By LARRY VAUGHT
From what senior Dominique Hawkins has seen from watching UCLA games and highlights on TV, he knows today’s game with the Bruins should be fun.
“Pretty excited because we know our guard play is pretty fast and we know UCLA’s guard play is pretty fast. So it’s going to be an up-tempo game. It’s going to be fun to watch,” Hawkins said. “I won’t be surprised if it’s a high-scoring game at all.”
The UK senior says UCLA is “crazy athletic” and has good shooters.
“Really good guards. And all of them can shoot the ball really well. I remember Coach, he was breaking down their players. I think they’re all shooting over 50 percent behind the arc,” Hawkins said.
UCLA’s best guard in Lonzo Ball.
“We’re going to have to play great defense against him because he can score from beyond the arc and inside the paint,” Hawkins said.
UCLA smacked the visiting Cats a year ago, a game Hawkins has not forgot.
“I remember they came out with so much energy, were prepared for us and they played really well against us,” Hawkins said. “ “I don’t think it’s really a revenge factor. I just think that we’re going to come out and just play our game and hopefully we can win.”
Hawkins doesn’t see the matchup as a battle of two powerhouse programs but he understands fans could see it that way and create a Rupp Arena atmosphere the freshmen have yet to experience.
“They know it’s going to be a big game. They’re going to come out and play hard. Coach tells us every game is somebody’s Super Bowl, so they should realize that every team wants to come out and beat us,” Hawkins said Friday. “As players, we just want to come out and just win and play to the best ability that we can play.”