Illinois fans entered the 2023-24 season with high expectations for Coleman Hawkins. He didn’t start the season off on the right foot, as he struggled with injuries.
Hawkins averaged 4.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game in the first three contests this season. He was only 1-of-7, 14.3%, from three-point range as well.
Following the Marquette game, Hawkins took some time off to heal. He returned on December 2 and has started to continuously player better each game.
Over the past five games, Hawkins has had some of the best numbers of his career. He is averaging 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game in this stretch of games.
Now that Illinois is entering the meat of the Big Ten slate, I think Hawkins is poised to level up. I think this kid has a chance to put up some massive numbers.
Illinois is in need of minutes, points, and leadership. Hawkins is forming into that before our eyes. And he is getting healthier as time goes on as well. Hawkins even mentioned on social media recently that he isn’t fully healthy right now. If he gets healthier in the coming weeks, Hawkins could have a monster Big Ten season.