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Coach says Dominique Hawkins believes he can play next season at Kentucky

Click on the photo above to view Dominique Hawkins announcing his college choice Wednesday.

Click on the photo above to view Dominique Hawkins announcing his college choice Wednesday.

By LARRY VAUGHT

RICHMOND — Dominique Hawkins might not be a McDonald’s All-American, but the Madison Central guard is not coming to Kentucky thinking he’s only going to play a limited role on a star-studded roster.

“He believes he is going to play next year,” said Madison Central coach Allen Feldhaus. “He may not show it, but he’s confident he can compete and play. He’s not going to back down.”

He proved that when he played against Texas twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison, both UK signees, in the Marshall County Hoop Fest early in the season. He had 29 points in that game and kept Central in the game with the eventual Class 5A state champion.

“In our biggest games, he shined the most,” Feldhaus said. “Before the state tournament (when he led Madison Central to the state title), I am not sure most people in the state had a clue how good he was. I truly believe, and I think Cal (UK coach John Calipari) would agree, that when Cal developed an interest in him it was a feel-good story. He was a Kentucky kid with a chance to be Mr. Basketball and he was doing us a favor recruiting him. After watching him play, I could tell Cal was truly excited and then it was like we were doing him a favor with the way Dominique played and competed. That is what my dad (Allen Jr.) and brother (Deron), both former Kentuck players, told me you just could not appreciate him until you got to see him night in, night out. Cal watched him three state games and got it.”

Hawkins said Calipari told him he would be “able to compete for a spot and see what happens” next season.

“I take pride in my intensity and that is what makes the team special. I’ve got to be a leader. The point guard has to be a leader and help out not just during games, but also in practice,” Hawkins said.

Andrew Harrison is the nation’s top-ranked point guard. Aaron Harrison is the top-ranked shooting guard. But Hawkins says both players have the same versatility he does to do multiple things to help a team win.

“It is going to be an honor to play with them. They are both very talented and practicing with them will make me better and I will try to make them better,” Hawkins said. “It will be tough, but also fun. The thing about having them as teammates is that they can get any player involved in the game. You don’t have to do much when you play with them because they help their teammates. I think I do that. We are all versatile. I will be in the gym working on my shooting and game, but I think I can do things, too, to help the team.”

Hawkins got a dose of what being a Wildcat is like after making his college choice public Wednesday at a school assembly. He did several live radio show interviews as well as numerous TV and newspaper interviews.

“He did an unbelievable job at the press conference and I am not sure how many teachers came up to me to compliment him,” Feldhaus said. “He’s not the most talkative guy, and some people were shocked by the good job he did. But he’s got a lot of experience this yer. We’ve had a lot of media coverage in big events and I think he enjoyed today and understands that’s how it will be now.

“I really think UK fans are going to fall in love with him. Many already have not because of his talent, but the way he is every day with the way he carries himself and handles himself. You can’t help but love him.”

Hawkins got a dose of the “Kentucky love” even at school.

“Everybody was patting me on the back. I was signing autographs and posing for a lot of pictures. I feel kind of famous,” he joked. “If that’s what it will be like next year, it will be fun.”

What’s more fun, though, is competing. That’s what he enjoys. He’ll play in the Kentucky-Ohio All-Star Game Saturday and the Derby Classic April 19. He’ll compete in the Kentucky-Indiana all-star series in June.

“It’s not hard for me to be excited for those games. I am going to be playing with some great players. I will be playing with guys I don’t know, and I like doing that,” Hawkins said. “The Kentucky-Indiana series is the longest all-star game in the country. That is big deal for us and we want to end that (losing) streak against them.”

He was so busy Wednesday — and so secretive the last month not letting word out that he had a scholarship offer from UK — that he also has one more thing to do soon.

“I haven’t got a lot of Kentucky gear yet. I have to go do that for sure,” he said.

* * *

Hawkins will join us on WLAP (630 AM) at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Listen and you won’t be disappointed.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/coach-says-dominique-hawkins-believes-he-can-play-next-season-at-kentucky/

10 comments

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  1. Juan4UK

    Hmmmm. I really like the kid. From the sounds of these reports we may just have a line up with 2 pg’s on the floor at the same time in various situations next yr.
    I’d like to know why this kid was scouted better by the recruiting services. Obviously he is not a 3 star talent and at the least he should have been a 4 star. Cal doesn’t just fall in love with average talent to recruit to fill out a stacked roster.
    ….and since I’m writing today, something stuck in my craw a little yesterday as I was reading some quotes from Feldhaus (boy, that name just keeps coming up in Kentucky history doesn’t it). Larry tone is hard to pick up on the internet sometimes. So, I say this with all due respect about his coach Allen; what can you tell us about him? The last few days, and weeks… there have been some… kind of aggressive(?), non compromising quotes from him about our young Dom Hawkins.
    Is he going to be one of those HS coaches that is always in Dominique’s ear? Especially if he thinks DH should be getting more playing time or if he thinks Cal isn’t playing him the way he thinks Hawkins should be used?
    I probably should give him the benefit of the doubt and not have even asked at this point, do solely to the family legacy. But at the very least, I would like to know a little more about him, as well.

    1. Juan4UK

      *was NOT scouted better by recruiting services

  2. Jan in Indiana

    It sounds as if Dominique has the right mind set. As we have all seen it is according to how much effort you put forth that determines the outcome, it seems like he is ready to give it as much effort as he is capable of. I will not be surprised to see him getting playing time. Dominique get that UK gear because BBN is ready to see you in BLUE & WHITE !!!!!

  3. eddie

    cannot wait to see this kid play if he get’s to play cause if it was me i would not waste his talent by him sitting on the bench. i mean for crying out loud he did win the state championship he is ky mr. basketball and if that was the case i would to have loved to seen him go to south carolina frank martin would have put him to go use but i hope i am wrong wonder if anyone would agree to my statement.

  4. UKFAN197TONE

    Longest series and not on national tv. Shocking. Well, at least we’ll get to see him play at UK. I hope.

  5. Larry Pup

    If you could watch his announcement and not be moved, you’re not in love with UK. Eddie, I believe he will see playing time too. He will compete and earn minutes. On paper this is shaping up as a monster team to be dealt with by opponents. It is good to be a “WILDCAT!”

  6. Pacman

    I think he is an Anthony Epps type player. No one tougher; always made the big play by setting up his teammates; tough defender. Could score when needed. I think Hawkins shapes up as that same type player. It will be great to watch 5 guys come down the floor next year and actually pass it to each other.

  7. King Ghidora

    The scouts don’t always make it to see every player and they often don’t see them enough when they do see them. There’s a whole country full of teams that come close to winning against the top competition. I wonder how many expected teams like Butler and Wichita St. to do so well? They wouldn’t have had a roster full of 5 star players. Let’s talk about the Unforgettables. Those guys certainly would have been overlooked by the scouts. Yet they played what many think is the best college basketball game of all time. The high school I went to from grades 9-11 had tremendous talent despite being a very small school. They proved they could play with the best teams in the state by taking Louisville Shawnee to OT before falling 93-90. None of the big name scouts ever watched that team play but Shawnee’s coach was clearly shocked that such a small school could compete with his recruited team from the Louisville area. The comments he made after the game showed he knew our team had real talent. But no big name schools came calling for those players. The next season a player who played on our team also played for the consolidated school I went to as a senior. He was a 6-7 guard who hit 2 shots from half court against Madison Central in the state tournament. He was amazing but he couldn’t even start the year before because his cousin was even better. The 6-7 guard went on to become the highest scorer in Ohio U. history until a more well known player named Trent broke his record. He still ranks #2 on that list. But if he hadn’t been for that state tournament performance he would have gone unnoticed completely because our region was pretty much always ignored by the scouts. That OU player did a lot to change that leading to other players like Louisville guard Jeff Hall being noticed followed by OJ Mayo and others eventually. Lots of kids have gone on to big time programs from the region now. Back then it just didn’t happen. And Madison Central has always had a lot more attention than my area yet they still overlook big time talent from there too.

    You can’t drag those scouts out to certain areas. If there isn’t a big motel with a bar a lot of them just won’t show up. Eastern Kentucky used to be a hot spot for great players back in Rupp’s day and they still show up on other teams usually. But certain areas just don’t get the attention. It’s always been that way. That talent on the other teams comes from somewhere. Not all of it is 4 or 5 star talent. Yet they manage to win pretty often.

    i think Hawkins has a real shot at earning playing time. Heck look at what Polson has done.

  8. rick

    A.J. Feldhause is a great coach.But even more importantly he takes on the role of a mentor.He is a teacher of more tan basketball.If he said the kid can play D1 he can play D1 you can count on it.

    1. larryvaught

      Rick, count me as a Feldhaus backer, too. If anyone in that family tells you something, believe it

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