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Mad Hops 

The murder of a private investigator leads back to basketball and the cutthroat competition for court time.


Dick Wolf (created by), Rene Balcer (developed by) (as René Balcer) | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Robert Goren
Kathryn Erbe ... Alexandra Eames (credit only)
Jamey Sheridan ... James Deakins
Courtney B. Vance ... Ron Carver
Jude Ciccolella ... Coach Perry Powell
Suzzanne Douglas ... Karen Watkins
José Ramón Rosario ... Diego Bracho (as Jose Ramon Rosario)
Daryl Mitchell ... Player in Wheelchair
Leslie Hendrix ... Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers
Rosa Arredondo ... Advertising Executive
Samantha Buck ... Detective G. Lynn Bishop
Kevin Phillips ... Ben Watkins
John Krasinski ... Jace Gleesing
Clifton Oliver Clifton Oliver ... Kyle Davis
Malcolm Goodwin ... Elvin Fergin (as Malcolm J. Goodwin)


The murder of a private investigator leads back to basketball and the cutthroat competition for court time.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


While searching for a missing youth, Detective Goren impresses some street basketball players when he mentions having witnessed "Earl the Goat" in action on their court. The reference is to basketball cult-hero Earl "The Goat" Manigault, who once shot hoops in Rucker Park. See more »


The age of consent in New York state is 17, so Detectives Goren and Bishop actually did not need the permission of Ben Watkins' mother to talk to him as it is stated that he is 17 years old. See more »


Curtis Romney: It's called grass-roots boosterism - giving the community a team they can be proud of.
Detective Robert Goren: Well, I call it a long-term investment. You recruit the players. You touch their young lives with your "generosity." And then you leave a stain that they carry through their college or professional careers. A taint that you can threaten them with any time you need to shave some points.
See more »


References Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the better episodes
27 May 2008 | by PeterNelsonSee all my reviews

Even though this episode was one of the ones totally missing Eames (Kathryn Erbe), it is still one to watch. Cool story arc, Vincent D'Onofrio put in another very good performance, and there are a couple guest stars whose presence gives this episode extra interest.

We see John Krasinski in one of his first pro roles, filmed in late 2003. (This would be almost 2 years before starting in his role as Jim Halpert in "The Office.") John was playing a high school basketball player. Having missed the opening credits, I was surprised to see John as one of the high school players, and for that first instant it seemed like it was Jim joking around. (It was like when Jerry Seinfeld and George would flash back to their high school days, and you see these way-grown actors done up in their high school clothes and hairstyles.) Your subjective reaction may differ, but you'll have to agree that John looked a bit too old for the role, at age 24 having a full face and, in the outside scene, in need of a shave. Otherwise, sure, he delivered his lines like a teen--though then again, there were a couple glimmers of more mature facial expressions.

Playing the coach was Jude Ciccolella. In 2003 Jude was in the middle of his long run as Mike Novick on "24." Some this coach character's reactions will remind you of how Novick reacts to things, of course, so those make interesting cross-references to give you insight into Jude the actor. Jude gets to show us other bits, too, since the coach is not bound like Novick to the need for tact, observing White House protocol, and generally being in the service of politicians whose needs Novick must think of before his own. For example, this coach can be a total hard guy at times in ways you don't get to see with Novick. Sure, there are times when Novick gets forceful even with his superiors, but not with the type of disregard Jude has coach showing those he's getting tough with.

Even before either John or Jude show up in the epi, though, it was a pretty engrossing story unfolding. It is a trademark of classic "L&O: Criminal Intent" to present a lengthy sequence of clues before the detectives--or we viewers--have much idea what's really going on. In this epi, for some reason, though, it was particularly fun seeing the clues tumble down as Goren and temporary partner Bishop (Samantha Buck) hop from borough to borough following the leads stemming from the epi-opening murder. Nothing too obvious, nothing too far-fetched. Naturally, Goren figures out a couple things because he knows stuff that Bishop and the captain don't, but they aren't way out over the top.

Favorite Vincent acting moment in this epi: Goren yields to an early interviewee and is personally wide open while this person perceptively and succinctly summarizes the young Goren's probable difficulty with authority figures. At the end of this cold dressing-down of an analysis, Goren is completely taken aback--great moment.

Something visual to remark upon: Get Bishop under the lights in the dark blue morgue together with Medical Examiner Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix), and all that red hair is just blazing.

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