Recently, newly appointed Athletic Director Mark Coyle made official what all Orange fans had assumed for years; Mike Hopkins will be Jim Boeheim’s successor. What remains to be seen, and will continue to be a mystery until the day that Jim Boeheim retires, is what exactly this appointment means for Syracuse basketball.
Fans will get a glimpse into the Hopkins era this year, when Boeheim serves his nine-game suspension at the start of ACC play. However, only his game-day coaching skills will be put to the test during that period. Arguably the most important part of being a college head coach is recruiting and it will take time for Hopkins to get to recruit the way he wants to.
Syracuse.com recently published an article suggesting that the announcement that Hopkins will be head coach should have little impact on recruiting. This is true because this announcement really didn’t tell anyone anything they didn’t know already. Things could change once Hopkins is actually in charge.
As long as Hopkins has been coaching under Boeheim, it does not mean that he will continue to recruit in the exact same matter. The first thing to think about is whether or not Hopkins will keep the 2-3 zone as the exclusive defense for the Orange.
Obviously, that dictates what kind of recruits Hopkins will target. Someone like Paschal Chukwu fits beautifully into Boeheim’s Syracuse but he may not fit into Mike Hopkins’ Syracuse, and players like Chukwu may no longer be sought after.
Hopkins very well may be limited in his year or two because of the scholarship reductions, but there is every reason to think he will be at Syracuse for a long time. He will be able to, if he so chooses, completely redefine the way Syracuse recruits and the type of recruits Syracuse targets in the future.
Until the day that Hopkins takes over, Syracuse’s basketball recruiting will continue as usual, but a new coach may bring a new era in recruiting.
For all of your Orange recruiting news, whether under Boeheim or Hopkins, follow @OrangeFizz on twitter.