Is Calipari ready to put Hawkins into the starting lineup?

Malik Monk (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky senior guard Dominique Hawkins hit back-to-back field goals early in the win at Texas A&M — a big deal considering UK had missed 13 of its first 14 shots.

Hawkins did a lot of little things well again for Kentucky Saturday to provide the consistent spark he has been in recent games, especially in the first half.

“He was ridiculous. I mean, both the energy that he showed and his defensive plays, his drive, the three-point play. He’s given this team such a lift,” Calipari said.

Calipari said UK’s slow starts — the Cats have trailed by 12 or more points in the first half of the last three games before coming back to win — don’t give him a lot of options to try and correct the problem. One could be changing the starting lineup.

“Now they (the players) gave me that answer. And I said, ‘OK. See, you three (Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe) think it’s the other guy that would come off the bench. But one of you three – we can’t start six. Can’t start six. Can only start five. And if he (Hawkins) is one, one of you three is not starting,'” Calipari said.

“I got great kids. I mean, Malik was awful today. That was probably the worst he’s played. He wasn’t engaged in the game. He just wasn’t. But they’re not computers. They’re not machines and they’ll have bad games at times. Obviously, his is an 11 o’clock start (and) with no shootaround made it tough probably.”

2 comments

  1. I fail to see how Calipari can replace Briscoe with Hawkins because that leave no one on the floor who has a chance to defend the 3 spot. At least Briscoe is strong enough to try, and has been willing to get inside and fight it out with the bigs. Therefore, if Hawkins starts, it must be Monk or Fox that sit. If it is Monk, you trade better defense for less scoring, and if it is Fox, you trade better defense for reduced ability to penetrate the lane to either score or get to the line.

    For all the bluff and bluster from Calipari, I expect that the starting 5 will be the same on Friday as it was yesterday.

    1. Agree 100 percent Professor

Leave a Reply