Bryce Hopkins announced that he is coming to Friartown via his social media and Ed Cooley continues to reload his roster through the plentiful Transfer Portal.
Hopkins is the fifth incoming transfer that Ed Cooley and his staff have added for next season. Noah Locke and Clifton Moore will be using their final year of eligibility that was granted via COVID, but Hopkins and Devin Carter will each have three years of eligibility remaining. Recent commit and Friars legacy Corey Floyd Jr. still has all 4 years of his eligibility to use after redshirting last season for the UConn Huskies. The coaching staff has done a really nice job at mixing in players with both short and long-term available years to the roster so that they won’t have to turn over the entire program each year going forward.
Bryce had originally committed to Louisville out of High School but re-opened his recruitment before eventually heading to Kentucky. The Friars went hard after Hopkins immediately following his announcement that he was de-committing from the Cardinals and were included in his list of his Final 9 schools that he was considering. Putting Hopkins’ basketball abilities aside for a second, I was always intrigued with Bryce attending High School at Fenwick Oak Park, Illinois, a Catholic school whose mascot is the Friar and school colors of black and white.
I mean, if you don’t see the writing on the wall with the similarities between these two schools, I don’t know what to tell you.
Hopkins is a former Top-40 ranked recruit from the 2021 class and even though he hinted that he was ready for expanded minutes at points during last season at Kentucky, never really got his foot in the door enough of Coach Cal’s rotation. Hopkins appeared to have his breakout game against LSU, scoring 13 points (5/6 FG) in 16 minutes to go along with 4 rebounds and every hustle play available. Cal even talked about how he would need to find more minutes to give to Bryce after he stayed ready on the bench all year and took advantage when his number was called.
Hopkins would play 3 minutes, DNP, 3 minutes, 1 minute, DNP, DNP in the next six games. As if it wasn’t frustrating enough to not see the floor when you think you should be getting some minutes, it must hurt a little more when you prove you’re ready, have the coach sing your praises to everyone and admit that he’s ready to give you more opportunities, and then to barely play you in the most important games at the end of the season. You can’t tell me that the rest of the team wasn’t playing like garbage against St. Peter’s in the NCAA Tournament (except for Oscar Tshiebwe of course) for Hopkins to not even see the floor.
Kentucky’s loss is Providence’s gain. Hopkins fits perfectly into the style that Ed Cooley likes to play and he is a load to handle when he gets even remotely close to the basket. He has handles for a guy with his frame and a soft touch on his jumper to go along with it. I see him sliding immediately into the starting five and providing all types of lineup versatility with his skill set and size.
Both Bryce Hopkins and his dad, Clyde Hopkins had some very interesting things to say after Bryce announced his commitment to Providence.
“He should’ve went there out of high school, but you live and you learn. I knew it was Providence right away when Bryce went into the portal. Ed Cooley, he’s just a great guy. I love the guy.”Clyde Hopkins
“I’m really excited to be committed to Providence. Before I committed to Kentucky I always had a really good relationship with Coach Cooley and I knew he had my best-interest.”Bryce Hopkins
So, even though it took awhile for the official announcement to come that he was committing to Providence, it seems like Bryce and his father knew immediately where he wanted to transfer to once he went into the Transfer Portal.
Welcome to Friartown Bryce, you’re going to LOVE it here!