When SU takes on Miami later today it will be Mike Hopkins’ eighth game as Syracuse’s head coach.
So far Jim Boeheim’s successor is 4-3 and has had his fair share of ups and downs. The Orange fired on all cylinders in the second half against Montana State in late December, but falling to a rebuilding St. John’s team in the middle of that month stung.
To truly assess Hop as a head coach, it’s important to remember where SU was when he took over.
The NCAA changed Boeheim’s suspension from nine ACC games to the next nine SU regular season games December 3rd. At that time the Orange was ranked 14th in the nation but had just lost to an unranked Wisconsin team in overtime.
Syracuse was in a noticeable decline after peaking in the Bahamas. That slide has continued seven games into Hopkins’ nine game stretch in charge, with the team losing to Georgetown and Pittsburgh in addition to St. John’s.
From a wins-loss perspective Hopkins cannot be evaluated positively. He’s won the cupcake games and lost the more meaningful ones. It’s been a frustrating few weeks.
It’s crazy (and wrong) to make a firm judgment on “Hopkins the head coach” based off of these seven games though.
He’s working with a limited roster that was always going to run into some non-conference trouble. After SU’s Battle 4 Atlantis win fans seemed to forget that Syracuse struggled to put away Lehigh and St. Bonaventure just a week earlier.
Hopkins was also preparing to coach the first nine ACC games for SU this season. That plan went out the window when the NCAA ruled on Boeheim’s appeal and Hop had only 48 hours to work with Boeheim before taking over as the interim coach.
Hopkins is figuring out how to be a head coach for a team that is in a funk on short notice. This was always going to be a bumpy ride.
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Posted: Connor Morrissette