The hushed conversations have ended. The secret buzz about the bright future of Syracuse assistant basketball coach Mike Hopkins is no longer a whisper. The dynamic, enthusiastic and expert basketball coach is a commodity in demand. The University of Southern California has come calling. It may be the call that takes the annointed successor to Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim back to his SoCal roots.
Boeheim confirmed today that Hopkins interviewed for the job within the last week. On the radio tonight fellow Orange assistant Gerry McNamara summed it up well. Gerry said of his friend affectionately known as "Hop", when a storied athletic program calls from your home town you take the call. You listen. Mike Hopkins is listening carefully.
Syracuse Athletic Director Daryl Gross worked at USC before coming to Upstate New York. He has a personal relationship with USC Athletic Director Pat Haden. The two have talked about Hopkins.
Will the offer come? Will Hopkins say yes? What about Jim Boeheim's future? When will he retire?
Here's the educated guess to these questions. The offer will come. Hopkins will take it. Jim Boeheim will coach for a few more years. When he retires Syracuse will go back to Southern California and see what it takes to bring Mike Hopkins back to the Carrier Dome.
By then he will have started to turn around a West Coast program that has struggled. His head coaching credibility will be fully established. His Orange blood will draw him back to his adopted hometown.
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