Mike Hopkins is expected to be Syracuse's first head coach not named Jim Boeheim since 1976 -- as long as Hopkins doesn’t bolt before the 69-year-old calls it a career. After all, will Hopkins want to wait?
Hopkins is 44 years old. He played for the Orange back when they were called the Orangemen. He has been on Boeheim’s staff for nearly two decades. Hopkins is ready, itching to run his own program, but there’s no reason to believe Boeheim is ready to hang it up anytime soon.
Hopkins could have had the Charlotte job a few years back. He was in the mix for USC a year ago, was intrigued by the Boston College opening this past April, and was also involved after Oregon State severed ties with Craig Robinson.
Hopkins has been deemed the “coach-in-waiting,” but what if he doesn’t wait? Then who becomes Boeheim’s replacement?
Looking at the branches on the Boeheim coaching tree doesn’t provide many answers. Former Iowa State head coach and ex-Boeheim assistant Wayne Morgan is out of college hoops, Tim Welsh works at ESPN, and Louis Orr was just fired at Bowling Green. Current Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy doesn’t have a shot.
If Hopkins isn't The Guy at Syracuse, trying to figure out who would be in charge is almost like throwing darts.
But we’re going to toss a few and do our best to handicap the field:
1. Mike Hopkins, Syracuse Orange
He’s the “coach-in-waiting” and, even if he leaves to go elsewhere, it doesn’t mean he can’t return to Syracuse when Boeheim retires.