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July 24, 2013

Looking ahead to Dominique Hawkins' 2014 season

Over the next three weeks, Cats Illustrated will break down the 2013-14 Kentucky basketball team player-by-player with daily podcasts. You can see the full schedule here.

To get all the latest Cats Illustrated podcasts, subscribe on iTunes.

July 15Julius Randle
July 16Andrew Harrison
July 17Aaron Harrison
July 18Dakari Johnson
July 19Derek Willis
July 22James Young
July 23Marcus Lee
July 24Dominique Hawkins
July 25Alex Poythress
July 26Jon Hood & Jarrod Polson
July 29Willie Cauley-Stein
July 30Sam Malone, Brian Long, Tod Lanter, E.J. Floreal
July 31Season predictions
Dominique 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.

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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."

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