Mikael Hopkins was a huge coup on the recruiting trail for the Georgetown Hoyas. A consensus top 100 prospect from local power house DeMatha, his commitment was the second of the year for the Hoyas and lifted the hopes of the Hoya faithful who had just seen two prospects (Tyrone Johnson and Rakeem Christmas) choose Big East rivals (Villanova and Syracuse) over the summer. Hopkins was the first major recruit to join the Hoyas impressive 2011 recruiting class, and chose the Hoyas over Kansas, Maryland, Miami, WV, and Ohio State.
Expectations and Projections after The Jump:
Much like fellow freshman Jabril Trawick, the expectations of Mikael have fluctuated. No one has ever questioned his talent, as Hopkins is a highly skilled and mobile player. He is an excellent shot blocker, can face up and hit a jump shot, and can also score in the post. The knock on him throughout high school was that he lacked a great motor and intensity, a criticism that has been levied against former Georgetown big men Jeff Green and Greg Monroe in the past. Though expectations weren't that high heading into this season, Mikael's Kenner League performance seems to have elevated them. Not only did he show off his incredible skill level, but he also showed no sign of the nonchalance of which he was accused. Mikael's intensity coupled with the injury to Moses Ayegba means expectations for Hopkins are quite high as he will likely be the first big off the bench and have to spend time at both the power forward and center position.
Can one summer league stint truly erase Hopkins' perceived mild streak? Freshman usually struggle in the Big East and Hopkins, while beefier than an Otto Porter or Greg Whittington, still needs to bulk up for the brutal Conference battles in the post. With Moses out, Hopkins will be forced toplay out of position at center, and with an unrefined post game moderate shot blocking skills, he will look lost or even worse disinterested on the court.
Hopkins' game is tailor-made for the Georgetown offense. He has range on his jump shot and can even hit a three pointer on occasion, which opens the floor and passing lanes. Hopkins is able to provide the Hoyas with a a face up four man, and is able to harness his immense talents on the court. The intensity on the floor brought by Trawick rubs off on him, and he is able to grab rebounds, block shots, and play solid defense in his minutes, averaging around 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block while holding his own in the post in the rough and tumble Big East.