Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes profile
Drafted #10 in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Kings
RCSI: 4 (2006)
Height: 7'1" (216 cm)
Weight: 244 lbs (111 kg)
Position: C
High School: Seattle Preparatory School (Washington)
Hometown: Seattle, WA
College: Washington
Current Team: South Bay
Win - Loss: 26 - 24


Las Vegas Summer League Day Two

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Jul 13, 2008, 10:18 pm
The young center had a strong first day, looking significantly bigger than he did during his rookie year. He has a decent frame, and while the weight he’s added since the regular season helped him get better position in the post, he is still a ways away from reaching his physical potential. Offensively, Hawes showed great fundamentals as always, but also stepped out past the three point line to knock down a couple of NBA three pointers. Early in the game he was very aggressive finding shots from the midrange in by fighting for position or popping off of screens, but Hawes fell in love with his outside shot as the game progressed, missing three consecutive three pointers in the third quarter. Despite a few questionable shots, this was a great showing across the board for Hawes. He displayed the type of passing ability that has been synonymous with Sacramento centers for the last decade and the ability to push the break when he finds himself with an open floor in front of him. Though Hawes does a great job shifting his position on the block with the ball, staying active throughout each play, but he does not bring that same energy to the defensive end. While he’ll box out and block some shots, his defense remains suspect, but will always be overshadowed by his offensive prowess.

Spencer Hawes:"I was raised to speak up for what I believe" (Part Two)

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 01, 2007, 02:14 am
Roger Bohn: You had mentioned before that Coach Romar knew there was a good possibility of you being one and done. When you were looking at schools, were you flat out telling schools them “I’m going to be one and done?” Or did they tell you, we know you’re probably going to be one and done?

Spencer Hawes: I think it was kind of a combination from both ends, where I knew I was going to have that opportunity going in and part of what I was looking for was the opportunity to be a major contributor right away and to put myself in that opportunity. With all the schools I was looking at, that was one of the factors.

Roger Bohn: How big of a factor was that?

Spencer Hawes: I think it comes hand in hand with being one and done. To me they kind of knew that having the opportunity to be the guy and the opportunity to go to the NBA kind of just follows through.

Roger Bohn: Honestly, how much was the NBA on your mind during the season?

Spencer Hawes: A lot, it’s hard not to think about. You know, I was lucky that I didn’t have to deal with all the agents. But it’s still on your mind. You can’t just not think about it.

Roger Bohn: Looking back on things, your team was a little disappointing this year, was there anything you think you could have done more to get your team possibly to the NCAA tournament.

Spencer Hawes: I think in retrospect, I could have been a better leader. I could have been more decisive in trying to put the team on my back. I think we just had a tough season, a lot of close games just didn’t go our way, and you can’t change the past.

Roger Bohn: We touched on the fact that everyone is knocking you on your athleticism, well as you know the other thing everyone’s knocking you for is your rebounding average, with only six rebounds a game. Why was that, given you were such a good rebounder in high school?

Spencer Hawes: I think early I was kind of adjusting to the game when I was really focused on boxing out more than just going to get the ball. You do so many drills in practice with boxing out, where if you’re not boxing out you’re doing something wrong. I think as the season went on and my numbers went up, I think it just helped me going after the ball and not so much focusing on the fundamental side. I think going after it and getting it, when I started doing that my numbers started going up considerably. I think also playing with someone like Jon (Brockman), who is one of the top rebounders in the country, he steals a few balls here and there, and you can kind of get a sense, depending on him, he gets so many of them, that there are not a lot to go around when you’re playing with a guy like that.

Roger Bohn: You mentioned that you guys are on the quarter system; you said you get out June 8th?

Spencer Hawes: It depends; I’m going to try to adjust my finals so I can get out before the pre-draft camp. [editor: May 29th]

Roger Bohn: That’s what I was going to ask. Your school doesn’t get out until June 6th, June 4th at the earliest and the camp starts on May 29th. You’re going to be faced with the choice of leaving Seattle and not finishing the semester, or 100% finishing the semester and just training in Seattle during that time?

Spencer Hawes: It’s tough to say right now and that’s something I need to work out, with trying to get them done early or look at other alternatives. That’s something I’ll worry about when we get a little closer to that time.

Roger Bohn: Have you set a timetable about if or when you are going to sign an agent?

Spencer Hawes: You know, I think that after the teams get slotted, the lottery balls work themselves out, I think then I’ll be eager to really start looking at that and team needs and that kind of stuff. But I’m not in any hurry right now.

Roger Bohn: If I’m an NBA GM, tell me why you are the next best center prospect in this draft after Greg Oden.

Spencer Hawes: I think I bring a rare skill in a big guy, not only being able to score on the block, which in the NBA is hard to come by, but also, being able to pass. I say with that combination of skills, I think that anybody that runs a team can see that value, especially in a big guy because it brings then a whole new angle. I don’t think I’m a great defender yet, but I’ve made great strides there, being able to block shots. I think my main skills are on the offensive end, being a big guy that can shoot it, handle it a little bit, score, and especially pass.

Roger Bohn: Jonathan briefly touched upon it, the touches on the low block and having to go outside to score. Is that what you’re looking to do in the NBA? Do you want to play the role you played at Washington or are you looking to do a little more work on the low block?

Spencer Hawes: I think my position is a center, and you know, I think being able to shoot and handle it from the outside are good compliments to my back to the basket game. I think, ultimately, that’s where my strengths are.

Roger Bohn: So you think you’ll be more down low in the NBA than you were this year at Washington?

Spencer Hawes: Yeah, I think a lot of it at Washington had to do with running the high/low so effectively with Jon (Brockman). At Washington I played most of the time on the block. I think it can go either way. You go where the mismatch is. Sometimes for me it will be shooting it and sometimes it will be on the block. It depends. I think I’m a center.

Jonathan Givony: What do you think about the comparison we made between you and Andrew Bogut? Do you think that is fair, or did we just pick that because you are both white and seven feet tall?

Spencer Hawes: No, I think that’s a good one. I kind of enjoyed watching him in college and I kind of modeled my game after him, especially the passing side of it, and everything he can do coming from the high post, how effective he can be breaking down the defense from there. I’ve watched his game a lot, but over the years I’ve tried to emulate Duncan the most and him being able to step out to the high post and being able to hit the bank shot, and everything he can do from there.

Roger Bohn: I was just going to ask you, you know, you went up against a lot of future NBA centers this year, DeVon Hardin, both the Lopez’s, Aaron Gray, were you more pumped up for those games than you were for your normal games, knowing they were going to be really crucial to your draft stock with all the scouts there?

Spencer Hawes: Yeah, I think it’s hard not when you know, individually you know what’s on the line in those situations. The first game I struggled against both the Lopez twins, it was kind of right when I was getting sick, not to make excuses. That especially motivated me for the second game when I knew I really had to bring it. The game against Aaron Gray, being out here in Washington we don’t get many ESPN games, having that on national TV, and that big time individual match-up, you get jacked up for those.

Roger Bohn: Which one of those four guys were you most impressed with? After the game did you say, this guy is better than I thought?

Spencer Hawes: I didn’t play against Hardin because he was hurt all year. But I think both the Lopez’s are so talented by themselves, and when they play off each other, they almost kind of multiply, or whatever you want to call it. You’ll be posting one of them up and you’ll beat him, and then it seems like they switch spots, and there’s another one coming from the other side of the court. They’re very difficult to play against by themselves, not to mention together.

Roger Bohn: I’ve noticed from talking to you this year that you are a really, really big student of the game. For those big match-ups would you take out the extra time yourself to scout those guys and learn their tendencies?

Spencer Hawes: Definitely, especially before the second Stanford game. I went over with one of our assistant coaches, Coach Fortier, the week before. We looked at tons of game tapes from the first time we played. I pulled out the tapes from AAU when I had a lot more success against them. I remember that game especially, learning their tendencies and how they split their tendencies. I kind of used their shot blocking against them to a certain extent and I think that helped out a lot in me being successful.

Jonathan Givony: Besides the right wing conservative blogs of course, are there any websites that you like? Other than the Drudge Report.

Spencer Hawes: I heard ESPN was giving me a little bit of a hard time for that.

Jonathan Givony: You saw that with Henry Abbott on TrueHoop today?

Spencer Hawes: Jon Brockman, one of my teammates showed me. I got kind of a kick out of that. Everyone is pretty much a liberal in Seattle. I respect their beliefs and their opinions, but I have mine and it’s not like I’m just jumping on the bandwagon. It’s been this way for a while. I’ve been fighting them off for a while. I still stay strong with what I believe in.

Jonathan Givony: So…a red state or a blue state, which one do you prefer in terms of where you’re going to be drafted?

Spencer Hawes: That doesn’t matter to me. I’ve been here, I’ve been other places. At the end of the day, it’s fun to go back and forth, but it’s not the end of the world.

Roger Bohn: Are you going be one of those guys, once you’re in the NBA, that speaks your mind on politics and stuff like that?

Spencer Hawes: I don’t know. I’m not going to be one to go force my beliefs on other people. But I think I’m not going to try to downplay it when the questions come up. If people want to know my opinion, I’m not going to hesitate to give it to them. But I’m not going to try to force it on people or anything like that.

Jonathan Givony: Not to make a direct comparison per se, but when Dwight Howard declared for the draft, he said that he had some kind of dream where the NBA logo had a cross on it. People were saying that was really going to hurt him in terms of endorsements, that some in the mainstream were going to shy away. Well lo and behold, a few days ago he signs a forty million dollar deal with Adidas. So I guess speaking your mind doesn’t hurt you financially as some people might have thought.

Spencer Hawes: I said a couple things about my beliefs. But I don’t think stating them out in public is going to hurt me. I think some people take it a little too seriously. That's how I was raised, to speak up for what I believe in and defend my points. If saying that takes away something, then that’s my fault. But at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s going to be that big of a difference, in terms of that.

Jonathan Givony: I think you should keep it up. I mean that is what makes America what it is.

Spencer Hawes: Exactly. This is what separates our country from so many others. You have the opportunity to say what you want and speak your mind.

Roger Bohn: How much do you guys actually pay attention to mock drafts? How much do players actually pay attention to that?

Spencer Hawes: I think it depends a lot on the individual. I think you pay more attention when it shows you what you want to see. It kind of depends. It’s hard to say, especially this year, because everything is so far away. There’s still over another month until even the combine starts and the workouts after that have such a big effect. You definitely look at them, but you try to take them with a little bit of a grain of salt.

Jonathan Givony: What about other players? Do you guys talk about that amongst yourselves? I know you were hanging out with Durant’s parents during the tournament. Is that something that comes up ever in conversations?

Spencer Hawes: I think a little bit, but not really that much. When I was hanging out with Kevin and his dad, that was kind of the last thing that we were talking about. You try to focus, as much as that engulfs your life, you try to focus on the other stuff to try to get away from that at some point, as hard as it is to do.

Roger Bohn: History has shown that some players who have a strong NCAA tournament, like Patrick O’ Bryant maybe, often get picked a little higher than they should. Do you think a little too much emphasis is being placed on how well a guy does in the NCAA tournament rather than what they do in the regular season, with you being a guy who didn’t get an opportunity to play in the tournament?

Spencer Hawes: Obviously I’m going to be on that end of the spectrum. I think you definitely have to reward kids for having great tournaments, but I think when you’re looking at something, especially as valuable as a draft pick, a high draft pick, I think you really have to look at, obviously, potential and what kind of player they are now. But I think you have to look at the whole stretch of the season. Especially what they do against the best players and how they fare against guys. Sometimes you can play a lot of guys where you don’t have the best competition, so you kind of have to look at big games and how that fares.

Jonathan Givony: Spencer, you’ve been awesome. Maybe we can catch up in a month, or whatever, when we get a little bit closer to the draft?

Spencer Hawes: Not a problem. Whenever you guys need me, give me a call.

Jonathan Givony: Thanks a lot Spence. We will be in touch.

Spencer Hawes: "Down by the hoop is where I like to play" (Part One)

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Apr 30, 2007, 02:47 am
Jonathan Givony: How’s everything going?

Spencer Hawes: It’s going well. You know, working out, trying to get bigger, stronger, and more athletic; just trying to improve as much as possible.

Jonathan Givony: What are you up to these days?

Spencer Hawes: I’m still enrolled in 15 credits and I’m trying to balance that. I worked my schedule out so I only have class twice a week, so I’m able to lift weights and do plyometrics in the morning, and pretty much work out all afternoon.

Jonathan Givony: When is school finished?

Spencer Hawes: For me, not until June, because I’m on the quarter system. So it’s kind of a long haul.

Jonathan Givony: When are you going to know whether you’re just testing the waters, hiring an agent, staying in or pulling out?

Spencer Hawes: It’s hard for me to tell now. I mean, I’m just going to go through the process. I’m not in any rush right now to hire an agent. I don’t think at this point it’s that necessary. Right now I’m just as focused as can be on improving and going into the draft camp and the workouts after that.

Jonathan Givony: You said you’re taking fifteen credits, what classes are you taking?

Spencer Hawes: An ethic studies class, a class on murder, and a class on public debate.

Jonathan Givony: Are you a political science major?

Spencer Hawes: Maybe, I really haven’t decided on a major yet.

Jonathan Givony: How are you liking the classes and the school in general?

Spencer Hawes: It’s pretty good. I was prepared well in high school so it’s really not that hard. You know, it’s fun. I have some better classes, you know, more interesting this quarter, so it makes it easier.

Jonathan Givony: How have things changed for you at UW (University of Washington) since you’ve declared for the draft?

Spencer Hawes: Not really a whole lot. Most of my workouts I do on my own now, versus the more team oriented ones. No one has really taken it out that hard on me, no one has really been as bad as some people might have thought. It hasn’t really been that much different.

Jonathan Givony: People don’t bug you to come back next year?

Spencer Hawes: I get a lot of that, but no one really takes it too far.

Jonathan Givony: The stuff we read earlier this week, some article about you not being as motivated in the classroom, an editorial type thing, was that accurate? How did you feel about that?

Spencer Hawes: I think that was kind of taken out of context. I’m just as motivated. I said sometimes it’s just hard to focus. But I’m not the kind of kid that’s just letting school slip by. I’ve got a 3.75 cumulative GPA and I’m trying to keep that up. A lot of the time they [journalists] know what they’re looking for and they don’t really stop until they get it.

Jonathan Givony: They know want they want to write before they ask you the questions. We’ve been there before. So what is it going to take for you to keep your name in the draft? Is somebody going to have to make you a promise, are you looking for a specific guarantee? What is it going to take for you to stay in on June 18th?

Spencer Hawes: Obviously that would be a big step if I got a guarantee, in the right range in the right kind of opportunity. But I’m kind of looking at the full spectrum of things, if that’s going to be the best thing for me to do to develop my game long term, and situations with a team, the right kind of play. It’s obviously difficult to predict, but I think as you continue to get closer and closer to the draft you tend to get a better idea, especially after the ping pong balls work themselves out.

Jonathan Givony: So for you, it’s more about ‘what team I’m going to’ rather than ‘I need to go in the top seven, or the top ten, or the lottery’?

Spencer Hawes: Yeah, I think that factors in, the spot you’re going to be taken. You know, there’s a lot of situations where you might go a couple spots lower to a better situation, that, long term, ultimately is more productive for you. There’s so many things you have to consider in regards to that.

Jonathan Givony: We’ve written a lot of articles about that and I agree 100%. It’s all about the second contract. Getting that second contract means you have to be in a good spot in your first contract. Patrick O’Bryant for example went real high last year--number nine--but Don Nelson is the exact opposite coach of what O’Bryant needs. He doesn’t like seven footers like that. He’ll never play them.

Roger Bohn: Spencer, you were talking about working out differently back at school. How has your relationship changed with your coaching staff since entering the draft?

Spencer Hawes: They’ve been really good about everything. They’ve been supportive and helping me look at things objectively rather than persuading me one way or another. Coach has just been really good filling in the facts and giving me the positives and negatives both ways. I’ve been really lucky that I’ve gotten that kind of support.

Jonathan Givony: Are they actually going out and pursuing feedback from teams for you so they know here you stand in their eyes?

Spencer Hawes: A little bit, but I don’t think they’ve done a whole lot of that. You know, I think I’ve kind of tried to handle that more.

Jonathan Givony: How do you gauge that without an agent? There are so many rules. Do you know any people that are allowed to talk? Did they show you the memo that the NCAA sent out?

Spencer Hawes: Yeah, I just saw that.

Jonathan Givony: I think that if your parents talk to an NBA team, they are considered an agent and then you might lose your college eligibility if they try to schedule workouts or “market you”. Is that the feel that you got reading it?

Spencer Hawes: I’m going to be honest. I was pretty confused. Really, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Along with the workout schedule being pushed back the way it was, it makes it that much harder to get feedback from different people.

Jonathan Givony: I actually think that-- first off, Coach Romar is a great guy, I’ve met him a couple of times and he’s clearly a man of integrity-- but most coaches don’t want their star players to leave, and if they’re the ones that need to go out and get the feedback from NBA teams, and be the one conveying that to you, and then schedule your workouts and stuff like that, it seems like a total conflict of interest.

Spencer Hawes: I think on the surface it might look like that, but I think Coach Romar has the right intentions. He’s a players coach and I think he looks out for his players. I think he knew that when I committed there, that one day it was going to be this kind of situation. I think having communicated so much about it over the past two years he knows my situation. He’s just looking out for the best for me.

Jonathan Givony: I agree 100% about Coach Romar of course. I was talking about early-entries in general. On the other hand, you have to balance the agent recruitment process, because if you do stay in the draft you only have ten days and you need to know, who’s working for you since you only have a certain amount of workouts you can do. So, what is the agent recruitment process like for someone who is a lottery pick, or top 15 pick?

Spencer Hawes: It’s a whole lot of meetings and talking with different people. I’m just trying to gauge character and what they bring to the table, and experience. All those factors kind of remind me of the recruiting process when you’re looking for colleges. It’s kind of similar in a way. As much as there are rules around it there’s kind of a gray area.

Jonathan Givony: We wrote an article last year about how the NCAA isn’t really allowing players to test the waters in the truest sense. You either go or you don’t. And we kind of feel bad for the kids who aren’t guaranteed first round picks who do want to test the waters and come from really poor backgrounds that aren’t able to get the feedback since they don’t really have that option. They have to sign, or they put themselves at a huge disadvantage compared to other players to do.

Spencer Hawes: It really makes it difficult that you can’t have someone out there vouching for you without getting in trouble for it.

Jonathan Givony: When you declared for the draft, you said something about playing at the pre-draft camp. Do you still feel that way? Were you going to go to do measurements?

Spencer Hawes: No, I don’t think I ever said I was going to be playing. I think I’m going to go through the measurements. I think they might have skills testing this year. I don’t know if that’s required or not. I don’t know how that’s going to work out. I think for someone like me that would be to my advantage. I’ll try to take part in that and see how that goes. I want to go down there and use the opportunity to show people I’m a lot more athletic than they think.

Jonathan Givony: The pre-draft camp in Orlando… that might the most fun we had last year, with media day especially. So how are you and your family educating yourselves about the pre-draft process? All the rules and where you stand, are you going to be picking up the phone and calling GMs yourself?

Spencer Hawes: It’s hard to tell, but I’m lucky because I have one uncle who played ten years in the league and another who was part of the ownership side of the Sonics. So he has the experience seeing it from the NBA side and he has a lot of insight into that as well. So, I have a lot of resources around me that can use so I won’t get into trouble.

Jonathan Givony: In terms of the season you had at Washington, I know that this is a different draft and you never really know until you’re in it, but do you feel like considering where your draft stock was out of high school, do you think you went up or down based on the season you had at UW?

Spencer Hawes: I think it’s kind of hard to tell. I think it went up to a certain extent, but having not bee able to play in the tournament and not being able to showcase myself there. I think mine kind of stayed neutral while other people’s kind of rose around me. And if I hadn’t lost 15 or 20 pounds in the middle of the season, those stretch of games would have helped me. But you can’t change the past and that’s the way it went. I’m just trying to prepare myself the best I can to put myself in the best position in this next month.

Jonathan Givony: So what happened there that made you lose all that weight? It was kind of confusing to us trying to follow it.

Spencer Hawes: I mean, we came home from LA and I ate dinner that night and I felt pretty good. Then I went to sleep and woke up in an hour and pretty much threw up on the hour for the next eight hours or so. It was some kind of virus, is what they said. It lasted about three weeks and I couldn’t really eat or practice a whole lot. It was kind of crippling and even when the energy came back, I was still way too light. It took its effect trying to play my best.

Jonathan Givony: How much of that weight have you gained back at this point?

Spencer Hawes: I’m back at about my playing weight. I’m at 246 right now. From the lowest point, almost twenty pounds. It almost feels like it was an opportunity to gain back the right type of weight and gain back muscle weight when I feel like I’m almost just as athletic as I was when I was light. Having the weight allows me to bang, but still not lose the quickness.

Jonathan Givony: What do you think your optimal playing weight is now, and when you get into your prime?

Spencer Hawes: I think I’ve got a ways to go in terms of that. I’m only eighteen years old. I think by the time I’m 21 or 22 I will have filled out a lot more. I think 260 or 265 is where I’ll be best at once my body finally physically matures to as big as it’s going to be.

Jonathan Givony: Watching you play this year, it was kind of frustrating at times. It didn’t seem like you always had the kind of post entry passers on your team that you might have needed, and sometimes it felt like you could be doing a lot more. At times you got the feel like you were relegated to a role where you had to go outside and shoot, because otherwise you weren’t going to touch the ball unless you get an offensive rebound. I didn’t see you that much in AAU or anything. Did you ever have a really good playmaking point guard alongside of you? I wonder sometimes where your stock would be if you had a Mike Conley type point guard next to you.

Spencer Hawes: AAU I was lucky to get to play with Mitch Johnson, who’s a point guard at Stanford. He did a real good job we where got setups with a lot of dunks, and just a lot of easy one dribble dunks in the paint. I think our guards did a solid job this year, but I think it was tough in a lot of games for them and it kind of forced me to step out a little bit more. But I think the strength of my game is still back to the basket. Depending on the situation, it kind of differs on where you go. Down by the hoop is where I like to play and where I’m more successful.

Jonathan Givony: For people who only saw you play this year at UW, or scouts that weren’t allowed to watch you last year in high school, have we seen the full potential of Spencer Hawes yet?

Spencer Hawes: I don’t know. I think the biggest thing that I get knocked for is my athleticism. People say, ‘yeah, he’s good and he’s skilled, but he’s unathletic.’ You know, I hear that and it kind of makes me laugh because I’ve always considered myself fairly athletic for my size. I don’t jump out of the gym, but I think I move pretty well up and down the court and laterally and I think I’m kind of underrated as a jumper. I think that I’m just going to have to try to show off as much as I can. If that is the way I needed to play, and had more opportunities to show that, I think I could. That’s kind of the part of my game that I think everyone is seeing, you know, the skills, and the passing, and the shooting for a big guy. I think showing the athleticism, which I knocked for, will show another aspect of it.

Look out for part two on Tuesday

Marquee Matchup: Spencer Hawes vs. Aaron Gray

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Feb 25, 2007, 12:40 am
While neither player “wowed” anyone with their performance, clearly Hawes got the better end of the duel of seven footers. The freshman displayed more upside and a higher skill level, although was clearly outmatched physically by the girth of Pitt center Aaron Gray. His combination of excellent footwork, outside shooting stroke, and post moves that even many NBA veterans lack are what separate him from any other center prospect in the 2007 NBA Draft not named Greg Oden.

Offensively, we have not seen a more polished center at the collegiate level in recent memory. He has every single post move in the book, along with the ability to go to those moves with either hand. He is awfully hard to predict since he goes to both his left and right shoulders equally well, with no problems shooting a turnaround jumper or jump hook regardless of what direction he goes. Hawes' soft touch with either hand is awfully rare for a big man prospect (evidenced by his 54.1% field goal percentage), and makes him an absolute nightmare for bigger, less mobile centers such as Gray.

What really sets Hawes apart from other center prospects, aside from his gorgeous post moves, is his ability to play the high post and pass the ball for a seven footer. He showed countless times throughout the game that he had no problem knocking down contested jump shots all the way out to the collegiate three point line. He also showed no problems whatsoever playing the high post as the game went on, letting fellow Huskies Jon Brockman and Artem Wallace do the majority of their damage on the low blocks.

The 2006 McDonald’s All American displayed his outstanding court vision throughout the game, whether it be from the perimeter or down on the low blocks. He had no problem throwing lob passes into Brockman throughout the game, allowing his former AAU teammate to convert easy lay-ups inside. What NBA scouts find more valuable however, was his ability to recognize double teams and consistently make the right pass out of them. His vision, ability to throw skip passes, and interior passing skills easily rank amongst the top two or three centers in the college game, and only make him that much more attractive to NBA teams.


Defensively, Hawes brings quite a bit to the table for a seven footer despite his relatively small frame. His 7’1 wingspan (as measured at the 2006 Nike Hoop Summit) and excellent timing allow him to be a shot blocking presence, although he doesn’t have the explosive leaping ability of a Greg Oden or Sean Williams. His position defense is generally solid, as he uses his heady play to guard each man differently and make up for his lack of bulk inside. However, as shown with this matchup with Gray, he does seem to struggle a bit once bigger post players get him on their back and seal him, as evidenced by the two successful buckets that Gray did convert in the game. Spencer has lost quite a bit of weight over the last few months due to an illness, and should look to bulk up to around 240 lbs. for pre-draft workouts in order to compete physically with stronger center prospects such as Greg Oden, Aaron Gray, and Roy Hibbert.

The most major concern about Spencer, however, has been his lack of rebounding, and perceived lack of toughness. Averaging only 6.0 rebounds per game, he is amongst the worst rebounding center prospects in this draft. This is puzzling however, as the Seattle native was a proven rebounder on the high school and AAU levels before his arrival at UW. Many have accredited this to his a perceived lack of toughness and strength on the defensive end, but fail to realize that he is playing alongside Jon Brockman, who is an absolute monster on the glass. Either way though, it would help Hawes’ draft stock mightily and eliminate plenty of concerns amongst NBA scouts if he is able to finish out his freshman season on a strong note in the rebounding column.

Weekly Top Performers (12/12): Part 2

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jeremiah Kiehl
Jeremiah Kiehl
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Jonathan Watters
Jonathan Watters
Dec 14, 2006, 04:47 am
Hawes, looking very much like a freshman playing in his first real road game, struggled to gain good post position and had several of his early attempts blocked or altered. Hawes appeared to start forcing things once things weren’t going his way, settling for an outside jumper or two and not making smart decisions with the ball in his hands and his back to the basket.

Gonzaga quickly pulled away, and Hawes began to tire. He missed several opportunities to alter shots by lagging in defensive transition, and looked quite lethargic as a help defender in the halfcourt. He sat down midway through the half, visibly frustrated.

Where many freshmen may have lost their cool and simply packed it in for the night, Hawes came back strong upon his return late in the first half. He scored three quick buckets in the closing minutes, including two beautiful left-handed jump hooks.

It was Hawes that kept this game interesting early in the second half, picking up where he left off with a series of beautifully executed post moves. He sets his man up well, can go to a multitude of different moves, gets his shot up very quickly, displays phenomenal touch, and never loses his bearings when he has the ball with his back to the basket. As much as Heytvelt was able to bother Hawes in the first half, he might as well have been a 6’2 guard in the second.

While Washington never did cut Gonzaga’s lead to single digits, Hawes continued to show perhaps the most impressive back to the basket feel of any 7-footer to emerge as a pro prospect since Tim Duncan. His frame and touch are quite similar, and Hawes even took a page out of Duncan’s book by going glass midway through the second half.

Of course, Hawes is still very much a work in progress. Physically, any comparison to Duncan would be ridiculous at this point. Hawes is capable of moving well for being a 7-footer, but is clearly in need of some lower body strength. He gets little lift, and while he has bulked up a bit in terms of his frame, he must get a lot stronger before he is ready to handle NBA defenders in the paint.

In terms of skill, it appears that Hawes may have been born ready for the league. Athletically, he could probably use another year of preparation. At any rate, Spencer Hawes is a special prospect and already one of the top big men in the country.

As long as he can prove that increased strength is only a matter of time, Hawes is a lottery pick whenever he wants to be.

Getting To Know Spencer Hawes

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jul 19, 2006, 01:55 am
The 7’0 center is one of the more interesting incoming freshman in the country, in that he has the offensive skills to immediately step in and become a top big man in the PAC-10. His arsenal of post moves is unparalleled at the collegiate level by any center prospect, as Hawes has every single move in the book, as well as a counter move in case he is cut off by a defender. What makes him even more lethal however is that he has can finish around the rim with either hand equally well. This will keep more athletic defenders guessing as to which hand Spencer will use, and also allows him to fully use his body to shield off opposing shot blockers when going up.

The Seattle native possesses remarkable hands for a center prospect, which guards at any level love to see. While he is no Andrea Bargnani, Hawes is more skilled on the perimeter then your average 7-footer. He can consistently knock down the mid range jump-shot, and possesses above average ball-handling skills that help him in transition. The future UW standout also reads opposing defenses exceptionally well, allowing him to see double teams coming and find the open man with ease. Simply put, it’s difficult to name more than a handful of center prospects with a more polished offensive game that came out of high school in the last ten years. Most would say that the NBA age limit is to thank for that.

Officially measured by USA Basketball at 6’10 ½ without shoes with a 7-1 wingspan and a 9-1 standing reach, Hawes already has excellent size for a center prospect. He has a good frame, which should easily allow him to add another 20 or so pounds if he chooses to do so. More impressive is the coordination and motor skills that the McDonald’s All-American brings to the table for a player of his size. These motor skills help greatly in terms of post footwork, so he already has the leg up on the majority of other big men out there.

While Spencer isn’t a freak athlete by any stretch, he’s not the horrendous athlete that many have pegged him to be. We have been lucky enough to see athletic marvels such as Tyson Chandler and Greg Oden playing the center position in recent years, and thereby compare every other center prospect to those two freaks of nature. Hawes is a very fluid athlete, but only possesses average leaping ability. He mention that he tested out as the 7th best athlete in the 2005 Nike All-American Camp, which shows that he’s better athletically then many give him credit for.

Defensively, Hawes isn’t quite the imposing force that one would hope for in a player of his size. He possesses a fairly average wingspan for a center, and has never put up incredible shot blocking numbers. He does however use the cerebral aspects of his game to contain opposing centers, and hasn’t been a defensive liability at any level he’s played at so far

All in all, Hawes could very well be the most legit “one and done” candidate behind Greg Oden in the 2006 high school class. Players such as Kevin Durant and Thaddeus Young may have all the tools, but the Washington center is walking into a situation where he knows he’s going to get plenty of touches and will be the focal point of the offense, therefore making him the safer bet to bolt after his freshman season. Being a legit 7-footer who can run the floor and has both a wide array of skills and a high basketball IQ doesn’t hurt either.

Spencer Hawes Interview

Rodger Bohn: Spencer, what do you feel some of the strengths of your game are?

Spencer Hawes: I would say being an offensive interior presence. People say I have kind of an old school game. I go with the fundamentals instead of just trying to dunk on people like people do nowadays. Just strong fundamentals. That’s something that has always been stressed…by my coaches, by my Dad, by my uncle (former NBA player Steve Hawes). No matter how athletic a player is, fundamentals are still how the game is played and that’s still the most effective way of getting things done. My ability to shoot, handle the ball for a big guy, and my fundamentals on the block are my strengths.


Rodger Bohn: Speaking of your fundamentals, your footwork for a big man was unmatched at the high school level this past season. What kind of things did you do to achieve such great footwork?

Spencer Hawes: It’s kind of just repetition over and over again. You don’t call it “dummy defense”, but you just have someone step out and play on your back and kind of play you different ways. They make you go to counters, and then go to counters of counters. Practice makes perfect. When you get into games, it just becomes second nature which way you’re going. It helps for me to be able to score with both hands because then they really have to pick their poison as to how they want to defend you. Like I said, its repetition. It’s just reaction. You let your body go to work and kind of read the defense.

Rodger Bohn: Now that we’ve touched upon some of your strengths, let’s touch upon some areas of your game that you’d like to improve upon. Are there any particular facets of your game that you’re working on right now?

Spencer Hawes: I want to improve upon my ball-handling a little bit so I can be one of the guys to break a press in some situations. I already kind of do it now, but I want to get better at getting the ball off the boards, taking it up, and finish with a dunk or an assist. I think the big thing is defensively. I’m trying to work on my timing and shot blocking as a whole. I really want to become more of a defensive presence.

Rodger Bohn: Now you mentioned that you wanted to improve on your ball-handling a bit. Is that because you’re looking to become one of these new age big men who can handle the ball and play out on the perimeter? Or do you see yourself as more of a classical back to the basket center?

Spencer Hawes: I think long term, I don’t really know. I may project as more of a power forward than your classical center. The strengths of my game will always be that old school, back to the basket scoring ability. I’ll try and add things to it, to become one of the new age type players who can dribble and shoot it. The strengths of my game though will always be back to the basket and will always be inside, in my opinion.

Rodger Bohn: You were being recruited by literally every school in the country. What made you decide on Washington?

Spencer Hawes: It’s an opportunity to take a school that hasn’t really gotten past that Sweet 16 game to the next level. A lot of people say ‘Washington man, if they just had a big man. Not even to score, but just to keep people out of there. If they had a big man, he’d really be able to get a lot of buckets in that game.’ They run the perfect system for a big man who can run, where they’d really get featured. It’s a hometown school, and I have pride in that. I want to try to help do this for my city, and just take it to the next level. Coach Romar also…he’s just a great guy and a great coach, and I really appreciated that.

Rodger Bohn: Have you set any specific goals for yourself for next year?

Spencer Hawes: Winning is the ultimate goal. As we’ve seen with the guys from Florida, that’s the thing that makes a player look the best is to win. More then anything else, that will be my goal for next year.

Rodger Bohn: Now many of the recruiting services had you listed at 6’10 all year, but you measured out at nearly 7’1 with shoes at the Hoop Summit and Tournament of Americas. Did it feel good to put all those rumors to rest and hush the critics?

Spencer Hawes: Yeah, definitely. I got in there and I always knew I was taller then that. People said that I was 6-foot-10 and that I was undersized. When I got in there and measured at almost 7’1, it felt good to put those rumors to sleep.

Rodger Bohn: What types of things are you doing right now to improve on your game?

Spencer Hawes: I’m in the weight room. That’s the big thing. I’m working on everything that goes with that. I’m doing plyometrics and stuff to help my athleticism. Also, I’m just working out everyday with shooting, ball-handling, and working on my sky hooks. That’s the biggest thing that I’m trying to improve on so I can make that my go to move.


Rodger Bohn: Now you had mentioned to me previously that you’ve been training with Robert Swift quite often. Tell me what that’s like.

Spencer Hawes: Well when he’s in town not doing summer leagues and stuff…I don’t know if he’s playing this year, but I know that he’s out of town. We’ll usually play up at school and then afterwards we’ll go afterwards and just do stuff one on one. Just competitive little games and it’s real good for me, and I think for him. Just to go up against a guy who’s a legitimate NBA starting center with size that you don’t usually see.

Rodger Bohn: Speaking of Robert Swift, he was one of the last true center prospects to enter the draft out of high school before they put the age rule in. Had the NBA not instilled it’s age limit, what would you have done?

Spencer Hawes: It would have been something that I would have had to considered with my family, my coaches, and stuff like that. I couldn’t tell you how close I was to going or not going because realistically, when they put in the rule, I wasn’t really one of those guys who was getting talked about. Then it took a little bit longer for people to start throwing my name in there. When it happened, it was so far away from the NBA Draft that it was hard to speculate either way.

Rodger Bohn: While we’re talking about this year’s NBA Draft, you had the chance to go up against the 10th pick in the Hoop Summit, Saer Sene. Did you ever have any clue that you were going up against a potential lottery pick at that time?

Spencer Hawes: I had no idea who he was. I saw him in the hotel and that was about as much background information as I had on him. He came out and he just started blocking all our shots. That’s when you have to start adjusting your game a little bit. Not too much though, because you don’t want to go outside of what you do, but you just have to make minor adjustments against guys that athletic and as long as he is.

Rodger Bohn: What adjustments do you make personally against an athletic center like Sene?

Spencer Hawes: You just have to throw in more of your counters. You can’t just go in and turn around and shoot jump hooks against a guy like that. You may have to throw in an up and under, or throw up a hook that you know he might block to give those guys a certain mindset. If they block your first shot, most guys are going to think they can block everything you put up. So if you throw up something that you know they may block, then you know for the rest of the game you know they’re going for everything you put up. That’s when you can use your counters and use their athleticism and shot blocking abilities to your advantage, rather to theirs.

Rodger Bohn: Who is the toughest player you’ve ever went up against?

Spencer Hawes: Greg Oden.

Rodger Bohn: Why is that?

Spencer Hawes: He’s just so big and strong. He just imposes his will. Wherever he wants you to go, that’s sometimes where you have to end up going. The potential he has to become a great player, I don’t think that anyone has had that as long as I can remember in terms of a high school center.

Rodger Bohn: Well that about covers everything Spencer. Thanks for your time, and best of luck next year at Washington.

Spencer Hawes: Thank you.

What If? 2006 High School Class Boasts Several One and Done Candidates

Jonathan Watters
Jonathan Watters
Jun 21, 2006, 01:25 am
Hawes is a throwback big man. He won’t knock your socks off with rim rocking dunks or emphatic blocks, but his feel for how to operate in the post is something that is very rare in such a young prospect. He has remarkable awareness with his back to the basket, able to seal his man and execute textbook post moves very quickly. His touch on the block is off the charts. Hawes is a brilliant passer, and has range out to the college 3-point line on his jump shot. While Hawes has a lot of work to do in terms of his strength and athleticism, Meyer claims this is an area where Hawes has made a few strides. “Hawes is developing his body and has clearly put on some weight. He looked very good at the McDonald’s practices with his upper body strength.” It may take Hawes an extra year before he is ready for the physical rigors of post play in the NBA, but there is little doubt about his ability to dominate the college game. He could easily be one and done at Washington.

High School Allstar Games Recap: Player Interviews

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Landry Fields
Landry Fields
Apr 25, 2006, 02:20 am
DraftExpress: How did you get so good at using both of your hands in the post?

Spencer Hawes: I grew up playing guard more, so it was something where you have to handle the ball, I didn’t want to be one dimensional, and my dad was my coach, and he played for a while. He always stressed being able to be fluid going both ways, and shooting left, and in about third grade, I started shooting about as many left as right, and kind of came naturally and it just progressed.

DraftExpress: How long did you play guard for?

Spencer Hawes: I think up until about my freshman year of high school. I was always the tallest, and I kind of had to play some center just because of that, but I wasn’t that tall comparatively, and then I had about a 5 inch growth spurt my freshman or sophomore year. I had some injury problems that kind of came with the territory just because you’re not supposed to grow that much that quickly, but once I got that all dealt with, I grew into my body as they say, and things just took off for playing more like a big man.

DraftExpress: What do you feel you need to work on in the next year?

Spencer Hawes: I think strength, and ball handling, shooting off the dribble, because, as you see, the game is changing. You don’t just rely on the big man scoring inside, you have to be versatile, and that’s something I want to add to my game, more of an inside first, but have the compliment.

DraftExpress: How do you feel your game fits with the international style?

Spencer Hawes: I think it fits pretty well, you know, they use big guys who can shoot, and I think I can shoot it pretty well for a taller guy, I’m able to step out, and I don’t think we necessarily play that way, but Kevin, Tywon and myself we played in an international tournament this summer, so I think we got acclimated then.

DraftExpress: What role do you see yourself playing your freshman year at Washington?

Spencer Hawes: I’m going to do whatever I can. There’s a lot of scoring leaving, so if that’s my role, then I’ll have to do that. Also, they have some gaps to fill defensively, with a shot blocker in the middle, so hopefully I can work on that and try and make that part of my repertoire as well.

DraftExpress: Do you know your exact height?

Spencer Hawes: I’m about 6’11” and 4/5ths right now, but with shoes I’m probably about 7’1,” because I wear insoles, so that helps out.

DraftExpress: What do you think about the NBA age limit?

Spencer Hawes: I think it’s something that had to get done eventually, because last year there were just way too many guys in the draft. If guys could get the right information it’d be fine, but some of these guys, people are telling them things, blowing their heads up, and they end up going in the second round, not getting a contract and they are throwing their talent away almost. It’s something, I’m not going to say I’m for it because you like to have the opportunity to make the decision yourself, but then again, I think overall for the game you have to put your end of the business aside and look at what it’s going to do for the game.

DraftExpress: Did John Brockman have any involvement in your decision to attend Washington?

Spencer Hawes: A little bit. Not that much, it’s nice, I’m always comfortable playing with him, and we know each others games real well. We compliment each other, he’s a big banger, I’m more of a finesse player, I can go on the outside when he’s on the inside. We just know where we’re going to be, it’ll be nice to get in there and already know his game.

DraftExpress: Thanks a lot for your time

Spencer Hawes: No problem.

At the Jordan Classic: Main Event and Regional Game Recaps

Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Apr 24, 2006, 12:35 am
Spencer Hawes didn’t score many points Saturday night, but that’s because he didn’t get many chances to go to work in the post in this up-tempo, perimeter-oriented game. But when Hawes did get the ball, he was showing off one of his highly effective post moves or making a good pass to a teammate for a high-percentage shot opportunity. On the passing front, Hawes showed his ability to make crisp passes from multiple positions, throwing a pass from the high-post to the low-post for an assist, hitting a baseline cutter while he was anchored in the post, or making a kickout for an open three-point shot. His teammates didn’t convert all of his passes, but he used his ability to command a double team well to create good opportunities for others.

In terms of post moves, Hawes didn’t convert on every chance, but continued to show just how versatile his arsenal down low really is. He missed a hook shot across the lane and missed a close shot off the glass. On another play he backed down his man, spun, and then faked his man to get by him for a lay-in. On another he got to the free-throw line on a spin move going towards the basket. And he also had a couple of easy jams and lay-ins created off guard penetration.

At the Jordan Classic: Friday Scrimmage

Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Apr 22, 2006, 09:35 am
Spencer Hawes had another nice performance in this second day of practices. Hawes continued to show off his versatile post game even when he wasn’t able to get his shots to fall. He did make one nice turnaround shot, leaning around his defender towards the basket, to go along with a few easy finishes off of guard penetration. But besides that, he wasn’t able to convert on his moves, but still looked pretty nice doing them. He missed a nice turnaround hook fading from the post, and also had an uncharacteristic drive in which he used a crossover dribble into a spin move into a lay-up that he just missed. Regardless, the fact that a 7’0 center can do such a thing in a game-situation is very impressive. Hawes also showed off some more of his passing, hitting a cutter for an assist out of the post. Defensively, Hawes was active, stepping out to break up some passes and altering shots on the weakside. He also had a block on Brian Zoubek in a one-on-one situation.

2006 McDonald's All-American Game, individual player breakdown

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Mar 30, 2006, 09:39 am
Hawes played his usual game, showing a wide variety of post moves, the ability to score in the paint and rebound against bigger foes. At only 6’10, he is a bit undersized for the center position, but uses his gritty play and skill to make up for his lack of size and athleticism. “Spence” showed an excellent set of skills in the pivot, including a jump hook with either hand and the ability to read the defense perfectly down low. For a center prospect, he has remarkable coordination and motor skills, but doesn’t have very much in terms of athletic ability, which might hurt him at the next level. Look for Hawes to be a very productive player next season at Washington, but he will really have to produce exceptionally well to overcome questions about his lack of size and athleticism in the eyes of NBA scouts.

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