Greg Whittington and Mikael Hopkins: Future Hoyas Show Promise in the Capital Classic

Sunday afternoon, I attended the 38th annual Capital Classic High School All Star Game to see two 2011 Georgetown Recruits, Greg Whittington and Mikael Hopkins. The game was all the way out in Upper Marlboro, MD about an hour away from my home in Bethesda. The event took place in the Show Place Arena, basically it's more for horse shows than basketball games so the stands were further back from the court than in a normal basketball arena. The location of the arena and the declining prestige of the the game meant a sparse crowd. I've seen it listed as there being 1,600 people there which sounds about right if anything a little generous.

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Despite the lack of top 25 recruits like in the years past, before Michael Jordan pulled from the event to establish his own game, there were still a number of quality players in the game and tons of interest to Georgetown Fans. In addition to our two recruits, there were recruits representing Pitt, Rutgers, WV, Nova, and Syracuse.

After the Jump my review of Greg and Mikael's performance as well as a brief review of our BE rivals' recruits

Greg and Mikael both played for the Capital All Stars. The Capital All Stars got blown out by the US All Stars in the end mostly due to the selfish play you see in All Star games. These venues are not great for evaluating how well a player will do once they get into college. All Star games are dominated by guards and encourage selfish play. I saw two post moves all game. Most colleges don't play basketball the way All Star games are played.

That being said I thought both Greg and Mikael showed a lot of promise and a lot of skills that will make them valuable additions to the Hoya squad for years to come.

Mikael Hopkins: #3 - 6 points 3 rebounds 1 block and 1 steal in 20 minutes

Mikael started the game. He is definitely 6'8" probably 6'9".  Has long arms and is pretty mobile. He had a nice shooting stroke. He even hit a 3 pointer. His other points came off a dunk in transition and 1 of 2 from the FT line as he got fouled on a lay up in transition. Both free throws looked good even though one rimed out. One of his other 3 point attempts also rimmed out and he made a nice face u spin move against Malcolm Gilbert and was fouled but they didn't call it. He played solid post defense which was a surprise for an all star game. He blocked Desmond Hubert coming from the weak side and he stripped Nemanja Djurisic a 6'8" PF going to Georgia next year while he was posting Mikael up. He also forced Nemanja to kick the ball out because he couldn't get around him. He had a really nice rebound out of his area in traffic and followed it up with an excellent outlet pass to start the fast break. I was most impressed by Mikael's great attitude. He was clapping and cheering on his teammates. He really seemed to be getting along with Greg, motioning for him to come sit next to him on the bench and chatting it up. He has a strong basketball IQ. He took another player aside and was pointing out things to him after a time out. Seems like a great kid and teammate.

Greg Whittington #23 - 6 points 1 rebound and 1 steal in 19 minutes

The talent is definitely there. He's definitely a small forward. He showed of a variety of skills elevating over defenders to make jumpers, slashing through the defense on drives, and grabbing offensive rebounds for put backs. He can do it all on the offensive end. He has a nice shooting form. He may take a little time to adjust to the higher level of competition, but that's what kenner and the china trip are for. He also played some solid post defense and even successfully guarded 6'11 Malcolm Gilbert. He altered a couple shots on defense and picked up a steal. He also showed the ability to stay with smaller small forwards. He seems like a nice genuine kid. He knows he's going to have to come in and work hard and compete for playing time. He's going to be good.

Both kids are going to be great additions. They both fit into the long, athletic, talented mold of players we seems to be encouraging. They both can stretch the defense with their jump shooting ability. The Future looks bright for the Hoyas.

Other Big East Players:

  • Jabarie Hinds: Will play for WV next year. He was named the MVP of the game. Ended up with 19 points. The kid is super fast. He'll be a problem for BE teams next year.
  • Myles Mack: Will play for Rutgers next year. Not that impressed. He's super short. Listed at 5'10 but may be even smaller. He was really chucking in this game.
  • Trevor Cooney: Will play for Syracuse next year. He stunk. Looked over matched. Just a spot up shooter right now but wasn't hitting that day.
  • Achaf Yacoubou: Will play for Villanova next year. Didn't stand out to me, but apparently grabbed 9 rebounds which is pretty impressive for a 6'3" shooting guard.Scrappy high energy player.
  • Tyrone Johnson: Will play for Villanova next year. Good solid true point guard. Not flashy but gets the job done. Will be a good player for nova but not as an explosive scorer as past nova point guards, but that may make them a better team.
  • Malcolm Gilbert: Will play for Pitt next year. Was the impressive true back to the basket big men. Which isn't saying a lot since there were only like 2 such players and the other one is going to St. Louis. But I liked him a lot. Decently skilled and he's tall. Finished with 10pts and 8 rebounds including a nice jump hook.

Unfortunately I have not been able to download the pictures from my camera. So thank you to glidehoya for allowing me to use some of the photos he took.

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