Hagans ended up having the game of his life, scoring 23 points to go with five boards, four assists and four steals to tame the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Kentucky Wildcats came into Athens knowing that their starting point guard would get a lot of heat.
Georgia native and former five-star Ashton Hagans was originally planning on being a Bulldog, as he verbally committed to Georgia when he was still a Class of 2019 recruit.
That changed when Georgia decided to fire head coach Mark Fox and replace him with Tom Crean.
John Calipari said Monday that following Fox’s firing, Hagans’ parents called him and asked if the Wildcats would have interest. The rest is history, but Georgia fans are still upset about not getting the in-state star, who has become the key to the 2018-19 Kentucky Basketball team.
As expected, Hagans was booed heavily when he stepped onto the floor for warm-ups.
.@KentuckyMBB Ashton Hagans was greeted by “traitor” chants as he and the team warmed up before playing Georgia in Athens. He had committed to Georgia before switching to UK. @KentuckySports @heraldleader @JerryTipton @johnclayiv pic.twitter.com/QDAmMOXpux— Charles Bertram (@cbertramHL) January 15, 2019
Instead of getting aggressive or getting upset Hagans had the perfect response. The Georgia native blew kisses to his home state fans, according to Rex Chapman:
My spies on the ground in Athens, Ga. just told me Ashton Hagans came out of the lockerroom blowing kisses to the booing fans.— Rex Chapman (@rex_rexchapman) January 15, 2019
He gives no cares.
And I love it. @KentuckyMBB @H23Ash @UKSportsNetwork pic.twitter.com/Aie11geNSp
It seems any fears Kentucky had of the 19-year-old Hagans being discouraged or nervous can go out the window. He came out strong in the first have with eight points, two assists and no turnovers.
The young star looks ready to take on the challenge of playing in a venue where everyone is rooting against him.