the organizational and leadership roles at practices. Boeheim would observe most of the practice, then at the end when the team would run scrimmages, JB would stop from time to time for a teaching moment, and he'd also usually gather the team together to talk about game situations and strategies after the end of practice, but overall the kids interacted with Hop much, much more than they interacted with JB.

Hop has also been the head recruiter for quite some time and has a lot of input on evaluating and targeting talent. He watches and analyzes a ton of game film (for example, during the 2003 Final Four Hopkins pulled an all-nighter watching game film of Kansas after SU beat Texas in the semi-finals). But JB always has the final word on offers and what players to pursue the hardest. JB also sets all of the strategy and implements gameday preparation and calls all the shots on the bench. So Boeheim is by no means just a figurehead, but Hopkins has had a lot of freedom over the last 20 years. I'd venture to say he's been entrusted in a bigger role than 90+% of other head assistants.

Is Hopkins considered a good recruiter? What are his strengths and weaknesses when it comes to recruiting?
Hop has been SU's best recruiter for a long, long time. This year's recruiting has been a mess though, and by many accounts Hopkins hasn't been as visible on the recruiting scene and hasn't been out grinding like we are used to seeing. Not sure what that means. We do have to figure in the fact that SU is still under NCAA recruiting sanctions, so that may have some impact on the perception of his recruiting efforts this year.

I do know that for quite some time he was a tireless worker. During the time I ran OrangeNation (2000-2008), I used to go to recruiting evens like ABCD, Rumble in the Bronx, Tournament of Champions, Peach Jam, Primetime Shootout, Jordan Classic, McDonald's All-American game, Charm City Classic, Capital Classic, local high school games, etc... Hop would work as hard as anyone at the events that I saw him at.

My impressions from both observing him, and speaking with him directly many times: He relates to the kids really well. He's quirky, smart/sharp, personable, fun, and a really interesting guy. He genuinely cares about the kids he recruits and brings into the program.

Keep in mind that these are opinions formed over a decade ago though. My last interactions with him were in 2008 and I am not 'in the know' with regards to the SU program the way I used to be.

Probably not likely, but do you see any of your current players following him to UW?
I'd think this is highly unlikely.

I'm well aware that he will likely run the 2-3 zone, but what kind of offense do you guys run? Or what kind of offense do you expect him to run at UW?
The SU offense is rather simple overall. We don't run a lot of sets and we rely a lot on our best athletes to make plays. It's a strategy that works great when we have really talented multidimensional athletes, but less well when the team isn't as athletic or doesn't have a good primary ballhandler/distributor. I expect Hop to try to recruit skilled players who can shoot and handle, and he's gonna like long/lanky forwards... I know the PG position is very important to him.

Defensively I expect that you will see a lot more versatility than what we see out of Boeheim now. I expect Hop to mix up defenses more than Boeheim (JB only has 2 defensive settings: 1) all-zone-all-the-time-zone-o-rama, and 2) desperation chaotic press). I know in the past Hop told me he wanted to use the press as a weapon rather than a last resort, and that he was planning to implement man-to-man some of the time, and that he wanted to use more half-court traps and such. But I don't expect him to ditch the zone, you'll see a lot of that I'm sure.

I expect him to be a pretty good X's and O's guy. He always impressed me as having pretty deep knowledge of the game whenever I spoke with him and talked about basketball strategy.

Any further insight on him would be great. As a huge fan of UW Hoops, I was a little disappointed at first, but after hearing how highly thought of he is, I'm starting to really like the hire. As many of you know, the past several years for UW basketball has been pretty rough.
One of the concerns that many have expressed is "Can Hop be the bad guy?" For most of the time that he's been at SU, Hopkins has been the 'good cop' to Boeheim's 'bad cop'. He's been on the frontline of keeping kids prepared and focused when they're not getting playing time or they're in JB's doghouse. As an example of this, we had a PG named Allen Griffen who struggled through his first 3 years at SU but Hopkins worked with the kid to get him through the tough times. I would see the 2 of them at Flanagan gym at 7 AM on Fridays (guys in my grad program had a running 7 AM Friday game for years) and Hop always kept pushing him to work hard and improve his skills. Griffen ended up have a great senior season and guided a very flawed team to a 25-9 record. It was a testament to Mike's ability to be the 'good cop', but he's never really been put in the position to be the bad guy, the one who demands more from his players and has to make the really hard decisions. He's always been very buddy-buddy with the players and it will be interesting to see if he can make the transition to a position that will require a more hardnosed approach.

Overall final thoughts: If Hop can bring the same intensity and drive that I witnessed from 99-08 then I think that you will be getting a really good coach. Whether or not he has maintained that fire, I'm not sure? I really hope he has, and I will be pulling for him to succeed. To be honest though, I would have more faith in his ability to excel if he had started as a head coach 6-8 years ago.
 

O-pulse

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Mike Hopkins is a gem, as a coach, recruiter and human being. He is so very funny that he could do stand- up, if he chose.
Hop is someone who you and your community will love. He is considered, by those in the know, to be one of the best recruiters in the US.

He was highly thought of by he other coaches for USA Basketball, as well.
I expect, with Mike Hopkins at the helm, that your program will offer an exciting brand of basketball and will move up the ranks of the PAC 10 to be one of it's best programs, in time.
 

TinyManInside

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Washington fan here, got some questions if you guys don't mind asking. Just skimming through your forum, it seems that Mike Hopkins is thought of very highly here.

Overall, what do you think of the hire? How did he do as the HC during Boheim's suspension? I think he was 4-5.

I have heard that Hopkins has basically been running the program for the past few years while Boheim is just the head figure. Is this true?

Is Hopkins considered a good recruiter? What are his strengths and weaknesses when it comes to recruiting?

Probably not likely, but do you see any of your current players following him to UW?

I'm well aware that he will likely run the 2-3 zone, but what kind of offense do you guys run? Or what kind of offense do you expect him to run at UW?

Any further insight on him would be great. As a huge fan of UW Hoops, I was a little disappointed at first, but after hearing how highly thought of he is, I'm starting to really like the hire. As many of you know, the past several years for UW basketball has been pretty rough.
HuskeyHooper - What's the best UW messageboard for basketball?
 

All4SU

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Great recruiter. Honest and personable. Players love him.
Has not been "running the program." That is JB. He is no figure head.
Good hire for UW. He will be missed at SU.
 

orangenirvana

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He's a great person and will recruit well at Washington but I always wondered if he had the right mentality to be a head coach. We'll see very soon. I'm glad to have a second team to root for.
 

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