Q & A With Coach Hopkins

He's SU's unofficial career leader in floor burns. Now, he's considered one of the nation's hottest assistant basketball coaches, destined to lead his own hoops program in the near future.

Mike Hopkins, who coaches the Orange guards and teams with fellow assistant Troy Weaver to form one of the nation's top recruiting tandems, offers a sometimes-wacky perspective to the all-too-serious business of college basketball.

One thing for sure, Hopkins has an energy and a passion that have served the Orange well since he joined Coach Jim Boeheim's staff in 1996. The Juice's Mark Frank caught up with Hopkins on Media Day at Manley Field House on October 17, long enough for a wide- ranging Q&A.

Q. What's the off-season been like?
A. It's been really good, just busy recruiting, going to The White House, going here, going there, doing all sorts of things. It's been very exciting, but real busy.

Q. What was going to The White House like?
A. It was awesome. I'm right next to George (President George Bush). It was pretty awesome, pretty amazing. It was pretty quick, but just to be on the grounds and see it was pretty cool.

Q. So, all these publications have you listed as one of the nation's top assistants, ready to have your own program. This must give you a pretty swelled head.
A. Sure, sure. I can't get into the Carrier Dome right now. You have to grease my ears to walk through. My head is just gorging. No, it's a nice compliment but sometimes you try to figure out how they have these rating systems. They like me. Maybe I'm a better interview than the other guys. It's quite a compliment. It's always fun to be mentioned, but you just have to go out and work hard and let things take care of themselves and hopefully you get the opportunity and go forward.

Q. Because I hear you're really not that good of a coach!
A. I'm really not! I'm a good psychologist, though.

More with Coach Hopkins can be found in this month's issue of The Juice.

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