Washington men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins made some national headlines last week when he distributed his $15,000 bonus for becoming Pac-12 Coach of the Year in the form of Starbucks gift cards to fans. But next Thursday night he’ll have the opportunity to reach an even larger audience. Hopkins will be replacing Tom Crean as the head coach providing expert analysis for Yahoo’s NBA Draft show.
This marks Yahoo’s 3rd year streaming a live NBA Draft show to go against the televised version on ESPN. It has largely been a successful endeavor even though ESPN has now sniped their leading news breaker in Adrian Wojnarowski. Hopkins will join Yahoo Insiders Shams Charania and Chris Mannix plus college basketball insider Pete Thamel and former Atlanta Hawks GM Wes Wilcox.
Hopkins is in a unique position to have seen a large chunk of the prospects play in person. He has served as an assistant coach in the ACC and obviously last year was the head coach at Washington. That means he has heavily recruited both coasts and seen the vast majority of eligible U.S draft prospects play in person.
This will be the first chance for thousands of people to see Hopkins and if he shows himself to be a knowledgeable and charismatic figure it will help boost UW’s national profile. With the coaching staff in the middle of the 2019 recruiting period hopefully the profile boost gained by doing this is worth the trade off of committing the time to prepare for the broadcast. UW currently has one verbal commit for 2019 and at least 5 scholarships available.
Draft coverage starts at 4p Pacific next Thursday 6/21. The exact link to the draft show will be made prominent if you go anywhere near Yahoo’s sports page at that time.