Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maryland prep forward Hopkins to visit Jayhawks


Mikael Hopkins, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound basketball power forward from tradition-rich DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., this weekend will make his official recruiting visit to Kansas University.

Hopkins, who has visited Ohio State officially and Georgetown unofficially and has trips planned to Miami, West Virginia and Texas, will announce his college choice on Nov. 1.

“I am looking for a place where I can play, where we will win, a place that will develop me to become the best player I can be, and a place I can have fun,” Hopkins told’s No. 79-rated player is expected to move up the rankings as he continues to develop physically. He put on 15 pounds between the start of his sophomore and junior campaigns.

“The goal going into college ... I want to be at least 225 pounds,” Hopkins told “I know with my body frame I'm not going to be a real big dude, but I just want to be tall and be able to hold my position.”

He is known as a player who runs the floor well, is an outstanding shot blocker and good shooter inside and out.

“Hopkins has added muscle to his long and athletic body. He is mobile and does a great job patrolling the lane,” writes on its official scouting report of Hopkins.

“He posts up well and provides the passer with an excellent target hand. He likes to score in the post and facing with spin moves in order to improve his scoring angles. Hopkins can hit open mid-range jumpers with time and space and displays excellent touch around the basket as well. He also is a good passer for his size.

“He has the size and talent to be an excellent power forward,” ESPN’s scouting report added. “He must work on his on court energy level to take his game to the next level in which he is very capable.”

A good friend of KU sophomore/Washington D.C. native Thomas Robinson, Hopkins plays summer ball for Team Takeover AAU.

“Kansas has been involved with Mikael for a very, very long time. I believe the staff has been recruiting him for two years. The biggest thing with Kansas has been the consistency,” Team Takeover coach Keith Stevens told

“They’ve put in the effort and spent time getting to know him and his mom. The staff has also told Mikael he'll have the opportunity to come in and play right away. If he works hard, he will have the opportunity to play from day one.”

Noted DeMatha coach Mike Jones to the Washington Post: “The good thing about him is even though he improved so much in the last year he didn’t stop working.”

Rivers chooses Duke: Austin Rivers, the No. 1-rated basketball player in the class of 2011, orally committed to Duke over Kansas and North Carolina on Thursday. Rivers had scheduled a visit to North Carolina, but had not yet scheduled an official visit to KU. The 6-foot-4 senior point guard attends Winter Park High School in Florida. He is the son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

Another Late Night visitor: Ishmael Wainright, a 6-5 sophomore from Raytown (Mo.) South High, will make an unofficial visit to KU for the Oct. 15 Late Night in the Phog, reports. Wainright also plays for KC Pump N Run.

Self, players to chat with students: KU coach Bill Self and the Jayhawk players will hold a question-and-answer session for members of the KU student body from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, in Allen Fieldhouse. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. Self sent an open letter to the student body inviting them to the Q-and-A session. The session is for KU students only.


ldjayhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

"Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. Self sent an open letter to the student body inviting them to the Q-and-A session. The session is for KU students only."

This is the part that I miss being a KU student the most!

Hope you guys who are going have fun!

Jeff Schartz 11 years, 3 months ago

"Hope you guys who are going have fun!" ............sounds like somebody needs to go back to school!

David Leathers 11 years, 3 months ago

This place is for some discussion only, not to poke at fun for other people because they don't speak English good. Sounds like somebody needs to eat another damn donut, Mr. Grammar Police.

TrueJayAlltheWay 11 years, 3 months ago

*Don't speak english WELL.

lol jk, I dont care.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 3 months ago

Because of injuries I received in Iraq, I use voice which often makes mistakes I miss for failing to proof read carefully..could be a similar situation.

Kurt Eskilson 11 years, 3 months ago

Mikael Hopkins says, “I know with my body frame I'm not going to be a real big dude, but I just want to be tall and be able to hold my position.” Not real big? Not necessarily so. I have just one word for you, young man: "Hudy."

Jaminrawk 11 years, 3 months ago

“I am looking for a place where I can play, where we will win, a place that will develop me to become the best player I can be, and a place I can have fun,”

Kansas ... Kansas ... definitely Kansas ... aaaaand Kansas. So it's settled.

Ron Franklin 11 years, 3 months ago

Could somebody please tell me how to get Late Night tickets?

b_asinbeer 11 years, 3 months ago

You don't need tickets. Just show up early and you should be able to get in.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 3 months ago

Why did you choose to attend KU?

“I was blown away by my recruiting visit to KU. From that point on I was a Jayhawk. Once you come to Kansas I don’t see how you could possibly choose to go anywhere else.” Billy Thomas

Did you hear that Cook, McClemore, Nash, Pelle, Hopkins, and Chol?

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 3 months ago

How is Calipari constantly getting so many 5 star recruits? So far he has 4 for 2011. Does he even have that many spots with the class he has coming in? I guess he is counting on AODs.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Question for kushaw and others studying the nuts and bolts of recruiting and its trends:

Are there significantly fewer true bigs to recruit these days? Are bigs getting shorter on average the last few years? Is the 7 footer an endangered species? I read of very few 6'10" to 6'11" guys even. Were height numbers being inflated big time in the 60s to 2005 era, or are we in a height depression, as well as an economic depression? Is fast food somehow fattening persons up, but stunting their growth in height? Or is what I am perceiving just flat incorrect? Are there fewer 6'10" plus guys to recruit these days, the same, or more than in earlier eras?

Chris Shaw 11 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate: Those are some great questions and yes 7 footers are very rare, but decent, skilled, promising 7 footers with "Poetential" are even more sparse. According to the experts, whomever they may be, the class of 2012 is suppose to be the class that is loaded with "Big's", where as the class of 2011 is just another decent class that is suppose to be "Top Heavy". Because of your question let's break down the Rivals Top 50 in both classes of those that are 6'10 or taller.

Class of 2011 6'10 or taller

6 Anthony Davis (220 Lbs)-

20 Cody Zeller (205 lbs)-Seriously, How many Zellers and Plumlee's are out there? By the way, Marshall Plumlee is #82 at 6'11 and 215 lbs.

47 Michael Chandler (220Lbs)

Just missed the cut: #38 Johhny O'Bryant at 6'9 and 235lbs (True Power Forward and Center type), #25 Kyle Wiltjer at 6'9 and 225 lbs (Bigger, Slower, Kyle Singler).

All in all, not a whole lot of true "Big's" in the Rivals Top 50 and Johnny O'Bryant is probably the most true center out of the group and he's only 6'9 and that's probably stretching it by an inch.

Class of 2012 6'10 or taller

1 Andre Drummond (251lbs)-Well, he's only 6'9, but is an absolute stud in the low post. A lot like Jared Sullinger except a couple of inches taller, but a little on the short side for our criteria.

2 Isiah Austin is a true 7 footer (200 lbs)-

13 Kaleb Tarczewski is a true 7 footer (220lbs)-He is very hot on KU's radar and Self wants this kid bad. There was a great article I posted on LJW earlier this week from the Boston Herald talking about how Self was in attendance at his and his teammate Alex Murphy's open gym. By the way, Alex Murphy is a more athletic clone of Kyle Singler at 6'8 and #11 in the rankings. Self wants Both.

14 Cameron Ridley (235 lbs)

16 Daniel Ochefu (215 lbs)

46 Steven Adams (210 lbs)

47 Willie Cauley (Didn't list his weight) He's the Olathe Northwest prospect that I thought was going to K-State. I thought he committed there so I'll have to read up on that.

56 AJ Hammonds (250 lbs)

Just missed the cut: #27 Shaquille Cleare at 6'9 and 285 lbs,


Chris Shaw 11 years, 3 months ago

Please don't pay attention to the couple spelling errors.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 3 months ago

From this list alone the 2012 class is much much much deeper with talented "Big's" and even 50 through 150 they have quite a few 6'10 players and taller. To answer your question, I do think true centers and true down low power forwards are dwindling because of how the game is evolving.

Dirk Nowitzki is a true anomaly as is Lebron James. Those two guys alone are changing the dynamics for the 6'8 and 6'9 kid who wants to shoot and put the ball on the floor. Everybody wants to play on the perimeter these days so the amount of true bangers are decreasing every year.

As for your question about 7 footers.........I don't really know. It seems like their are fewer, but there always seems to be a handful of 7 footers in each class. There may be fewer at the Top of each class because of the way the game is changing to a more perimeter based ideal. However, the 2012 class is loaded with talented "Big's" and guys that are Lebron James type of small forwards.

AverageCitizen 11 years, 3 months ago

Why does the LJW/Bedore keep repeating that no official visit was scheduled to Kansas for Austin? It seems to confirm they don't do their home work. Austin was scheduled to visit Kansas Oct 22 and then said he would take a couple of weeks to decide with his family where he would go. He obviously didn't do that but please report the facts!

kerbyd 11 years, 3 months ago

The word on Hopkins reminds me a lot of what they say about Chol. They both are not rated extremely high currently, but they have very high ceilings as far as improving their games.

AndOne 11 years, 3 months ago

Apparently a 45 day clock is running on Selby's right to practice before being cleared. See

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago


What say you swallow some of your alias?

P.S.: Its a shame your alias isn't Drano. :-)

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for your OPINION..for what it's worth.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago


You shamed me with your exemplary civility to the alien. I will reload my take as a result. Here goes.

Thanks for your opinion, clorox, even if it wasn't worth spit. :-)

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago


It looks like the bigs are still coming in clumps, as QAers put it. Sure would like to see a time series analysis to see some empirics about your hunches. At least two data axes to consider.

Genetic/diet drift is one. Are athletes marrying more athletes? Are tall athletes marrying tall mates? Does diet make persons taller, or just heavier? Where is Bill James, when we need him?

Game strategy drift is another (and the one you focus on). Is the evolution of the way teams play selecting toward a new kind of big that puts marginalizes the traditional, somewhat less athletic tall man from the game sometime before college ball starts.

Thanks for giving it some thought.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 3 months ago

I would be very interested in your genetic study. Maybe you and I could start our own study and take 4 breaks a day to make time for our KU blogging. We just have to make sure our study has a significant value of .0001

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago


You're a slave driver and a perfectionist. That's more significance than Science magazine requires to get published! :-)

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Basketball Is Better than Sex"


Um, so much for that idea.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Reload kushaw,

Isiah Austin at 7 feet and 200 lbs must make Withey look like Wilt Chamberlain late in his career. :-)

SCHNBALL 11 years, 3 months ago

Kushaw, Jaybate, just out of curiosity, do you think the ticket scandal is over done with in regards to KU basketball?

Scott MacWilliams 11 years, 3 months ago

One line in that story bugs me. "The staff has also told Mikael he'll have the opportunity to come in and play right away."

Seems to me they might be leading him on a bit??? Would this be the local coach hyping his own coaching job, or something else? Seems like unless he's a top 10 or so ranking that playing right away would be unlikely...

What do you more knowledgeable types think?

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