Name: Joell Hopkins
Weight: 205 lbs
Twitter Handle: N/A
2011-12 Season Stats: 7.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 54 % fg (Freshman at Tallahassee Community College)
Prognostication: It’s probably not fair to have high expectations for a local JUCO transfer, so I’m not going to make any lofty predictions for Joell Hopkins. Although, as a first year player, Hopkins was named All-Panhandle Conference Second Team, and brings even more versatility to a front line filled with long players who like to play along the perimeter. Although he’s just 6-foot-6, Hopkins plays really well around the basket, competing for rebounds and finishing around the rim like a legit big. Tough players tend to get plenty of love from Coach Hamilton, and Hopkins thrived coming off of the bench for his last team.
Strengths: I don’t feel comfortable saying that Hopkins can play the same way in the ACC as he played in the Panhandle Conference, but he really thrived as an undersized four. Strong enough to body opposing players his size, and beyond quick enough to get by/stay in front of more traditional power forwards, Hopkins really does bring more versatility to an already versatile core of forwards. Hopkins also doesn’t mind focusing on taking care of the teams “dirty work,” as he takes great pride in both his rebounding and defense. Hopkins seems like the type of player who really understands his capabilities, and won’t try to do things he doesn’t do well.
Weaknesses: For a 6-foot-6 perimeter based position player, Hopkins really lacks explosiveness. While I wouldn’t call him slow, he isn’t overly dynamic on the offensive end, and lacks the explosiveness to really score the ball against top competition. Hopkins is most comfortable between the low post and the free throw line, a place where he likely won’t be able to set up shop due not only to his size, but to his more talented teammates being more productive in those spots than he will likely be given the opportunity to be. Also, not much of a threat from distance. At all.
As a walk-on who transferred from the local community college, Joell Hopkins makes for a great story. Unfortunately I think the good part of the story has already played itself out.
If you’re interested in College Basketball snobs who constantly complain about the Knicks, Jay-Z, and the state of rap music, follow Jared on twitter at @JMintzHoops