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July 24, 2013Dominique Hawkins
Richmond, Ky. (Madison Central)
Preview Podcast: Publisher Brett Dawson and staff writers T.J. Walker and Aaron Smith break down their expectations of Dominique Hawkins.
Rewind: Hawkins averaged 20.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in winning Kentucky's Mr. Basketball and leading Madison Central to the state title. It was at the Kentucky Boys' Sweet 16 where he sealed a scholarship offer from the Wildcats, showing the physical and mental toughness John Calipari thought his 2012-13 team lacked.
Fast Forward: Hawkins faces an uphill climb for playing time. Andrew Harrison is penciled in as Kentucky's starting point guard, and Aaron Harrison can slide over from the shooting guard spot to be a capable backup option. Jarrod Polson has experience in a backup role. Hawkins is viewed as a player with a chance to develop over time.
John Calipari says: "Dominique Hawkins, a young man from in-state that just kind of blew me away with his will to win, his temperament on the court, his demeanor in helping his team win a championship. You always want to coach guys who understand. By winning a state championship and being down 16 two games, it shows what a tough mentality (he has). And with what I just went through, I wanted a tough point guard. I wanted one more tough, physical - how 'bout this - not just fighting, physical tough, how 'bout mentally tough? How 'bout not break down? How 'bout, 'I'm bringing it and I'm not afraid to be 16 down and it has no affect on me?' That's what I saw in Dominique and why we recruited him."