Jeff Borzello is taking all day Friday to tag along with Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins. He'll be checking in every couple of hours with updates, anecdotes and tidbits from the recruiting trail. Check here for a timeline of the posts.
By Jeff Borzello
LAS VEGAS -- It's been 16 hours since Mike Hopkins called me from seven feet away in his rented Infiniti SUV at 7:15 a.m.
There are four other coaches here in a remote gym. In fact, we're not even in Las Vegas anymore.
Sixteen hours of watching, evaluating, babysitting, driving -- and it's only the first day of a 10-day grind.
"It's always worth it," Hopkins said.
He said the mere possibility of a kid going to another school for lack of attention is reason enough to spend all these nights in small gyms.
"When recruiting a kid, wouldn't it make you sick if he said, 'Well, you didn't recruit me hard enough,'" Hopkins said. "I'm not leaving until the kid sees me, looking like a billboard."
Of course, it's not all self-motivation. Competition with the other coaches helps give a little extra energy in late July.
"You play games with yourself," Hopkins said. "I see other guys here and I'm like, we'll see on day 10."
Can Hopkins, who admittedly was a little tired late Friday night, pull off a week and a half of 16-hour days?
He smiled and nodded.
"To get a kid? Definitely."