Hopkins will play hoops too

CLEMSON - Brad Brownell has never seen DeAndre Hopkins play basketball, but he's heard good things about the freshman wide receiver's game on the hardwood.

On his call-in show Monday night, Brownell announced that Hopkins will be given a chance to play basketball.

"I've heard he's a talented player—knows how to play the game, a really good passer," Brownell said on Tuesday afternoon, before the Clemson basketball team left for Wednesday's game at College of Charleston.

DeAndre 'Nuke' Hopkins was offered to play basketball at South Carolina, Florida and Wake Forest. At the Beach Ball Classic during his senior year, he averaged 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Following the Clemson football team's Meineke Car Care Bowl game on New Year's Eve, Hopkins will take a stab at college basketball.

With just nine scholarship players on the roster, the basketball team is low on numbers, particularly at guard.

The Tigers were already short-handed heading into Brownell's first season as head coach.

Just days before the season started, Donte Hill decided to transfer. A day after starting his first game of the 2010-11 season, Noel Johnson announced that he would also transfer.

Hopkins has since expressed an interest to play basketball.

"Certainly he's a competitive young man," Brownell said. "He's a guy that's been able to handle jumping into ACC football, so he certainly has competitiveness, but he's got have some poise, so we'll see what he can do."

The plan is for Hopkins to start practicing with the hoops team upon his return from the bowl game. But there's no guarantee that he'll be added to the roster.

What's next is more or less a chance for both parties to test the waters.

"If things go well and he can get himself in some basketball shape to help us, he may stick around the rest of the year," Brownell said.

If Hopkins is to join the basketball team, football coach Dabo Swinney would like to see him getting quality minutes.

"If he's going to be over there, he doesn't need to be pulling splinters out of his rear," Swinney said. "If he can help them, go help them. If not, he needs to get back over here to work."

But he'd be surprised if that's the case.

"He's talented, but he's a relentless competitor," Swinney said of Hopkins. "He's played basketball his whole life. Maybe he'll bring some toughness, from a defensive standpoint. Surely he can go in there and help them with some minutes, here and there."

During his recruitment out of nearby Daniel High School, Hopkins was promised an opportunity to play basketball, if he wanted the chance.

Now, he wants that chance.

"If he thinks he can help us in some ways, I'm sure he'll stick it out with us," Brownell said. "If we don't think it's working out and he's not going to ever play in a game, he'll just go back to football. I'm sure that's something Dabo, DeAndre and I will have to sit down and figure out."

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