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By LARRY VAUGHT

Could this be the week that Madison Central guard Dominique Hawkins, Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball, finally learns if will get the scholarship offer from Kentucky that he obviously wants?

Madison Central coach Allen Feldhaus said Saturday there was “nothing new” between UK and Hawkins, who averaged 20.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for the 32-5 Indians last season. In the state tournament, he averaged 26.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in four wins.

The 6-1 guard is not a McDonald’s All-American, but he is a fierce competitor and seemed to earn a spot in UK coach John Calipari’s heart with his intense play in the state at the same time the Wildcats were collapsing at the end of their season.

“We would all like to see happen and have got our fingers crossed,” said Feldhaus.

Kentucky found out last week that two players — Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress — would stay at UK for their sophomore seasons while freshman Archie Goodwin is bolting for the NBA and Ryan Harrow is transferring. With seven freshman recruits to go with Poythress, Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer, that’s just 10 of UK’s available 13 scholarships. The Cats are still in the race for Andrew Wiggins, the nation’s top prep player, but even if Wiggins says yes that would just take up 11 scholarships. So it seems there is room for Hawkins, who showed at the Marshall County Hoop Fest he could be a handful in practice for twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison.

“In big games, you can always tell he is ready to go. He likes to prove something,” Feldhaus said. “We were not very good at the time of the Hoop Fest but he kept us in the game with his play. Nothing intimidates him. Teammates asked him if he thought he could play at Kentucky and he thinks he can fit in and contribute anywhere. He has a lot of confidence in his play, and should. He doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but he’s got confidence.”

Feldhaus knows what UK basketball is about because his father, Allen Sr., and brother, Deron, both played there. He thinks Hawkins is the type of player who belongs at Kentucky.

“I know the type of kid he is. He is the most humble young man I have ever coached. He is always team first, self second,” the Madison Central coach said. “When we were playing teams it was obvious we were better than, the deferred to teammates. When the big lights came on, that’s when he was at his best. Coach Calipari liked his toughness, but he is pretty explosive and has game in him. Calipari sees a lot of (current NBA guard Eric) Bledsoe in him because he is so strong and physical.

“And he handles himself so well on and off the court. He always has that big smile. I think the entire state has fallen in love with the way he has handled everything with Kentucky.”

Hawkins, who will play in the Kentucky-Ohio all-star game this weekend and the Derby Classic April 19, was on spring break last week and put off any college plans until he got back to see what UK might do. Some have speculated he might be asked to be a walk-on for a year and then go on scholarship even though he has several Division I offers and more could be coming.

“I don’t think Dominique Hawkins is a walk-on. I hope it does not come to that,” Feldhaus said. “I don’t know what else he can do to prove himself. He is not a walk-on player.

“Kentucky has been very up front with us. We know they have been dealing with a lot of stuff and Dominique has let it be known he wants to be a Wildcat. We’re just waiting to see what happens.”

16 Responses to Dominique Hawkins still waiting for UK offer from Calipari

  • Andy Benner says:

    I’m going to be really disappointed if Cal doesn’t offer this kid. Everything I’ve read indicates he is exactly the type of player UK needs- wants to be there, understands the tradition, has talent, super competitive, from Kentucky. It certainly wouldn’t be a “mercy” offer. Hawkins will contribute.

  • Larry Pup says:

    If this kid does not deserve a scholarship to UK, there is not a cow in Texas. Sign him Cal.

  • Ken Schrader says:

    This kid needs a UK scholly. In two years UK will need DH. Keep in mind that KY has never won an NCAA Championship without a KY kid as a player.

  • King Ghidora says:

    I hope there’s a spot for him but we shouldn’t forget that guys named Hood and Polson are taking up scholarships currently too. That sounds like 13 before Hawkins gets one. Maybe Polson will give one up but it’s not like giving one up to get Wiggins. He earned his scholarship and I really hate to see him lose it. But I’d like to see Hawkins on the team somehow. Oh to have such problems though. To have great players banging on the door to get in is the way it should be at UK and Cal has made it that way again (that’s how it was in Rupp’s day – he had a tryout day for KY players rather that traveling around to recruit them).

  • steve says:

    it appears to me that you just threw hood and polson under the bus with this article.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure, but aren’t scholarships renewed on an annual basis? Hasn’t a coach met his commitment if a player has had 4 yrs. at the university? Won’t this be Polson’s 4th year and Hood’s fifth year? Anyone!

    • Karen Sprinkle says:

      Polson is a junior this year, so he has been on the team for 3 years but will be graduating in May. Hood is a red-shirt junior, so he has been on the team for 4 years and will be graduating in May. Next year would be Polson’s fourth, and Hood’s fifth. Per Hood’s comments that I have read, he is planning on being on scholarship at UK next year. I haven’t heard anything about Polson’s plans, but I, for one, would love to see both Hood and Polson honored at Senior Day next year. I have faith that Cal will work all of this out.

  • BobbyBlue says:

    Larry,
    Not sure about your math…Hood and Polson make 13, if Wiggins signs. I grew up in Richmond,and I would love to see him wear the Blue,and believe he would eventually contribute,if he stayed and worked hard.
    More deserving then Hood or Polson ? I don’t think so,plus the continued bad publicity that would bring,nationally. I mean, can you remember the outcry when several left on Cals arrival,and the haters hate has grown exponentially,with the UK success level.
    A ride has to be saved untill for Wiggins,quits dragging it out,and commits somewhere. Unless Wiggins ultimately commits to the Figh$n Michael Jordans,there won’t be a ride for Hawkins. Living in Richmond,and on a preferred walk on ride sounds like a good deal for a guy,whose dream school is Uk,and was coveted only by Morehead untill the State tournament.
    Bob

  • Anonymous says:

    I say give Hawkins a scholarship. Here’s a player who will stay 3-4 years, contribute greatly to the team and be very proud of wearing the Kentucky Blue.

  • Pacman says:

    I think Polson and Hood have earned the right to finish their careers at UK. I would love to see Hawkins come to UK but if you hold one scholarship for Wiggins the math doesnt work. Also I hope Hawkins is careful in his college selection. I have seen so many kids from Ky have UK as their dream school, not get an offer; go to some other name school (usually LSU or Vandy) and not be happy and continue wishing they were playing for UK.

  • jon Nathan says:

    With the 7 all ready signed and you add hood, Polson, and willie Stein. That adds to 10 bring in Wiggins and Hawkins and keep solvent adds to 13.

    No problem

  • dave says:

    hey Calipari you think i may be able to get one of your $cholarships

  • Frankfort Fan says:

    I think it would be great for Hawkins to come to Kentucky. Calipari would avoid the ill effects of NOT grabbing a KY Mr. Basketball (a la Tubby Smith with Chris Lofton) and he would be a solid player for 4 years. That being said, while Hawkins is a good player, his HS stats are comparable or worse to Polson’s. And Polson was a walk-on who earned a scholarship. I am all for getting this kid, but it also sounds like after winning the state title he got a bit too big for his britches. Yes, he is a good player and would a good piece on our team for years, but it sounds like he is almost demanding a scholarship, which is a little bit pushy for a 2* player, especially considering the incoming class.

  • James Jones says:

    I think she was being real and not throwing them under the bus.But I can see how it could be twisted.

  • dennis says:

    I for one am tired of Wiggins holding UK hostage, put it straight to him, you want to play here or not, make a decision and quit fooling around. Sure it would be great to get him, but the way it is going will only make it harder to get the next good one signed, allowing a kid to hold off and he has seen all he needs to see is not good for recruiting now or in the future.

    • Karen Sprinkle says:

      So, under your theory, we should have passed on Brandon Knight? Knight not only did not “commit” to UK until the middle of April, but he didn’t sign a letter of intent, choosing only to sign financial aid papers. Failing to sign the letter of intent would have allowed him to de-commit and play immediately for any other school. My point is: He will make a decision when he knows it is right for him. It is his life we are talking about. We will be fine without him and fine with him.

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