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Syracuse basketball recruiting: Local 5-star reacts to Mike Hopkins’ departure

Isaiah Stewart reacts to Mike Hopkins leaving for Washington.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Miami
Syracuse Orange interim head coach Mike Hopkins yells during the first half against Miami Hurricanes at BankUnited Center.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Stewart, a Class of 2019 five-star prospect out of Rochester, N.Y., weighed in on Mike Hopkins moving on the the University of Washington on Sunday afternoon in an interview with TNIAAM.

Stewart, who received an offer from the Orange back in August at the Elite camp, has had high interest in Syracuse for a while. Mike Hopkins had watched him play at McQuaid Jesuit a few times, and the two were developing quite the relationship with who Stewart, at the time, thought would be Boeheim’s successor.

“Coach Hop was a big reason on why I liked the program so much,” Stewart said. “We were starting to build a great relationship in family terms. He was the one who really recruited me and showed so much effort in getting me to come to ‘Cuse.”

Isaiah is a rising sophomore, who is ranked as one of the best 25 players in the country, according to 247Sports.

Having watched him play a few times — the hype is real. Stewart posted numbers as a freshman that were video game like: 40-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in back-to-back games. He can dunk with ease from anywhere around the basket and has a mid-range game that is developing very well for someone with his size (6-foot-8) and at his age (15).

As of the time of the interview, the Syracuse coaches hadn’t reached out.

“No they haven’t,” Stewart said. “I actually found out today from my dad that Hop was leaving.”

So, where does this leave the relationship with Isaiah and Syracuse?

“I’m still interested in ‘Cuse even though Hop left. It’s still a great program with great coaches. Plus I still have a bit before I have to make a decision on playing college ball which will give me time to see what happens.”