On Sunday, a day John Calipari asked Kentucky basketball to "self-reflect," Dominique Hawkins received a text message from his high school coach.
"Make yourself known in practice," Madison Central Coach Allen Feldhaus wrote.
This got Hawkins thinking. "Does he know something I don't know?"
It turned out, Feldhaus did. He learned through the basketball grapevine that Calipari would probably start Hawkins against Missouri on Tuesday.
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Hawkins made this must-see TV a pleasant experience. His pressure on the ball and energy helped get Kentucky off to a good start en route to an 86-37 victory.
UK's spirited play not only disposed of Mizzou, but eased any anxiety caused by closer-than-expected games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M last week.
At a team meeting later Sunday, Calipari told Hawkins that he would start against Missouri.
"My jaw dropped," Hawkins said after the Missouri game. "... The next day it actually hit me that I was starting, and I needed to prepare for it."
Hawkins helped set the tone for a dominating defensive game for Kentucky by pressuring Missouri guard Keith Shamburger, who made five three-pointers and scored a season-high 21 points at Auburn on Saturday. Against Kentucky, he made only one of six shots and scored four points.
Hawkins, a former Kentucky Mr. Basketball who led Madison Central to the 2013 state championship, acknowledged being "kind of nervous" about starting. He had not played in UK's previous three games, and four of the previous five.
"I thought if I start off bad, I'll never get a chance again," he said.
When asked if he believed he earned a chance to start again, Hawkins answered quickly and confidently.
"I definitely think I earned another start," he said.
While noting how on-ball pressure applied by Hawkins and Tyler Ulis helped Kentucky take charge, Calipari made no promises about starting Hawkins again. UK plays Saturday at Alabama.
"I don't know if I'll do it next game," Calipari said. "I may not."
Perimeter players like Stefan Moody of Ole Miss and Danuel House of Texas A&M hurt Kentucky last week. Each scored 25 points against the Cats.
When asked about sitting and watching Moody nearly beat UK a week earlier, Hawkins said, "Definitely, in my head, I felt I could guard him."
Feldhaus had similar thoughts.
"That crossed my mind, too," he said. "I thought they might call his number."
Hawkins had been a defensive container, if not stopper, for Kentucky in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. His defense kept in check such players as Louisville's Russ Smith, Michigan's Nik Stauskas and Wisconsin's Sam Dekker.
But Hawkins could only sit and watch Moody and House post big numbers.
Going into this week, Hawkins played in only eight of UK's first 15 games. He played a total of four minutes against the more competitive opponents: Kansas, Providence, Texas, North Carolina, Louisville, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
Missouri Coach Kim Anderson said Hawkins was in the Tigers' game plan, but not as a starter.
While saying how "really hard" it was to wait for an opportunity, Hawkins did not rule out having to continue to be patient.
When asked if this was a one-time start, he said, "I really don't know. Coach (Calipari), he just surprises me most of the time."
Fortunately, Hawkins is known as a patient young man.
"He handles the situation a lot better than a lot of us do," the Madison Central coach said. "... He's going to do whatever Coach Cal tells him to do. Whereas, we want him in there all the time. We get mad, and we get frustrated. He handles it the way you're supposed to."
There's a limit to how pliable Hawkins can be. He balked at a request his mother made upon learning that her son would start.
"She actually told me to get a haircut," Hawkins said. "I told her, I like what I have right now. ... I'm comfortable with it. I feel like ladies like it."
Whatever the season brings for Hawkins, Feldhaus expects the player to make the best of it.
"He's just very strong-willed inside, and doesn't let things bother him," the Madison Central coach said.
Of the invaluable, yet infrequent contributions Hawkins makes, Feldhaus said, "A lot of people couldn't handle that."