Scotty Hopson - "Nothing Has Changed"

Publisher-Gene's Page
Posted Jul 13, 2007


Despite the Kentucky media frenzy onslaught, the 17-year-old Scotty Hopson says it all in this one simple statement - "Nothing has changed," when asked his thoughts about his commitment to Mississippi State, a commitment that has never waivered since he committed to State in late October.

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There has been what would best be called a media frenzy among Kentucky media members about the extremely talented Scotty Hopson's commitment to Mississippi State, a commitment that he gave almost nine months ago.

"Nothing has really changed about my commitment," said the soft-spoken youngster. "I'm just looking forward to playing for Mississippi State. Nothing has changed."

And, to be perfectly honest, recruiting seems to be the farthest thing from his mind, despite the constant media barrage.

"I'm looking forward to my next high school season right now, then college," said Scott. "I'm taking it one step at a time."

No recruiting thoughts or McDonald's All-American thoughts or even NBA thoughts, just high school then college.

Scotty explained how he keeps such a level head.

"A lot of people ask me that," said Scotty, with a slight laugh. "I stay humble and stay hungry every day. As long as you do those two things, I think you will be successful."

And based on the accolades he's receiving from sites such as Scout.com that formula for success is coming through in a big way.

According to Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep, after watching Scotty at the LeBron James Academy tournament, "We submit he was the most impressive performer in the wing skill drills. He had a great approach toward the instructions and his execution was strong. That ease that we love about his game was evident. All the accolades and honors seniors are in line for are his for the taking if he can replicate that effort."

And Scotty has taken those words to heart.

"I think I'm just playing harder overall, just trying to go out and compete every possession, every play on the court," said the 6-6, 180-pounder.

And Telep sees Scotty moving up the rankings from his current four-star and 28th best player in the nation ranking. "I am positive Scotty will be a five-star given his effort at Nike," said Telep.

And very likely a McDonald's All-American selection is in his future thanks to that effort. If he is selected to that game, he'll join other Mississippi State signees that have made it including a former Gatorade National Player of the Year and current NBA star Monta Ellis, former NBA player Jonathan Bender, current NBA player Travis Outlaw and Mario Austin.

But Scotty won't be a stranger to an all-star type event. He's already played in a couple of high profile ones recently, including the above mentioned LeBron Academy and also the invitation-only USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival.

"Man, that was a great feeling, knowing that you were chosen from players throughout the nation," said Scotty, of his selection to play in the festival. "It was nice playing out there, playing against some of the other great players in the nation. There was top talent from all over the nation."

But the talent level at the festival couldn't compare to what he experienced at the LeBron Academy.

"It had the same atmosphere, but there were more players and more talent," said Scotty. "You had to compete every time you got on the floor, even in drills. And the harder you work, the better you will get."

He's also used tips that he's received from another Mississippi State commitment, Romero Osby, also a four-star prospect who is ranked the 42nd best player in the nation by Scout.com.

"I met (Romero) a year or two ago at a Mississippi State camp," said Scotty. "Since then, I've seen him at a couple of AAU camps and we started talking then. We talk almost every day. We talk about right now and about our future. I give him tips sometimes and he gives me tips sometimes."

But trading tips aren't the only thing they discuss.

"We also talk about in the future when we get down to Mississippi State and end up winning championships and going to the Final Four, at the least," said Scotty.

And with the addition of four-star point guard Dee Bost to the twosome of himself and Osby, Scotty likes what he sees in the future of Mississippi State basketball.

"I see success for our class. We have a class that has (the potential to have) three five-stars on it," noted Scotty. "That tells you how great we can be. We just have to come in and work hard and, hopefully, make a name for ourself at Mississippi State."

Add those three names to the players MSU will have coming back from this coming season and the Rick Stansbury-led Mississippi State basketball program, a program that's he's built into one of the three most successful in the SEC, will only build on the success that it's had with him during his nine years as the MSU head coach.

A success that includes six 20+ wins seasons, 1 SEC overall championship, 1 SEC Tournament championship, 3 SEC Western Division championships and 7 post-season tournament appearances.

And think what he and his staff can do now that players such as Hopson, Osby and Bost, players that very well would have gone to the NBA straight out of high school in the past, attend college first. The possibilities are almost mind-boggling.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.



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