PLAYER: DeAndre Hopkins
POSITION: Shooting Guard
TAPE: 6-2, 205
2010-11 STATS: None worth discussing
Like the two previous players on this list, DeAndre Hopkins is a walk-on, but unlike Kyle Speller and Jay Lewis, Hopkins didn’t really have any plans on playing basketball for his school. Instead he was asked by Brad Brownell prior to the 2010-2011 season after a couple of players left the program short at the guard spots.
Here’s the deal, Hopkins was a two-sport star in high school. He was the 28th ranked shooting guard and the 12th ranked wide receiver. He obviously made the right decision picking football after catching 52 balls for 637 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman. For those of you who are not football buffs, those are stud numbers.
He joined the Clemson basketball team in January, but he mostly sat on the bench. He appeared in only seven games, playing a total of 10 garbage minutes.
The fact is if Hopkins had chosen basketball, he could have been pretty good. At 6-2, he has decent size for a guard, but he has a 6-7 wingspan, which turns him into a lethal defender. On the offensive end, if he ever got time on the court he’d be one of the fastest players on the floor. Although his ball handling skills need work, he has great vision and is an excellent passer.
Looking ahead, Clemson is beginning to stockpile guards. Freshman Daniel Sapp, Devin Coleman and Rod Hall will help stock up the Tigers’ backfield. However, only Coleman is a legit shooting guard and I’d argue that Hopkins is the more talented of the two.
Of course the question is, will Hopkins even play basketball in 2011-2012? In some publications, he’s a preseason “All-ACC” candidate in football. He’s going to be playing in the NFL soon enough. Does he continue to waste time on the hard court? Does he risk injury just to play on the scout team? Good questions, I know.
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