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Looking deeper into Elijah Hawkins’ all-time great season

Elijah Hawkins recently broke the Gophers program single season assist record. Where does he stack up amongst the all-time greats?



Hailing from legendary Dematha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, Elijah Hawkins shocking only had one Division I offer; from local HBCU, Howard. Hawkins committed to the D.C. area school and head coach Kenneth Blankley who combined to win only FIVE GAMES over the two previous seasons. He went to average 12.95 points and 5.8 assists per-game through two seasons, leading the Bison to a MEAC Tournament Championship and a 2023 NCAA Tournament appearance, completely turning around the program, giving them their first 20+ win season since 1986-87.

He entered the transfer portal last offseason and heard interest from Texas, Ole Miss and Wichita State before settling on Ben Johnson and the Gophers, a head coach that had only one 22 total games in his entire career. It has been a match made in heaven for Johnson and Hawkins, as the DMV product has averaged 7.5 APG (second in D1) this season, breaking the Gophers all-time single season program record for assists. The Gophers have their most wins in over five seasons and Hawkins is a major reason why.

Assist Record:

Assists were first compiled by the NCAA in the 1950-51 season. The Gophers single season leader until 2019 was Arriel McDonald (1993-94) who had 179 dimes until Marcus Carr passed him (207), then Ta’Lon Cooper nearly caught caught Carr with 196 last season.

Elijah Hawkins: current season number: 211 assists

    • Turnovers: 74
    • Asst/TO: 2.85
  • Marcus Carr 207 (2019-20)
    • Turnovers: 82
    • Asst/TO: 2.52
  • Ta’Lon Cooper 196 (2022–23)
    • Turnovers: 83
    • Asst/TO: 2.36
  • Arriel McDonald 179 (1993-94)
    • Turnovers: 70
    • Asst/TO: 2.55
  • Nate Mason 169 (2016-17)
    • Turnovers: 65
    • Asst/TO: 2.6
  • Melvin Newbern 167 (1989-90)
    • Turnovers: 94
    • Asst/TO: 1.77
  • Ray Williams 166 (1976-77)
    • Turnovers: n/a
    • Asst/TO: n/a
  • DeAndre Mathieu 160 (2013-14)
    • Turnovers: 102
    • Asst/TO: 1.56
  • Kevin Burleson 160 (2002-03)
    • Turnovers: 84
    • Asst/TO: 1.9
  • Adam Boone 146 (2005-06)
    • Turnovers: 71
    • Asst/TO: 2.05
  • Kevin Burleson 146 (2001-02)
    • Turnovers: 58
    • Asst/TO: 2.52

So, out of every Gophers’ player to record 146+ assists in a season (since 1950-51), Elijah Hawkins has the lowest assist to turnover ratio. That is subject to change with two regular season games remaining, but that is a massive feather in his cap for how efficient that he has played this season.


It’s fair to assume the top 10 single season assist leaders have 10 of the best point guard seasons in Gophers history, so to keep data consistent, I will continue to look at this group. While pure PPG is an obviously valuable stat, I believe that a true PG needs to be efficient and FG% shows that.

Top 10 in FG%

  1. DeAndre Mathieu: 51.1%
  2. Melvin Newburn: 49.6%
  3. Ray Williams: 47.3%
  4. Arriel McDonald: 44.9%
  5. Ta’Lon Cooper: 39.5%
  6. Elijah Hawkins: 39.3%
  7. Marcus Carr: 39.3%
  8. Nate Mason: 37.6%
  9. Kevin Burleson: 37.6%
  10. Adam Boone: 37.0%

Top 10 in PPG

  1. Ray Williams: 18 PPG
  2. Marcus Carr: 15.4 PPG
  3. Nate Mason: 15.2 PPG
  4. Melvin Newburn: 14.8 PPG
  5. DeAndre Mathieu: 12 PPG
  6. Elijah Hawkins: 11.5 PPG
  7. Arriel McDonald: 10.6 PPG
  8. Adam Boone: 10.3 PPG
  9. Ta’Lon Cooper: 9.8 PPG
  10. Kevin Burleson: 6.7 PPG


On-ball defense is obviously much more than steals and blocks, but Elijah Hawkins has shown some of the quickest hands from any PG in Gophers history, averaging 1.7 steals per-game proves that.

  1. Melvin Newburn: 2.3 SPG
  2. Elijah Hawkins: 1.7 SPG
  3. Kevin Burleson: 1.7 SPG
  4. Adam Boone: 1.7 SPG
  5. DeAndre Mathieu: 1.6 SPG
  6. Arriel McDonald: 1.4 SPG
  7. Nate Mason: 1.4 SPG
  8. Ta’Lon Cooper: 1.1 SPG
  9. Marcus Carr: 0.9 SPG
  10. Ray Williams: n/a


There is obviously still a lot of season to play out and players like Nate Mason, Marcus Carr and Arriel McDonald all played in the NCAA Tournament, but these numbers alone has proven it’s not hyperbole that Elijah Hawkins is amidst one of the greatest PG seasons in Gophers program history. Every era of Gophers fan will have their personal favorite, but Hawkins deserves to be in the discusion.

A lifelong Minnesota sports fan, Tony Liebert is one of the biggest voices in Gophers sports coverage and the owner of Within the realm of credentialed media, Tony refined his abilities while serving as the lead writer for Gopherhole and as the sports editor at the Minnesota Daily during various stages of his career. Work has been featured on Bleacher Report, Yardbarker, and more.