Golden Eagles offer SG
Saturday, Tennessee Tech extended an offer to shooting guard Justin Hopkins (Huntsville, Alabama).
Hopkins plays for J.O. Johnson High School. He has very distinct strengths that translate to the next level.
Every single play Hopkins invests. His hustle is contagious and more talented teammates like John Petty feed on his fire. Facing off with taller men, Hopkins tugs down more than his share of rebounds. Every loose ball gets chased by the junior guard.
Shot selection is the most glaring weakness. Once he decides to drive there is no off switch and Hopkins routinely gets caught in comprising situations. Charges will happen. Low percentage shots are certain.
You take the good with the bad regarding Hopkins. Elite intensity comes with a price and Tennessee Tech showed they are willing to pay that price.
Case in point
During a particularly contentious matchup with Madison Academy in November, Hopkins was an animal on the glass. He bowled over opponents, teammates, anyone. He exhibited a Ron Artest-like focus.
Though Madison Academy boasts a five-star guard in Josh Langford, Hopkins was defended by smaller guys. Like a wizened vet he backed his man down onto the block. From this advantageous point he converted a solid post move.
Several times Hopkins overpowered a smaller defender on the post. Once he realized how small his defender was Hopkins was ruthless, showing no mercy. By bashing, banging, posting, and jumping over the junior scored time and time again.
Another Ohio Valley Conference teams is also involved in Hopkins’ recruitment. Murray State and Samford offered just before Christmas after watching him during the Steel City Invitational. In November, Middle Tennessee offered.
Murray State and TN Tech battled for a guard before, Justin Seymour (Atlanta, GA) back in 2011. Though Seymour chose the University of Utah he landed back at Murray State after a transfer. Seymour currently plays 21.1 ppg in his first year of eligibility since transferring.
Depth or overflow
As the Golden Eagle roster is currently constructed guards run everything. If Hopkins were to sign he would begin in the fall of 2016 and TTU would have at least six other guards (excluding 2015 signees) on the depth chart.
Young guns like athletic Deondre Haynes, shooter Alex Jugovic, and burner Shirmane Thomas are likely to log heavy minutes in 2016. That means competition will be tight behind them. No matter. Hopkins can muscle his way into tough spots.