Recruiting Impact: Hopkins Decision

Syracuse already has two commits as part of their 2015 class. How would Mike Hopkins decision impact them as well as other targets in 2015 and beyond? CuseNation.com has the inside scoop.

Mike Hopkins has interviewed for the Boston College head coaching job, and it is believed that the Eagles offered him the gig. While Hopkins is mulling his options, there is a very real possibility he is not on the Syracuse bench next season.

The immediate question is how would that scenario impact recruiting, given that the Orange have enjoyed a golden age over the last six plus years.

Syracuse has two talented prospects committed for 2014 in Kaleb Joseph and Chris McCullough. Both have signed their letters of intent and therefore have a binding agreement to play for the Orange.

The two 2015 commits, four-star forward Tyler Lydon and five-star guard Malachi Richardson, are not signed and therefore not obligated to stay committed to Syracuse. CuseNation.com spoke to both to find out how Hopkins leaving would impact their verbal pledge.

Tyler Lydon: "I would still be solid to Syracuse."

Malachi Richardson: "I'm 99.9% sure I wouldn't open up my recruitment, but still, sometimes you just never know."

Should both of those commitments hold, and it sounds like they would from what each said, that would be very good news for Syracuse. The next question would be how Hopkins' decision would impact their other targets in 2015 and 2016.

Thomas Bryant: "It would impact things a little. I love Mike Hopkins and if I do choose 'Cuse I would want him to be there to coach me. But as long as Jim was still there, they would still be up there for me like they are now."

Bryant and Moustapha Diagne are the top two targets remaining for Syracuse in 2015. The top backcourt target is Franklin Howard, who is an Adrian Autry recruit.

Tyus Battle is one of the elite prospects in 2016, and he is a Hopkins recruit. There is a long way to go in his recruitment, so it would stand to reason that Syracuse would have time to stay in the race for the five-star talent. Battle's father indicated as much to CuseNation.com.

"Syracuse is great university and is one the better basketball programs in the country," he said. "If Mike Hopkins leaves, which would not surprise me, we hope the Orange would still continue to recruit Tyus. We know the entire staff including coach Boeheim, therefore our interest would continue to be strong although Hop would be missed."

That could hurt Syracuse, but a lot would depend on whether Autry could develop that relationship quickly.

Which leads to the next big question. Who would take over for Hopkins as Syracuse's primary recruiter? Likely Adrian Autry would fill that role. He is already involved in recruiting and has the most experience on the staff.

Gerry McNamara would see increased responsibility. You may also see Jim Boeheim try to quell the fears or apprehension of some recruits by reaching out to some of Syracuse's top targets.

Losing Mike Hopkins would be a blow to Syracuse, especially in recruiting. There is no doubt about that. But they should be able to help minimize the losses to some extent with some strong efforts by other members of the staff.


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