2. Does Coleman Hawkins look better this time around?
It has been fun to watch Coleman Hawkins come into his own. While he has always been a good player, I feel like he has taken his game to the next level this season.
In the first game between Illinois and Rutgers, Hawkins was just coming off an injury. He had missed a few games prior to this contest, so the kid was rusty.
I want to see what Hawkins can do when he is healthy and in a groove. Does Hawkins look better against the Scarlet Knights this time around?
In the three games prior to Hawkins missing time, he averaged just 4.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. He was clearly not right, and since he came back, he has played some incredible basketball.
That great basketball didn’t start right away, though. Hawkins suited up against Rutgers the first time around and didn’t play well. He finished that contest with six points and eight rebounds on 3-of-9 shooting from the floor and 0-of-2 from three-point range.
Since that day, Hawkins has blossomed into an All-Big Ten first-team type of player. He has scored double-digit points in eight out of the last nine contests, and he is coming off a 21-point performance against Michigan.
I think Rutgers is going to be shocked when they see the new Hawkins. He is a monster who will be tough to handle. Illinois can beat this team by 18 points when he’s down. Just imagine what it could be like on Sunday.