Dominique Hawkins isn’t underselling his teammates, not by a long shot. In an interview with Adam Himmelsbach of the Courier-Journal after the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star game, Hawkins described the warlike practice battles we’ve been expecting from this year’s competitive batch.
Julius Randle and Alex Poythress? Check.
It’s intense. The way they’re going at each other, it’s gonna make them better. I compared them to Kobe and LeBron. You could just see it. And they don’t talk stuff; they just go after it.
Dakari Johnson and Willie Cauley-Stein? Double check.
“Dakari and Willie, they’ve had good battles,” Hawkins said. “They bang inside together. Dakari is not slow, like some people say. His quickness will shock you for how big he is.”
As a whole, the group has “crazy talent” according to Hawkins. “Talent I can’t really describe. I want to say the talent, we’re like superheroes.”
While the team is still waiting on the Harrisons and Young to arrive on campus for the first time, they’ve got something to keep them occupied: Wildcat Code, a points-based rewards system that players will follow to achieve access to the locker room, a single dorm room, and eventually, their jersey. Players get points for excellence in the classroom (sitting in the front, showing the teacher their notes at the end of class) and giving 110% in workouts and practices. The highest scorer so far? Willie Cauley-Stein, with 23 on the board.
Here’s my guesses at other things that players can receive points for:
Last man standing in dodgeball: +2
Performing slam poetry at Common Grounds open mic night: +4 (hence, Willie’s early lead)
Remembering to return Tupperware to the team kitchen: +1
Correctly dropping Cal-isms (“magic wand,” “pooping ice cream”) into everyday conversation: +2
Beating Brad Calipari at NBA 2k14: -3 points
Hitting 10,000 followers on Twitter: +3
Complimenting Ellen on her brownies: +1
Practicing their Big Blue Madness introduction dance daily: +1
Playing Yahtzee with Coach Stoops: +4
Correctly identifying the Harrison twins without use of jersey numbers: +2
Calling this site KSR instead of KRS: +3
Defeating college kids at the blue courts by at least forty points: +2