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Jan. 10, 2018MARYVILLE, Mo.
Off to a 13-1 start and ranked fourth in the country, Northwest is getting All-MIAA caliber performances out of starters, including the reigning national player of the year Justin Pitts.
But the Bearcats are also receiving a spark come from the bench.
One of those reserves making an impact is Ryan Hawkins.
Hawkins, a 6'7" forward from Atlantic, Iowa, redshirted during the 2016 national championship season, and used that time to learn from veteran players like D'Vante Mosby, Brett Dougherty and Chris-Ebou Ndow. Now he's putting those lessons he learned to work, and providing a boost for the Bearcats.
"My energy I think is the biggest thing coming off the bench," Hawkins said. "That's the one thing you can always control every time you're on the court is your energy. I think that is a lot of it. It's good getting out there playing 15 to 20 minutes per game. I'm still learning, still growing into my role. I think as the year develops, so will I."
The redshirt freshman is among the team lead in three-point field goals (19), rebounds (3.1 per game) and blocked shots (6) while giving the team an average of 17 minutes per game. He also led the team in scoring in the preseason contest against Duke with 14 points, and posted a double-double in the MIAA opener against Northeastern State.
Hawkins and the Bearcats return to the court Saturday afternoon at 3:30 against Central Missouri. Pregame on KXCV-KRNW will begin at 3:10.