Josh Hopkins and Kaiden Rice Fit The Bill

If we have said it once we have said it a thousand times, shooters translate at every level. So when we come across a young kid that, can not only shoot, but has some size to him, you can say that we get excited. Here are two kids that we came across in our spring events that certainly fit this bill.

Josh Hopkins stands at a solid 6’4”. He has long arms and an athletic 170 pound build to him. He is not skinny but certainly has a frame that will easily add weight as he matures. During his sophomore season at Dudley High School, Hopkins started the year off playing Junior Varsity. However, that quickly changed as the light started to come on for him.

By season’s end, Hopkins was starting for Dudley High School’s Varsity team. As that call up happened, his confidence quickly soared. Through 19 games on Varsity, Hopkins averaged 5.5 Points and shot a robust 44% from beyond the 3-point arc. In fact, throughout his final 10 games Hopkins consistently scored in double figures.

That confidence quickly translated over to AAU ball, where instead of playing the role of designated shooter he was able to play the role of “alpha dog”. Hopkins quickly took to that role. He plays with the NC Court Kings, and in our Grassroots Tip Off Classic and David Rose Memorial Day Classic he took off. Through seven (7) games on the Phenom Hoops Platform, Hopkins has averaged 20 points and five (5) 3-pointers per game. Again TWENTY points and FIVE 3-pointers per game.

He has the type of confidence where if he misses his first two shots, he could quickly come back and make his next five. He also has the athleticism, length, and quickness to be a very good defender. There are a lot of similarities, at the same stage, as former VCU guard Troy Daniels.

Kaiden Rice stands at a very long 6’6”. His arms range down almost to his knees, and his broad shoulders provide a sturdy base for which to square up. Like Hopkins, Rice was a bit player for his Ridgeview High School team this year. However, his confidence was sky high when he played in the Phenom Hoops Challenge.

As a sophomore in high school, Rice has a natural build for the wing position, one that is reminiscent of former NBAer Eddie Jones. Now we are not saying Rice is as good as Jones, but there are a lot of similarities between build and skill set.

Rice has an easy scorer’s mentality. He has deep touch, from well beyond the 3-point arc. He is comfortable with the dribble pull up, in the mid-range. And, Rice is able to get all the way to the rim and finish. Naturally as a 6’6” 16 year old, Rice needs to add some weight and strength, but he has the natural athleticism to not only be a good defender but to be a high light reel type finisher.

During our Phenom Hoops Challenge, Rice averaged 21 points per game. He exploded for over 30 twice on Championship Sunday, again showing the ability to score the ball comfortably, at multiple levels. The 2017 class is extremely deep in South Carolina (probably the deepest it’s been in the last 10-15 years), however Rice is one to watch. His current production is high, but his upside is ever higher.

Both Hopkins and Rice have seen their recruitment pick up, as they both left the Phenom Hoops Platform with D1 interest. They are a must to get on campuses for Elite Camps, and should be looking for a heavy dose of coaches come July. Shooters translate, especially ones that stand 6’4” and 6’6” as sophomores, and these guys can shot the cover off the ball.

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