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tBBC Making the List: Dennis Hopson


Making the List: Dennis Hopson
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


College Basketball is in full swing, ending soon. The Ohio State University has only nine games remaining before discussions evolve reference Tournament play. There is hope, always is. This brings me to the discussion of one of the greatest players to ever don a scarlet and gray uniform – Dennis Hopson.

Born April 22, 1965 in Toledo, Ohio – Dennis would go on to Bowsher High School where he, at 6’5”, would be a standout – though he never played his freshmen year. Soon the discussion of college came up. The University of Cincinnati was actually his first choice. But he would later admit that Kelvin Ransey influenced his decision to go to Columbus. Kelvin had played with Dennis’ brother in High School. So when the recruitment process began a line was soon drawn, as being not far from Ann Arbor this anomaly seemed a possibility. But he was from Ohio – and Kelvin reminded him of that, who also was a native of Toledo.

When he saw the size of the Ohio State Campus and High Street – the deal was sealed. “This is where I wanted to go to school.” The atmosphere in St. John’s Arena was also intoxicating to him. “It was complete insanity. The Buckeyes were loved.”

He began his Buckeyes career quietly – averaging 5.3 points per game as a freshman. As a sophomore he would up that just a notch to 9.8 points per game. It would be his Junior season where he came into his own. His average per game leaped to 20.9. In 1986 Ohio State hired Gary Williams as Head Coach and his style of game complimented Hopson’s – as the quicker offensive tempo certainly produced the superstar we as Buckeye fans have etched in our memories.

Hopson’s tremendously talented jump shot and extraordinary scoring abilities suddenly had him ranked at number 2 in Division I for scoring during the 1986-87 season, earning him the 1987 Big Ten Player of the Year. In this, his Senior year, he would be second best on the team with 3.6 assists and would lead the Buckeyes in rebounds with 8.2 per game. He’d end the year with All-American Honors.

Dennis is The Ohio State University’s all-time leader in points with 2,096. In his Junior season he’d be good for 690 points on the year. And come his Senior year he’d set the season total record for the Buckeyes with 958 points.

He wasn’t only a scorer. He is fourth on the Buckeyes record list in steals with 164. And to add a little icing to the cake he had 17 double-doubles in his tenure in Columbus.

Hopson went on to the NBA being the number one draft choice of the New Jersey Nets in 1987. As a rookie he would appear in 61 games for 1,365 minutes played and a .404 FG % for 587 points. He’d stay in NJ for three seasons before moving on to the Chicago Bulls (where he won a Championship in 1990-91 on one of those fantastic Michael Jordan teams). He’d also see time with the Sacramento Kings. Dennis would end his basketball playing overseas with teams in Spain, France, Israel, Turkey, Philippines, even Venezuela.

Dennis Hopson is the leader of The Ohio State University Men’s Basketball program in points of all-time. This amazing fact puzzles me as to why he is not discussed in further detail when greats of the Scarlet & Gray are on the table. Dennis is a great Buckeye – plain and simple. He gave Buckeye Nation some tremendous thrills and many scratchy voices come mornings following games he played in from their excessive cheering.

The post Making the List: Dennis Hopson appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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