What’s been the secret to this Kentucky team coming together in the past month? The seniors. Senior leadership may sound like an oxymoron for most John Calipari squads, but Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, and Mychal Mulder have become integral components to this team’s success, Dom and Derek in particular. For that reason, Cal invited all three to come to the podium with him to preview Northern Kentucky today.
“This is a team that I’m really proud to be coaching, a young team, but you’re also seeing three seniors up here who carried their weight, took over this team when they needed to, were able to step back when they needed to,” Cal said. “Servant leaders, all three of them. They’ve had a big impact on the year, and it’s just fun to see young guys come together with veterans and figure it out together. This team is slowly becoming that team.”
A large part of Kentucky coming together is Dominique Hawkins stepping up and taking a leadership role. Dom has waited patiently in the shadows the past three years, but he said this season, he knows he has teammates and the state of Kentucky behind him.
“It’s been unbelievable,” Hawkins said of his senior year. “This season has been my best season. A group of guys that actually wants me to be successful is what motivates me. My teammates want me to do good. I want to do good for them. I’ve got the whole state of Kentucky behind me. Kentucky kid. Everybody’s rooting for me to do good.”
Yes, we are.