Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coaching Profiles: Mike Hopkins


BC returns to the Carrier Dome Wednesday night. As important as it might be to face the nation's top team, the game might also serve as a preview of BC's basketball future. Syracuse's top assistant Mike Hopkins is nearly everything BC would want in a new coach. He's been an ace recruiter for a leading program. He has experience in the best basketball conferences in the country. He's brings a solid basketball acumen and a proven defensive system. He's worked at private schools. The only thing missing on Hopkins' resume is the issue that he's never been a head coach.

What you need to know
Hiring an assistant usually isn't an issue. 99% of them would jump on the chance to have their own program, especially one in the ACC with a winning tradition. Hopkins' is not a sure thing. He's turned down other jobs in the past and most assume that he will be Boeheim's successor at Syracuse. But his multiple interviews for the USC job showed that he was willing to leave for the right situation. Who knows his motivations these days? These handoffs when an icon steps down are always political and fraught with egos. Maybe he's tired of waiting. Or maybe he knows that the right job -- and winning there -- will make him that much more desirable to Syracuse down the road. I don't think BC will look at many assistants, but I think Hopkins will be on the short list.

Pros
-- Brings in BC's most aggressive and successful recruiter in 30 years
-- Could install the 2-3 and have BC playing good to great defense within two seasons
-- Personable "face of the program" type who will be accessible
-- Strong ties to northeast AAU
-- Strong ties to Southern California basketball scene

Cons
-- No Head Coaching experience
-- the chance that he might leave for Syracuse the minute Boeheim retires

Overall
BC hasn't hired an assistant for the head basketball job since Bob Zuffelato. Maybe it is time to try the idea again. I like everything about Hopkins and I am not worried about his lack of head coaching experience. Boeheim delegates so much that Hopkins has better "big time" experience than half the candidates that BC will consider. There is a chance the he runs back to Syracuse one day. But if that is a fear, BC just needs to build in some sort of contractual, time-adjusted buyout. We can require that he spends four seasons here.

Bates said during the football search that prior head coaching experience was critical. I think he will probably follow that model this time too. But if one guy gets a pass on the head experience, it will be Hopkins.

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13 Comments:

At 1:14 PM, Blogger tpsreports said...

Hop would be a great get. The USC job was so enticing to him because he is from Laguna Hills. Don't know that the BC job will trump waiting a couple more years at Cuse but he should definitely be contacted.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

I would prefer someone w/ HC experience, but this approach can work. Roy Williams being the best example.

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

If we go the assistant coach route, BC should consider Brian Dutcher (esp. if it wants a top notch defense every year). Like Hop, he is a head coach in waiting, and may not want to leave. However, he has everything that this program needs.

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What is so wonderful about this speculation is that the choices (Howlan and Hopkins) are so much better than what we have right now. Let's go Brad Bates - Get it done!

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What is so wonderful about this speculation is that the choices (Howlan and Hopkins) are so much better than what we have right now. Let's go Brad Bates - Get it done!

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

What about someone like Tommy Lloyd? Not enough experience to be considered a serious candidate?

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Thomas--You should take a look at the last Gonzaga assistant to get a head coaching gig: Bill Grier at USD. After a highly successful first season, the program has imploded. If Grier imploded the USD program (that's in the same conference as Gonzaga), I wouldn't hold my breath about Lloyd.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger JBQ said...

Hopkins would be a good hire. However, you have to know that there will be a clause opening to return to Syracuse with Boeheim "hopping" off the Orange Express. That is the hazard of this business.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

To make a little detour in this very interesting discussion:

Jim Turner certainly did not do himself very proud with the antics with blow up dolls in Miami and acting like a high school freshman. And to think that some posters here mentioned him before Daz was hired. Yikes. I thought that the coaches were supposed to be the adults in the locker room.

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Who or what is a Jim Turner?

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

O-line coach at BC in 2007.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger @timstwrt said...

Don't know much about Hopkins, but the big time assistant profile is the approach I'd prefer Bates take. If someone leaves after a couple of years it means they were successful, and I'd take it.

There's also someone who has all the big time assistant experience and has head coaching experience and currently coaches six miles from BC....

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Turner fired>

 

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