Top 5 teams Coleman Hawkins dominated during his Illinois basketball career

It was a great four years with Coleman Hawkins on the Illinois basketball roster, and some teams felt his wrath more than others
Wisconsin v Illinois
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Coleman Hawkins is no longer a part of the Illinois basketball program, but that doesn’t mean we should forget the great work he did while in Champaign.

Hawkins was a part of some great Illini runs. On top of making the NCAA tournament every season he was in town, and clinching a spot in the Elite 8 earlier this year, Hawkins helped lead Illinois to some incredible records against some high-profile teams.

I put together a list of the top five teams Hawkins dominated during his Illinois career. I also left off some teams that could have easily been on there. Before you proceed, here is a stat for you. Hawkins was a combined 45-7 in his career at Illinois against Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Rutgers, and Northwestern. Let that soak in for a second.

Here are the top five teams Coleman Hawkins dominated during his Illinois basketball career

5. Michigan State Spartans: 4-2 overall (66.7% winning rate)

Michigan State is the most prestigious program on this list, and Coleman Hawkins managed to come out on the positive end of this matchup.

It is always hard to beat Tom Izzo and the Spartans, but when Hawkins took the court, he saw great success. He was 4-2 overall against Michigan State and 2-1 in games where he started.

Across the board, Hawkins’ numbers were impressive against Izzo. He averaged 12.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. He also knocked down shots at a clip of 40% and was 6-16, 37.5%, from three-point range in the three starts.

Beating Michigan State is not an easy task. In the eight games against the Spartans before Hawkins arrived, Illinois was just 2-6. He showed up, and we go on a 4-2 run.

There are a few reasons why Michigan State made the top five. I think one of the biggest reasons is the fact this is a great Spartans program. Izzo always has his team ready, and Hawkins was still able to get the best of him.

Another factor is the fact Illinois won four games in a row against Michigan State with Hawkins on the roster. The last time that had happened was back in the mid-2000s.

Hawkins was a huge part of the Illinois basketball program, and he helped consistently take down one of the top programs in the college game.