Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball head coach Mike Hopkins held his weekly press conference today on Montlake. He talked about their recent games against Auburn and San Diego and the upcoming Vancouver Showcase tournament. Hopkins also discussed his two recent signees, the Adidas sponsorship and his old Syracuse wardrobe at his house.
Here are things of note that he said…..
– Coach Hopkins thinks that RaeQuan Battle is one of the best shooters in the country with great athleticism, and will be a great addition to the team.
– Marcus Tsohonis is combo guard and the Oregon State Player of the year last year. Hopkins called him a winner.
– Hopkins said that both players played together in AAU Seattle Rotary and that he can’t wait to get them on campus.
– He said that both guys are perfect fits and address needs that they were trying to improve for the team.
– Coach Hopkins said they don’t look at recruiting numbers and rankings, but rather they look for the “perfect fit”.
– Hopkins said in regards to the bus fire at Auburn that it was a “wild night” and wished that the only thing that burned down, was the “tape and that they couldn’t find it”, in regards to the game film. 😂
– He said it was a tremendous opportunity at Auburn for the team to see where they are at, and now they know they definitely have to improve.
– Coach Hop said playing 3 games in 9 days was brutal and the focus now is rest before their next game on Sunday.
– He said they are excited about the opportunity to play in Vancouver, Canada and only have to drive 2 1/2 hours in a bus.
– Hopkins said playing back-to-back-to back games in Vancouver will be good for the team and ultimately it prepares you for the NCAA Tournament, which is the ultimate goal.
– He said Assistant Coach Cameron Dollar has done a great job of scheduling the down time, in between San Diego and the Vancouver Showcase Tournament.
– Hopkins said it has given the team time get Noah Dickerson back to himself and also shore up some things defensively.
– He said Nahziah Carter and Hameir Wright have done a great job and it’s all about getting better, with it being a long season.
– Coach Hop said he feels Dickerson hasn’t been back to himself conditioning wise since his injury earlier in the season.
– He said Noah needs to be “in control” more and on the court without being in foul trouble. “We Need Him!”
– Hopkins said Dickerson has put on a few pounds since the injury and they need him back to himself, to make an impact on both ends of the floor, and they will get him there.
– Coach Hop said there isn’t one preseason tournament he prefers over the other because they are all great around the Holidays, but ended with a slight nod to the Maui Classic.
– After Dave “Softy” Mahler confused Under Armour with Adidas 😂 (much to the laughter of Hopkins), Coach Hopkins said they look forward to their partnership with Adidas, and athletes want to go to Universities with good sponsorships.
– Hopkins said they recruit everywhere and the Steve Nash from Santa Clara is a great story. He said playing in Vancouver, Canada will be a great opportunity for Canadians to see the Huskies “product” and hopefully they will perform well.
– Coach Hopkins said Nahziah Carter thinks he’s the best player on the floor and that’s what makes him great. It’s that attitude that causes him to be a “spark”, despite the fact that he can hoist up a head scratching shot sometimes.
– He joked that right now Nahziah Carter is not the best player in the world but his work ethic is great. He is all about “work”! Hopkins said Carter never questions his own confidence.
– Coach Hopkins laughed and said right now, Assistant Coach Will Conroy thinks Kevin Durant is the best player in the world, but Cameron Dollar and Assistant Dave Rice think LeBron James is.
– He then joked that he loves Carmelo Anthony and that he is the best player in the world.
– Coach Hop said he never saw Duke freshman Zion Williamson alive in recruiting, and that he is similar in size, skill and strength to LeBron.
– He said that he is very familiar with Santa Clara head coach Herb Sendek and that he is a great person and a cerebral coach.
– Hopkins said in the end, it’s all about “us” getting right and improving.
– When playing back-to-back-to-back games, the mindset is to win “that” game and then rest, and then win “that” game while managing your energy Hopkins said.
– Coach Hopkins feels that their defensive system allows them to be a tough matchup earlier in the season, and it gives them an advantage because opponents haven’t seen the Husky defense.
– He joked that if he had a pair of Adidas Yeezy’s that he would being wearing them at the press conference right now.
– Hopkins said in the end, all you want is to partner with a sponsor that is trying everything they can to give you a competitive advantage, and they look forward to the partnership.
– He said, when they make the switch from Nike to Adidas, he will give his Nike clothes to the homeless and family members, and he can’t wait to get the new stuff which is the “three stripes”.
– Hopkins said he has “The Pearl” (Dwayne Washington) shirt as far as still having Syracuse clothes, because he was his idol growing up.
– He joked that he will have the media over his house after the season to view his wardrobe. 😂
– Coach Hop said he still has his old jerseys and sweatsuits on hangars from Syracuse, and also signed jerseys from Team USA.
– He laughed hard, when asked if he has short shorts from back in the day. He said “thank god he had spandex underneath” otherwise they would have come up even higher. Hopkins also wanted everyone to know that he had great hair back then too! 😂
Below is the actual video of Mike Hopkin’s press conference today…..