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Has Ashton Hagans “Shai’d” Immanuel Quickley?

Quickley was UK’s starting point guard early on, but Hagans has jumped into the lead and may not surrender it.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at North Carolina David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

During the start of last season, both Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shared Kentucky’s point guard duties as freshman. Green, a top-five point guard in the class, started while Shai, one of the more unheralded players in his class, came off the bench in exercising his ability to play on both ends of the floor.

However, an injury to Green opened the door for Gilgeous-Alexander to start and the underrated freshman exploded onto the scene as Kentucky’s best player the rest of the way.

In fact, his work ethic and leadership in Kentucky’s biggest games earned him a lottery selection in last summer’s NBA Draft while Quade Green returned to Lexington for his sophomore season.

About a year later, could Wildcats fans see history repeat itself?

After Immanuel Quickley started in seven of Kentucky’s first eight games, head coach John Calipari has elected to go with Ashton Hagans since his strong defensive performance against UNC Greensboro.

While Quickley is the better shooter of the two, Hagans has full command of the team’s offense, and such has reflected over the last two weeks. That comes without saying the upside Hagans brings on defense.

Excluding his start against Duke in the season opener, Hagans has averaged 5.7 points, 4.7 assists and 3.3 steals in three starts. Most recently, Hagans posted a UK record-tying eight steal game against North Carolina.

Quickly is a fine player and absolutely has a role with the team. His ability to run the offense brings quality results and he also is capable of stretching the floor. With the impact Hagans is making for this group, though, it’s hard to imagine Quickley retaining his starting job. A couple of weeks after Quade Green’s transfer, it’s not hard to see why he transferred to Washington.