Time to work for Coach Hopkins and the Washington Basketball team

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08: David Crisp
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08: David Crisp /

After an off-season of upheaval and change, parting ways and welcoming new players, the Washington Basketball team is now going to work for Coach Hopkins

There’s got to be a morning after. After coaching changes, decommitments, new commitments, and off-season activity to build a sense of team, the Washington Basketball team has made it to training camp.  And now the work begins for Coach Hopkins and his Huskies.

The team is gearing up. But it’s more than just another day at the office. This is a team in the throes of rework. Returning veterans are at square one right now. Freshman rookies are at square. Even the coaching staff is at square one.  Now, everyone is setting expectations as they familiarize themselves with one another.

A time for everything

The team is building relationships, friendships, comraderie, and esprit de corps. But right now, the team must build an identity. It’s clear that this team will emphasize defense more. But will the team lean heavily to the defensive side of the ball, or simply try to balance the team as a two-way threat on the basketball court.

Now is the time to set the expectation, train towards that objective, and then commit to sustaining the identity this season.  This won’t be as easy as all of that. Come game day, old habits will resurface.  Teammates are in self-discovery of their roles in the new scheme. Trusting teammates in that culture of self-doubt will take tremendous discipline. And the confidence of the coaches.

Confidence breeds confidence

Much like the confidence which exudes from Coach Jimmy Lake with each new crop of defensive backs, Coach Hopkins must commit to that undying level of confidence in his players as well. So far, he has done remarkably well on the recruiting front.

But the coach is more than a recruiting machine. That was very evident as he recently opened up in an interview via the Washington Athletics website. In the interview, he discusses a number of players, and the overall approach he is taking this year. That is the scheme he is teaching to the players as you read this.

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But there is more afoot this season.  With the recent FBI investigation into the NCAA basketball recruiting practices, Coach Hopkins may stand to benefit from his distance from investigation activities. Two Pac-12 programs: USC and Arizona, have been implicated in the investigation. By steering clear of that maelstrom, recruits can remain confident that their eligibility will remain intact throughout their attendance at the University of Washington.

It’s the dawning of a new day for Coach Hopkins and the Washington Basketball team. As the team sheds the past and dons the future, the work is just beginning. But by season’s end, it will all be worth it.