Syracuse Basketball: Mike Hopkins Is On The Perpetual Short List

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

SU assistant Mike Hopkins' name came up in the initial BC head coach discussion. It's not the first time he's been on a shortlist and it won't be the last.

Before you yell at me for stoking an unnecessary fire, let's just lay out the facts.

The Boston College Eagles fired head coach Steve Donahue on Tuesday (in spite of our efforts to keep him employed).

The immediate short-list (in the mind of CBB folks) included Harvard's Tommy Amaker and Syracuse Orange assistant Mike Hopkins.

Later on when the actual short-list seemed to emerge, Amaker was at the top of it but Hopkins was nowhere to be found.

Chances are, Mike Hopkins will not be the next head coach at BC. But the entire situation should serve as a reminder that our days with Hop at Jim Boeheim's side are probably numbered.

Remember, if not for FGCU's fisting of Georgetown and improbable tourney run last year, Hopkins is the head coach of the USC Trojans right now. And after that happened, it became known that Hopkins had signed with an agent. That agent told reporters that Hop's "next contract will be a head coaching contract."

Hop's reputation basically puts him near the top of any open coaching position in the Northeast and Southern California. And in the coming weeks, a few more of those openings may come up. You can bet you're going to keep hearing about Hopkins and opening HC positions until one of two things happen.

1. Boeheim retires.

2. He takes a job elsewhere.

Yes, he's the coach-in-waiting but clearly Hopkins isn't going to just wait around for that situation to play out. If the right job opens up, he's going to take it. Besides, if he takes another gig, he can always come back when Boeheim finally does shuffle loose the coaching coil.

I guess the point is, as much as you have come to think of Hop as A Syracuse Man through and through, you shouldn't. The timing might not ever be right for Hopkins to succeed Boeheim and every time a head coach at a major program is shoved out, that's one more time that Hopkins' name gets pushed to the top of the replacement list. And there's only so many times other schools can pass him by. And vice versa.

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