Bryce Hopkins commits to Kentucky’s 2021 basketball class


Kentucky head coach John Calipari yells from the sideline during the University of Kentucky vs. Auburn men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 73-66 to win the SEC regular season championship. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Ryan Fetsch

With the college basketball season approaching, there has been plenty of buzz on campus about Kentucky’s new additions, such as Cam’Ron Fletcher, BJ Boston Terrence Clarke and Olivier Sarr, among others. As the Cats are gearing up for 2020 though, they are already looking ahead towards next year’s recruiting class.

Forward Bryce Hopkins officially announced his commitment to the University of Kentucky on Instagram on Oct. 27. An extremely talented young player from Fenwick High School in Illinois, Hopkins fielded offers from the likes of Indiana, Illinois and Providence after decommitting from Louisville in August.

Despite all the attention Hopkins was getting from a number of schools, there was just something special Hopkins said about playing in Lexington.

“What stood out about Kentucky was the overall success they have as a program, and I want to be a part of that,” he told the Kentucky Kernel via Instagram. “What drew me to committing there was how they develop their guys for the next level, and playing style.”

A consensus four-star recruit, Hopkins joins point guard Nolan Hickman as the first two big commits of Kentucky’s 2021 class. The Oak Park, Illinois, native feels he has certain skills that can translate to the division one level.

“I believe the best thing about my game is my versatility,” Hopkins said. “For me being 6-7, I can dribble the ball like a guard, which often creates mismatches… as I improve on my strength, it will create more mismatches.”

That versatility is reflected in Hopkins’ classification among recruiting services. While 247Sports has him listed as a power forward, both Rivals and ESPN have him recorded as a small forward, demonstrating his diverse skill set.

According to the 247Sports Composite (aggregation of rankings of top recruits by major recruiting services), Hopkins is ranked No. 30 nationally, seventh in the class at power forward power forward in the class and second in the state of Illinois, behind only shooting guard and Michigan State commit Max Christie.

The individual rankings for Hopkins from ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports are below:

ESPN – No. 32 Overall, No. 5 Power Forward, No. 2 in Illinois.

Rivals – No. 30 Overall, No. 8 Power Forward, No. 2 in Illinois.

247 Sports – No. 39 Overall, No. 10 Power Forward, No. 2 in Illinois.

Although he had an opportunity to stay close to home with the Fighting Illini’s offer, Hopkins said he couldn’t pass up the chance to play at Rupp Arena.

“I’m most looking forward to getting [to Kentucky] and playing in front of the entire BBN,” Hopkins said.

This article’s publishing was delayed.