After a tumultuous season, the Syracuse Orange now find themselves in a situation they didn’t see coming. No, that isn’t a second round exit in the NIT tournament in the Carrier Dome, but it’s the departure of Mike Hopkins to the University of Washington.
Hopkins was set up to be the next head coach for the Orange once coach Jim Boeheim stepped down, but Syracuse now finds themselves with an important decision to make. This season surely didn’t go as planned, so the added stress of finding a new head coach sure doesn’t help.
The search is sure to take a while as this is a major decision for Syracuse’s future, as not only do the Orange need a quality replacement, but this could impact recruiting for the near future. Hopkins is known to be a vital asset in terms of recruiting for Syracuse, and now his departure could cause some players to look at different schools.
Hopkins is replacing Lorenzo Romar, who finished 298-196 during his stint at Washington. This was supposed to be a big year for Washington with Markelle Fultz’s arrival, but the Huskies finished 9-22 overall and failed to make the Big Dance. Fultz is leaving for the NBA, as he’ll likely be a top two pick, so Hopkins is going to have some work to do to get Washington back on the map.
Boeheim’s years are coming to an end fast, as rumors have swirled that he could step down as early as this year. The expected retirement for Boeheim is supposed to be after the 2017-2018 season, so finding a new coach should happen sooner rather than later.
The famous 2-3 zone that Boeheim has made a focal point of Syracuse basketball may be coming to an end with Hopkins’ departure. The new coach is sure to bring a new style of defense to Syracuse, so maybe it’s time for Orange fans to get ready for some change.
This was a shock to Orange fans as no could have seen this departure coming. Syracuse basketball is a historic program, and to be set up to take over the program seems like a pretty good idea to me.
The next coach is going to need to come in and continue the tradition that Boeheim has cemented during his time on the sidelines of the Carrier Dome. The season is over and the Orange are home watching the madness, but somewhere a head coach is planning his own madness for the Orange.