Freshman point guard Dominique Hawkins finds himself in a unique position among Kentucky’s historic top-ranked recruiting class. While it’s true his name will not be located amid the record six McDonald’s All-Americans arriving in Lexington this season, Hawkins is one of only 16 former high school players named Kentucky Mr. Basketball to sign with the Wildcats, and just the fifth player to do so since 1988. Behind a 26.8 PPG average throughout the entire Sweet Sixteen tournament, Dominique led the Madison Central Indians to their first state championship in school history, earning himself a scholarship offer from John Calipari along the way.
Unlike UK’s recent progression of one-and-done players leaving their marks on the Big Blue Nation in just a few short months before heading off to the NBA, the last four Kentucky Mr. Basketballs to suit up for the Wildcats have stuck around for an entire four-year span. It’s widely believed Hawkins will do the same. With that in mind, what should ‘Cats fans be expecting from the 6’0″, 193-lb. Richmond native? Last April, I wrote a piece detailing two possible paths the high-school-shooting-guard-turned-college-point-guard’s career could take while donning the blue & white. Though admittedly, it’s difficult to predict a player’s worth before he makes the demanding transition from high school varsity to NCAA Division I basketball. What we can do, however, is reexamine the college careers of the past four Kentucky Mr. Basketball award winners from a purely statistical standpoint, in hopes of gaining some sort of insight on what we can expect from the newest member of the exclusive fraternity:
Josh Carrier (2002-2005)
2001 Kentucky Mr. Basketball– Bowling Green High School
Individual Awards: 3Ã— Academic All-SEC (2003, 2004, 2005)
Career Statistics: 6.6 minutes per game, 1.2 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.3 APG
Brandon Stockton (2003-2006)
2002 Kentucky Mr. Basketball– Glasgow High School
Career Statistics: 6.1 minutes per game, 1.4 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.5 APG
Darius Miller (2009-2012)
2008 Kentucky Mr. Basketball– Mason County High School
Individual Awards: SEC Tournament MVP (2011), SEC Sixth Man of the Year (2012), Academic All-SEC (2012)
Career Statistics: 24.9 minutes per game, 8.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.8 APG
Jon Hood (2010- )
2009 Kentucky Mr. Basketball– Madisonville-North Hopkins High School
Career Statistics: 5.2 minutes per game, 1.1 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.2 APG
As the old adage goes, numbers never lie. It’s clear that in recent memory, Kentucky Mr. Basketball award winners (save for Darius Miller) have not found the same success with the Wildcats as they did in their high school playing days. Miller was the only one of the four to make a significant contribution during his time as a ‘Cat, as well as the only player to continue his playing career at the next level with the New Orleans
Hornets Pelicans. It’s unclear why such an unfortunate pattern has struck the commonwealth’s top basketball players, but hopefully Hawkins will be able to push the trend in the opposite direction. Here’s to four years of success. Go ‘Cats.
Statistics courtesy of BigBlueHistory.net.