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Ashton Hagans picks Kentucky Basketball: Highlights and Scouting Report

The Cats score a top-10 recruit.

Hoop Seen

Fireworks came early for Big Blue Nation on Tuesday morning, as Ashton Hagans has committed to Kentucky.

Hagans was ranked 6th in 247 Sports top-100 rankings of the 2019 class, but he’s expected to move into the Class of 2018 and be on UK’s roster next season. Even so, 247 recruiting guru Jerry Meyer has previously said he would still have Hagans ranked in the top 10 in 2018.

Hagans was the top-ranked point guard of the 2019 class and could certainly play quality minutes for the Wildcats this coming fall, assuming he does ultimately reclassify.

After Shai Gilgeous-Alexander followed Kevin Knox and left for the NBA draft, the addition of Hagans allows another potential “platoon” situation in Lexington. It’s highly unlikely that Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington would be selected in the first round, so both could end up back in blue for another year, though Diallo is probably leaving anyhow.

Even so, Kentucky would have Quade Green, Hagans, Johnson, Quickley, Herro, Washington, EJ Montgomery, Jarred Vanderbilt, Wenyen Gabriel and Nick Richards. That’s not to mention Jemarl Baker.

Even if both of Diallo and Washington end up leaving for the NBA, Kentucky would most likely have 10 players in their rotation. They wouldn’t have the top-recruit like Karl-Anthony Towns, but a 2014-2015 vibe would certainly begin to surface.

For the questions that surfaced last fall, regarding Duke starting to blow away Kentucky in the recruiting process, this certainly levels the argument.

This past weekend, UK commit Tyler Herro had this to say about Hagans. You can watch his highlights here.

Here is a look at Hagans’ ESPN Scouting Report:

Strengths: Hagans is a big lead guard and two-way player. He’s a playmaker offensively who changes speeds, is tight with the ball, and has plenty of burst off the deck with leg muscles that you can literally see firing as he blows by defenders. He’s a good passer off the dribble and willing sharer who led the entire Adidas Gauntlet in assists, by a fairly wide margin, this spring. He’s an equally impressive defender who gets his head on the ball, takes the ball from opposing handlers as soon as it is unprotected, and is capable of guarding the length of the floor. He has great positional size, a very solid build, good athleticism, and the body control to match.

Weaknesses: His shooting and decision making are his two greatest areas for improvement. While his ability to find his teammates is well known, he’s also far too turnover prone. He can over-pound the ball or try to do too much with it at times and needs to learn to play more efficiently without so much wasted movement. He’s not a natural shooter and has a tendency to snap down on his release. He isn’t consistent from the three-point line and defenders are going to go under every ball-screen he comes off of for the foreseeable future until he proves he can make them pay. He also needs to be a better free-throw shooter.

And here are some highlights of the newest Cat in action:

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