Photo credit - Fenwick Basketball

IU basketball recruiting: 2021 top-30 forward Bryce Hopkins has “always been serious about IU”

Class of 2021 forward Bryce Hopkins was expected to announce his top five schools this weekend.

Instead, he announced a change of plans on on Friday night.

The former Louisville commit remains down to a top nine of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, Iowa State, Providence, Illinois, California and Oregon.

A top-30 prospect in the class of 2021, Hopkins made the announcement on his Twitter page.

Since Kentucky entered the mix and offered Hopkins a scholarship last month, most have speculated that he will end up in Lexington.

While that may end up being the case, Hopkins’ father Clyde said he doesn’t understand why everyone believes his son’s final choice is a foregone conclusion.

“I don’t know where they get their information from,” Clyde Hopkins told The Daily Hoosier.

Indiana has been involved with Bryce for well over a year — before he committed to Louisville in Nov. 2019.

From the beginning, the Hopkins family has been impressed by the Hoosier program.

“We’ve felt very good about IU from day one,” Clyde Hopkins said.  “We’ve felt a genuineness from the staff and Archie Miller.  He’s a great guy.”

The family took an unofficial visit to Bloomington back in August, 2019.  They were impressed with how front and center Miller was during the visit.

“He was right there the whole time and made for a great visit,” Clyde Hopkins said.

What else still stands out about their time at Indiana more than a year later?

“Just the history, Bob Knight, everything about it,” Clyde Hopkins said.  “All the top players that came through like Calbert Cheaney, Daryl Thomas, Isiah Thomas.  You could go on and on.

“I remember walking into Assembly Hall and it was breathtaking.  I didn’t expect to have that reaction to IU.  I really didn’t.  You could tell it is a special place with the fans, it’s all basketball.  The hotel we stayed (the Graduate), the chandeliers were basketball nets.  It was unbelievable.”

Bryce Hopkins is the No. 30 player in the country in the class of 2021 according to the 247Sports Composite. IU offered the 4-star prospect a scholarship in June of 2019.  Citing concerns about possible NCAA sanctions at Louisville, he decommitted in August.

Although he is commonly listed as a power forward, Hopkins is perhaps best thought of as a combo forward that can play inside and out while impacting the game in multiple ways.

His father thinks of him as just a versatile, positionless basketball player.

“I train Bryce to be a basketball player,” Clyde Hopkins said.  “(He can play) wherever he’s needed outside of center, a well-rounded utility guy.  I emphasize just being versatile.”

Bryce doesn’t have close relationships with anyone on the IU team, but he was at the Nike top-100 camp with Khristian Lander last year.  The family is impressed with the five-star freshman point guard.

Irrespective of who he knows, the family sees a good fit in Bloomington.

“He feels very comfortable with IU, Clyde Hopkins said.  “If you know Bryce, he’s a very unselfish player, and plays the game the correct way.  He’ll pretty much fit in with any program.  He just wants to play and be part of a great program.”

Hopkins broke the Fenwick High School single season scoring record during the 2019-20. The Oak Park, Illinois product put up 24.1 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for the Friars.

The 6-foot-7 and 215 pound Hopkins led Fenwick to the Sectional Finals before the IHSA canceled its state series on March 12.

Hopkins has transformed his physique over the last year as his body matured and training improved.  That has enhanced his athletic development and put him on the radar of programs like Kentucky.

Will he end up as a Wildcat?

Maybe, maybe not.  But IU is getting a legitimate look.

“We’ve always been serious about Indiana,” Clyde Hopkins said.

Indiana is also still pursuing forwards Trey Kaufman and Mason Miller in the 2021 class. All three players have unique strengths along with overlapping talents.

The Hoosiers certainly won’t land all three, and at best might only get a commitment from one.  The dominoes should start falling soon.

Hopkins wants to commit in October.  He is No. 23 in in the video below.


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