Your first chance to hear publicly from the new Washington Huskies men’s basketball coach will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, when the UW will hold Mike Hopkins’ introductory press conference at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The school will stream the press conference live at gohuskies.com/live.
A few other notes from Hopkins’ first two official days as Washington’s coach ...
--- Reports are already circulating -- including this one from The Seattle Times -- that Hopkins is putting together his staff of assistant coaches, with the names of Will Conroy, Jason Hart and Tim O’Toole coming up in a few different places. Can’t confirm anything on Hart (a current USC assistant and former player under Hopkins at Syracuse) or O’Toole (a former assistant at Syracuse, Stanford, Duke and California), but it does sound like Conroy is pretty certain to be in the fold, which shouldn’t surprise anybody (though the school has yet to announce anything). Hopkins and UW needed to maintain some kind of connection to the Seattle basketball community (and the school’s recruiting interests therein), and retaining Conroy is probably the most efficient way of accomplishing that.
--- The school hasn’t yet released the terms of Hopkins’ contract -- a six-year deal, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN -- though Dave Mahler of Sports Radio KJR tweeted last night that Hopkins is due $1.8 million in his first year, with salary escalations thereafter. I would expect the school to distribute copies of Hopkins’ memorandum of understanding at Wednesday’s press conference, as it typically does for new coaches.
--- Immanuel Quickley, a 5-star point guard prospect from Maryland in the 2018 class who had been considering the Huskies, announced UW is no longer on his list after the firing of coach Lorenzo Romar.
--- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, for whom Hopkins was supposed to take over following the 2017-18 season, held a press conference today and spoke at length about Hopkins’ departure and Boeheim’s subsequent decision to coach beyond 2017-18.
Here are a few quotes, courtesy of this video posted by Syracuse.com:
(On Hopkins’ departure) “I was so happy, because he was happy. That was my only thought. Mike Hopkins is like a son to me. Anybody that thinks I wouldn’t want him to get what he wants, does not know me or does not know anything. He was so happy with the opportunity to go to a great school on the west coast, where his father went to school, and to have that opportunity to start from scratch. I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s meant a huge amount to the Syracuse basketball program.”
(On his future) “My immediate thought was, I want to coach. I want to continue to coach. I want to keep our staff intact, I want to keep our recruits here, I want to keep the continuity of the program as much as we possibly can.”
(More on his retirement date) “I kid a little bit about my retirement date. I always have, because I think, first of all, I was never sure in the last five years whether I would come back. I always was thinking, will this be the last year? Will this be the right time? That was not to kid around and that was not to try to get a reaction. I really, pretty much, for the last five to eight, 10 years, I would think about it after the season and come back. When this agreement was made with the chancellor and me and Mike Hopkins, I fully knew that next year would be my last year. I never, ever thought anything else, ever. … The only thing, it was a common agreement between the chancellor and myself, that three years would be a good time. I did not want to make it public. I thought that was a mistake, because it hurts recruiting, but because I don’t run things here, I was overruled. Which is fine. We worked through it, we prepared everybody, every recruit, everything, for what was going to happen. but I was perfectly content to coach the three years. But now this change has occurred, I’m happy. … College basketball is a great thing right now. Anything can happen. I would remind you in 2002, we went to the NIT. And I think everybody knows what happened in 2003.”
--- Lastly, here are a few links to some fairly interesting reading/viewing on Hopkins and his background:
--- And this from CNY Central today with more on Hopkins’ final meeting with Boeheim.
Here is some video of Hopkins teaching Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. It gives a good look at his teaching and communication style.
And a two-part interview with CNY Central from February 2015: