Dominique Hawkins and the Kentucky All-Stars fell to the Indiana All-Stars friday night by a series-record of 54 points at Freedom Hall. Hawkins is also feeling pretty sore from his first week of workouts at UK. Hawkins smiled after being asked about what it was like to finally take his place amid a recruiting class being hailed as the best ever, on a team that is already the favorite to win the national championship.
“It’s crazy talent,” Hawkins said, his smile slowly widening. “Talent I can’t really describe. I want to say the talent, we’re like superheroes.”
The Kentucky Wildcat players will be busy this summer, but since Hawkins was allowed to compete in this weekend’s high school All-Star Classic, it offered a rare chance to reveal something about the new world of these new Wildcats. After Freedom Hall had mostly emptied and the lights had been dimmed.
He stood in the locker room, and his smile quickly returned as he recited details of the Wildcats’ secretive and highly anticipated offseason. He described mesmerizing one-on-one battles between sophomore forward Alex Poythress and incoming freshman Julius Randle.
“I don’t see how they can be stopped,” Hawkins said. “Definitely, in pickup games they go at each other. It’s intense. The way they’re going at each other, it’s going to 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.”
He described incoming freshman center Dakari Johnson going toe-to-toe with sophomore 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, surrendering neither an inch nor an easy layup.
“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.”Freshman guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison and forward James Young had not arrived on campus yet along with Kyle Wiltjer, who is in China with Canada’s World University Games team. It’s important to know that things are getting off to a good start with the team. The post-season is an important time to get things done in the classroom, work out, improve on basketball skills, and to gel with teammates.