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FGCU’s Balza Signs First Basketball Recruits
8/1/2001

Florida Gulf Coast University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dave Balza announced the signing of his first two recruits. Bryan Crislip, a 6’2 point guard, and Ryan Hopkins, a 6’5 shooting guard have made FGCU history, when they become the University’s first ever basketball recruits. Both are Division 1 transfers who will come in as sophomores and have three years of eligibility remaining. The two were high school teammates at Parkersburg South High School in West Virginia.

Crislip is a transfer from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, where he averaged 5.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 21 minutes of action per game. Although he only played one semester, he led the Trojans in assists per game (2.3), assists-to-turnover ratio (1.6:1), free throw percentage (90%) and 3-point percentage (48%).

Bryan is the son of Terry and Pam Crislip. An exceptional passer, Crislip is a classic point guard. At his best in an up-tempo style, Crislip sees the floor with uncanny vision. He is a capable shooter and solid defender who makes his teammates better and finds a way to win.

At Parkersburg South High School, Crislip was a first-team All-State selection as both a junior and senior. He averaged 14.3 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals per game as a senior. As a junior, Crislip averaged 15.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 7.0 apg and 4.6 steals per game in leading his school to its best-ever record and its first trip to the state tournament in 19 years. Crislip was a three-year starter at PSHS. His highest scoring output came as a sophomore, when he averaged 17 points per game as an off-guard. He actually led the team in every statistical category that year.

Hopkins is a transfer from Eastern Michigan University. As a freshman, he played in 24 games and averaged 12 minutes per game off the bench. He was eighth on the team in scoring (3.8 ppg) and rebounding (1.0 rpg). He was third on the team in 3-point shooting, connecting on 23 treys for the year. Hopkins’ best games came towards the end of the season, as he poured in 19 points and grabbed 3 rebounds at Toledo. He followed that effort up with 12 points and 5 rebounds at Central Michigan.

Best known for his ability to score in bunches, Hopkins is the all-time leading scorer in Parkersburg South’s history, having accumulated 1,270 points in his three year career at the West Virginia high school. Sam Foggins, who is now a scout in the Orlando Magic organization, had held the record. Hopkins also holds the record for three-point field goals in a season with 84. As a senior, Hopkins was named second-team All-State and was a nominee for the McDonald’s All-American team after averaging 18.2 point, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He was also named second-team All-State as a junior and honorable mention All-State as a sophomore, during which time he started every game.

Ryan is the son of Bob and Darlene Hopkins. He was a member of the National Honor Society for three years in high school. He was also an all-conference player in baseball and golf.

Coach Balza, hired in May to begin a men’s basketball program at the University, was extremely excited with his first recruits. “I couldn’t be happier!” stated Balza. “To start a team with two quality young men like Ryan and Bryan is a signature statement for our program. Not only are they very good basketball players, they are terrific people and excellent students. They come from good families and will be the foundation for everything that we do here in the coming years.”

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