Strengths: Hopson is a former top 10 recruit and shows very good talent offensively … Is a very athletic SG with nice explosiveness, leaping skills and speed … Smooth player who has prototypical size and length from the SG spot at 6’7 202 with a 6’11 wingspan … Had some impressive scoring performances against some top level teams and improved his aggressiveness and polish some leading into his Jr. year after playing for the U.S. Select Team the summer prior … Has a nice shot, with soft touch…Beautiful form, good elevation and a high release…Very good spotting up, but also solid around screens and off crossovers…Has NBA range spotting up and is consistent from as far as 22 feet off the bounce…Has good raw ability to put the ball in the basket…Shows a nice step back that he likes to utilize off the dribble…Shows the ability to make mid-range pull up shots…A capable slasher with a very quick 1st step and excellent body control…Shows the ability to finish shots in traffic around the rim…Lead his team with 34 dunks on the year, which is a testament to his athleticism and finishing ability…Very good in transition…Has instant offense potential off a team’s bench
Weaknesses: The problem that plagued Hopson more than anything was consistency…Will have an explosive scoring game and then follow it up with a very quiet game where he lacks aggression…Is a below average ball-handler, and the ball often slows him down when he’s dribbling…Gets his pocket picked more than an NBA caliber SG should off the dribble…Doesn’t move without the ball as well as you like when plays aren’t called for him, and stands around far too much around the arc…Feel for the game and polish are underdeveloped for a guy with his experience…Was more aggressive as a Jr. looking for his shots, but sometimes showed poor shot selection…Plays poor D, especially for someone with his athletic and physical tools…Won’t get a lot of steals, lacks awareness off the ball and also falls asleep on-ball…Lacks energy on this end….Doesn’t close out on shooters with urgency…Although he added some moves, he still can be predictable at times offensively…Teams are questioning his mindset in interviews, and seems to be giving unrealistic answers about the type of player he can be…Wasn’t a leader at Tennessee when leadership was leaded most
Overall: Hopson has undeniable offensive talent and nice athleticism, and it manifested itself with some explosive games over his career. He still lacks a bit of polish and plays too lax on the defensive end. His interviews with GM’s have drawn criticism as well. Still, Hopson has upside as a scorer off the bench similar to a Von Wafer of the Celtics.
Jorrye Nixon 6/5/11