Ashton Hagans is in Atlanta right now for the McDonald’s All-American festivities.
No, Hagans isn’t taking part in the 2018 event, as he’s still considered a Class of 2019 recruit. But if the five-star guard were to make a move into 2018, you can bet he’s good enough to be playing in Atlanta this week with the rest of the top high school talent.
There’s actually a chance Hagans will wind up being a 2018 recruit and committing to a school this year.
Could that be UK?
It’s no secret that UK has become a major player in this recruitment, so much that you might even call them the favorite.
But for UK to become the true favorite in this recruitment, they first must offer him a scholarship, something Hagans dreams of, as Fletcher Page writes:
But the No. 8 overall junior in the country did admit there’s an offer he wants to earn soon: from Kentucky and coach John Calipari. Hagans said it “would be a blessing.”
”It would mean a lot,” Hagans said. “Coach Cal has sent a lot of one-and-done players to the NBA, so an offer from him would mean he sees something in my game.”
That begs the question, why hasn’t Calipari offered Hagans yet?
Simple. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is technically still on the roster for next season, but he’s widely expected to declare for the NBA Draft and sign with an agent. Once he makes his final decision, UK can offer Hagans a scholarship ‘if’ he still wants to reclassify into 2018.
But if Shai were to shock everyone and come back, there’s really no room for Hagans, even if he is a top 10-15 recruit.
With Immanuel Quickley and Quade Green already set to be on next year’s roster, getting Hagans is by no means a necessity, but he’s still a great player UK should absolutely take if he wants to be here.
And even with Quickley and Green still in the mix for that starting point guard spot, Hagans is good enough to win it and run the show for a team projected to be a Final Four contender.
But of course, this is all assuming Hagans ultimately makes the decision to move into the 2018 class. If he doesn’t and sticks to 2019, UK is already prioritizing Tyrese Maxey in that class.
Perhaps UK could land both, but my guess is Hagans is hoping to move into 2018 and become a one and done, making it easier for Maxey to come in for 2019 and take on a major role. If Hagans sticks to 2019, then it could become a one or the other situation with Maxey.
Regardless, Hagans is a great talent who is deserving of a UK offer. It sounds like he’s close to earning it.