Upon hearing Monday's news that Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins had broken a bone in his right hand, the player's high school coach immediately shifted into making-the-best-of-the-situation mode.
"I told him it's the preseason," said Allen Feldhaus Jr., who coached Hawkins at Madison Central High.
Feldhaus found at least two more silver linings:
■ Team depth, while still good (especially in the backcourt), is not as unforgiving as it was last season when UK substituted platoons of players.
"If this happened last year, you could sit a while," Feldhaus said. "This year, he can still fight his way back."
■ The cliché that might apply involves one door opening when another closes.
Upon learning that Hawkins broke his shooting hand, Feldhaus said he told the player, "This gives you an opportunity to work on your left hand."
Hawkins broke a bone in his right hand at practice and will miss four weeks, UK announced Monday. Hawkins will undergo surgery Tuesday but is expected to return to practice in early November.
"Praying for my bro," teammate Alex Poythress tweeted.
Hawkins broke the bone in his right hand below the middle finger during Sunday's practice, said Feldhaus, who spoke with Hawkins Monday.
"He was reaching for a steal and he pulled his hand back," the Madison Central coach said. "It was something like his hand got caught in the arm pit part of the jersey. It sounded like a freak thing to me."
Hawkins tried to play after trainers taped two of his fingers together, Feldhaus said.
"I'm tough, but I could tell something was wrong," Feldhaus said Hawkins told him.
Hawkins expected doctors to insert two screws in the affected area, Feldhaus said. "I'm just hoping this won't set him back too much," the Madison Central coach added.
A backup his first two seasons at UK, Hawkins came into preseason practice feeling like he could assume a more prominent role. UK Coach John Calipari had supported that belief.
"He's telling me next year (2015-16) I'll have a chance to get on the court," Hawkins said in early September. "And hopefully, this is the year I'm able to get on the court a lot."
In a UK news release, Calipari said Hawkins had made a good start on gaining a bigger role.
"He was so much more confident, so much more skilled," Calipari said. "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."