Mike Hopkins And USC: Pundits Believe Syracuse Assistant Takes Head Coaching Job If Offered

USA TODAY Sports

The growing belief among college basketball pundits is long-time Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins will take the USC head coaching job if offered.

Nothing, at all, is a lock, but if long-time Syracuse basketball assistant coach and heir to the Jim Boeheim throne, Mike Hopkins, was offered a head coaching job by the USC Trojans, CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman (and other pundits) believe he would bolt for the West Coast.

Would he take the job? Hopkins declined to comment when reached, but sources told CBSSports.com that he feels as though USC is a sleeping giant on the west coast. That's accurate -- for the right guy. Hopkins would be an ideal fit, especially while the west coast is ripe and vulnerable in recruiting circles.

When this story initial broke on Tuesday, the assumption was former Trojan head coach Tim Floyd, now the UTEP Miners headman, was the frontrunner for the job. However, Goodman disagrees.

What we do now is that Floyd isn't getting this job. Let's be serious. I'm not sure what Haden was doing meeting the former Trojans coach in the first place, but it doesn't matter.

So, who does have a shot at the USC job? Goodman brings up former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus, but quickly shoots down that idea. The two names left were Hopkins and Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon (think about that for a minute).

On Wednesday, before he posted his article on Thursday, Goodman joined CBS Sports' Eye On College Basketball podcast host Matt Norlander and said, "(Hopkins would) bring a lot of energy to the program. He is stale under Boeheim. Boeheim could go another five years who knows. Remember, he has played and coached under Boeheim, so he knows how to only play one way.

I think he is getting a bit antsy -- guys under him are getting other opportunities -- and he is saying to himself, 'you know what maybe I do look at something else, if it is good enough.' And the questions is USC good enough for him? I think it would be."

Podcast partner Gary Parrish reiterated the belief that Hopkins is good as gone if offered the position, "If USC wants to hire Mike Hopkins, he will be the next coach at USC."

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