Kentucky junior guard Dominique Hawkins is expected to be sidelined for a month after breaking a bone in his right hand at practice over the weekend, the school announced on Monday night.
“I really feel bad to have to report this because Dom was playing so well,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement. “He was so much more confident, so much more skilled. There was no doubt he was in the rotation, and now he’s just got to get back and stay in shape. We’re looking forward to getting him back in November.”
Barring any setbacks, Hawkins could be back for the start of the 2015-16 season when Kentucky hosts Albany on Nov. 13.
Hawkins has averaged 8.0 minutes per game in 56 appearances, mostly making his contributions on the defensive end.
Michigan State landed its main target of a potential No. 1 class on Saturday as in-state, five-star wing Miles Bridges committed to the Spartans during a press conference.
The 6-foot-6 Bridges, who plays his high school ball at powerhouse Huntington Prep in West Virginia, is regarded as the No. 11 overall prospect in the Class of 2016 and the versatile lefty power wing can play multiple spots on the floor. Michigan State was able to land Bridges after a heated recruitment that included official visits to his other finalists of Indiana and Kentucky.
Playing with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer, Bridges cemented himself as a legitimate All-American candidate with his strong play and ability to score from all over the floor. In 22 games, Bridges averaged 21 points, 9.1 rebounds and two assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the field.
Joining Bridges in Michigan State’s Class of 2016 is five-star guard Josh Langford, four-star point guard Cassius Winston and four-star big man Nick Ward. While the Spartans haven’t reeled in consistent five-star talent over the last few classes, the last two groups have wielded three potential All-Americans and there is a major talent influx happening for head coach Tom Izzo’s program.
Now the big question becomes if Michigan State can convince five-star wing Josh Jackson to stay in Michigan. Jackson and his family have played things close to the vest during the recruiting process, but the Spartans certainly have an attractive group in place to surround Jackson with.
Kentucky freshmen Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray are both projected to be selected in the top-5 of next June’s NBA Draft, but the Kentucky’s 2015-16 season could depend on the status of a senior.
Alex Poythress, the former McDonald’s All-American, started the first eight games for the Wildcats last season before tearing the ACL in his left knee, ending his junior season. The 6-foot-8 forward expects to be ready for the season opener on Nov. 13 against Albany, according to Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal.
“He’s got to get where he’s completely comfortable just letting it go,” Calipari told reporters. “There’s going to be a tentativeness. The mental part of that, for a while, it will be there. … You just want this to work for him. Obviously, I want our team to win, but I want this to work for him.”
“How quickly can he start being who he is? A lot of what we do, it will center around Alex.”
Poythress, who was aiming to be cleared by August, has returned to practice, but still hasn’t participating in all drills.
Poythress averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game.