Hopson makes it official; new assistant hired

NEW WSU HOOPS COACH Tony Bennett announced Wednesday that guard Phillip "Mac" Hopson has signed a National Letter of Intent with Washington State. The former Portland high school star and son of early 80s Idaho standout Phil Hopson comes to WSU from North Idaho College, where he was the team's leading scorer and helped lead the Cardinals to the SWAC co-championship. Also, the Cougs have added a new assistant coach.

Hopson, a 6-2 sophomore guard, was named junior college All-Region 18 first-team this season after averaging 13.7 points per game. He finished the year with a 73.7 free throw percentage and 64 steals, while averaging 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game.

Hopson will have four years to play three at WSU. He orginially committed to Idaho coming out of high school.

"Mac is a welcomed addition to our program," Bennett said. "He had an excellent season with NIC. He is a very good student, comes from a wonderful family, and has a burning desire to be at Washington State and compete in the Pac-10. The fact that he in an in-state recruit and has three years of eligibility left excites me all the more."

Hopson lived in Vancouver since the seventh grade, and was a full qualifier out of Jefferson High in Portland. While at Jefferson, he earned three letters and averaged 16.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game as a senior.

Hopson had verbally committed to WSU late last month, just two days after former Cougar guard Josh Akognon declared his intentions to transfer.

Mac Hopson profile

Related Story: Hopson's dad helped carry Idaho to Sweet 16

Also Wednesday, Matt Woodley was named an assistant coach, filling the vacancy created when Tony replaced father Dick Bennett at the Cougar helm. Woodley spent the last two seasons at Middle Tennessee, where he was responsible for recruiting, scouting, scheduling, film exchange and the day-to-day preparation. Prior to Middle Tennessee, Woodley was an assistant coach at Denver for three seasons.

"Matt is a great fit for our staff," Bennett said. "He is a young aggressive assistant coach who has been at two Division I universities that have turned around with his recruiting and coaching abilities. He was an integral part of the players landed at Denver and Middle Tennessee. He was a heck of a player in college who was a bulldog and he carried that into his coaching career. He has recruiting ties in the Northwest, West and Midwest."

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