•Jaron Hopkins is the newest recruit for the Fresno State men’s basketball team, transferring in from the University of Colorado
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• Hopkins, expected to officially sign within a week, played summer ball with current Bulldogs forward Paul Watson
Fresno State added another key piece in building its future on the basketball court, receiving a commitment Tuesday from 6-foot-6 shooting guard Jaron Hopkins, a transfer from Colorado who out of high school was rated by one recruiting website as a top 30 player at his position.
Hopkins, who averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds while playing 20.9 minutes per game as a sophomore, will sit out 2015-16 under NCAA transfer rules. But he will be eligible to play the following two seasons and figures to be a major contributor.
All-Mountain West Conference selection Marvelle Harris, Cezar Guerrero and Julien Lewis, the Bulldogs’ top scorers from this past season, are entering their senior years.
“The staff was great. That played a key role in my decision,” said Hopkins, who made an official visit at the end of April. “They basically just laid out the blueprint for me and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed my visit and it’s a great move, a great move for me.”
Coach Rodney Terry is not allowed to comment on prospective student-athletes until a national letter of intent or athletic-aid agreement has been signed and validated. Hopkins said he would be signing within the next week.
Hopkins, out of Dobson High in Mesa, Ariz., will be playing with some familiar faces from Arizona — he played summer basketball with Bulldogs forward Paul Watson.
“Me and Paul have known each other since probably the seventh grade and the other commitment, Cullen (Russo), we’ve been playing out here over at ASU so I’ve been talking to him a lot, too,” Hopkins said.
Russo, a 6-9 forward, signed with the Bulldogs last week out of New Mexico Junior College.
Fresno State, expected to add one more player during the spring signing period, has four players in its 2015 recruiting class in Hopkins, Russo, Washington transfer Jahmel Taylor and forward Nate Grimes from the Quality Education Academy in Winston Salem, N.C., who signed in November.