College basketball recruiting has been in a weird place due to the coronavirus shutting down in-person recruiting. However, coaches are finding other ways to maintain face-to-face contact with recruits through video calls.
On the recruits’ side, they are taking trips on their own money to campuses for self-guided tours to get a feel for what college life would be like on that campus.
Over this past weekend, 2021 four-star forward Bryce Hopkins had his first in-person campus visit to UK as his recruitment is coming to a close.
Hopkins is currently ranked as the No. 30 overall player and is the No. 7 overall power forward in the class, according to 247 Sports Composite rankings.
Bryce’s dad, Clyde Hopkins broke down the visit with Kentucky Sports Radio and updated his son’s recruitment after spending Saturday and Sunday on campus.
With that being said, how did the Hopkins family feel about the trip?
“You know what? It was very impressive. Very nice campus. Very nice,” Hopkins told KSR. “It was self-guided, we just wanted Bryce to get a feel for campus, see where the players live, the facilities, Rupp Arena, stuff like that. Now, we actually have a taste of where everything is located. We just hung out down in Lexington, it was very nice. Good trip.”
Due to the NCAA’s current restrictions, the family had to explore the campus themselves, as coaches are not allowed to have contact with them.
Unfortunately, they were also not able to get into the basketball facilities, but they did get to see the layout of the Wildcat Coal Lodge and Joe Craft Center from outside. Hopkins agreed with Coach Cal when he said that Kentucky has a true “bubble” environment with the layout of the facilities.
On the recruitment side of things, Hopkins said that Coach Cal is maintaining consistent contact. He even noted that new Kentucky basketball staff member Jai Lucas has been involved with the calls as well.
“They were all on the Zoom call, including Jai Lucas and Bruiser Flint. [Lucas] was kind of quiet, they just wanted to introduce us to him for the first time. He didn’t say much at all on this call. They introduced us to Bruiser, as well. Neither of them talked much, Coach Cal did most of the talking.”
It is obvious that coach Cal wants Hopkins to end up a Wildcat, and his father confirmed that.
“They’re letting us do our own thing, but Coach Cal did state that he really wants to coach Bryce and he would really love to have him at Kentucky.”
As for when this recruitment will be over. Hopkins said things will move rather quickly and a commitment should be announced at the end of September or early October.
“I believe we’ll get a list cut this week and then decide at the end of September or early October. Sometime in the next few weeks,” he said.