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Hopkins A Key Reason to Syracuse’s Recruiting Success

Recruiting is one of, perhaps, the top reason for the success of Syracuse basketball under Jim Boeheim.

Although Orange alum do not tend to make a huge impact in the NBA, aside from the biggest name in Carmelo Anthony, the talent is good enough to make Syracuse one of the nation’s top programs.
Mike Hopkins is one of the biggest names in the program when it comes to recruiting. He spends hours looking at the high school talent and trying to decide if that player is a good fit for the Orange.
“The first thing is identifying talent,” Hopkins said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Sometimes I use recruiting services, sometimes there’s certain people out there that you respect that will go out there and say, ‘Hey, there’s a kid in California or there’s a kid there with a connection to Syracuse or whatnot.”
Hopkins says the next step is to evaluate and get a look for oneself.
The Orange has brought in Chris McCullough, who is similar to CJ Fair. They are close in height, and play small forward/power forward, and possibly center in McCullough’s case. Syracuse also brought in point guard Kaleb Joseph, who has some big shoes to fill after the departure of Tyler Ennis to the NBA.
Hopkins spoke highly of Michael Gbinije, who he called a versatile player because of his ability to play numerous positions on the floor.
The recruiting process is almost like a relationship, and trying to test out whether the other side is a good match, meaning whether Syracuse is a good match for the player, and if the player matches what the Orange needs.
“Just doing your research, asking questions, talking to people, seeing how the conversation is,” Hopkins said. “It’s building relationships.”
Although young, the Orange bring back familiar faces in Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas — both of whom will be expected to play roles not only off the court, but on the court helping the younger players learn the Syracuse system.
Posted: Austin Pollack
The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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