Louisville basketball commit Bryce Hopkins is quickly gaining a massive following and becoming one of the hottest names in the 2021 class.
There’s still a long way to go before Louisville basketball inks commitments from its class of 2021 players, but as it stands, its lone commitment could be the next McDonald’s All-American to come through the university.
At 6’7,” 220-pounds Bryce Hopkins has potential to be the next big thing at Louisville, and one look at his stat sheets and its easy to see why.
Hopkins was a steady player during his underclassman years but as he has grown, he has become a dominant force during his junior year.
He has scored 17, 21, 27, 41, and 42 points all in games in the month of January, and he is a menace on the boards, grabbing a double-double in every game.
What is striking about Hopkins is how much room there is in his game for growth.
He is big and athletic, but he is build like a brick, and when he is faced with inferior competition in high school, a lot of his buckets are fast-break dunks or simply from bullying his man down low for an easy basket.
However, when Hopkins’ squad needs him the most, he has been able to step up time and time again down the stretch.
Hopkins has above average ball-handling skills and agility for a player of his size, and he can use his long strides to free himself up from the outside.
That’s where his game has really improved over the last year. Hopkins has learned to free himself up for a three or mid-range jumper and seems to hit them with consistency.
Here’s Hopkins at the beginning of his sophomore season, bullying his way in for a Dwayne Sutton-esque lay-in as time expires.
Hopkins never feels in a hurry, always in control of his game, and waiting to dissect the defense however he sees fit.
Now, take a look at this final play near the end of his sophomore year in the league championship game.
Two things to take away from this are his willingness to take whatever the defense gives him and make them pay, as well as his mindset down the stretch of games. Louisville is getting a winner with a mindset that you don’t often find in gifted high school players.
Bear in mind that Hopkins is only sixteen years old in those videos. Since then, he has aged a year and added two inches and 20+ pounds to his frame.
"“I picked Louisville because this was the third time visiting Louisville and every time I’ve been the coaches have been genuine and they had a great vision for me that I loved,” Hopkins said to Evan Daniels of 247Sports after his commitment. “They were all genuine and with me being away from my parents for that part of my life I feel like they will continue to groom me to become a better young man.”It just felt like family with them.”"
Louisville is in a great place with Hopkins and will continue to be for the time being. But as his popularity rises, Hopkins is almost certain to garner a lot more attention in All-Star games, on the AAU circuit, and by recruiting services.
Given his recent growth spurts and his game continuing to trend upward, Hopkins is likely to work his way up towards the top 20-30 players in the 2021 class.
Regardless of what the rankings think, Louisville has a good one on their hands, but don’t be surprised if the other blue bloods come calling later in his recruitment.