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Highlights, box score and MVP from Kentucky beating Georgetown

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Kentucky’s first exhibition game of the 2019-2020 season is in the books.

Ian Teasley - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats unofficially tipped off their 2019-2020 season on Sunday with their first exhibition game against Georgetown College.

If this year’s team is any like previous John Calipari-coached teams, it’ll be difficult to judge the Wildcats’ until the middle of the season. However, it’s still interesting to see who has made improvements over the summer and what chemistry has been built solely through practice.

In Kentucky’s 80-53 win over Georgetown College on Sunday, we saw just that.

The quickness of Kentucky’s guards, starting with Ashton Hagans, could potentially be the Wildcats’ greatest weapon. Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Kentucky’s multiple wing players all have the ability to slash and attack the basket.

Another year, another graduate transfer that looks like he’s ready to transform his craft at Kentucky. Last season was Reid Travis, this year Nate Sestina is poised to play a major factor in competing for a national title.

Though it’s their first game (and exhibition competition), it’s looking like Kentucky will finally have a well-rounded team in terms of three-point shooting. The team’s ability to shoot the basketball from deep at multiple positions should open up driving lanes for their athletic guards and wings.

Led by Ashton Hagans, this Kentucky team could be one of Calipari’s better defensive teams during his tenure. Their ability to diversify with multiple lineups will be extremely useful come next spring, and they have plenty of time to experiment.

Highlights

Box Score

Game MVP

After the team’s first game last season, Ashton Hagans seemed to fall off a cliff in terms of on-floor production. However, after sophomore point guard Quade Green transferred mid-season, Hagans re-took the reins for the remainder of the season.

On Sunday, Hagans flashed his lightning quickness and a lockdown mentality on defense that Kentucky basketball followers are accustom to. However, what Hagans showcased in addition to last year’s skillset was the ability to confidently take an outside jump-shot.

While Hagans only shot 1-4 from deep, his confidence to “keep shooting” is a bright sign to start his 2019-2020 campaign. The sophomore guard also shifted his defensive attention to Jake Ohmer late in the second half and locked down Georgetown’s top scorer for the remainder of the game. His ability to play both ends of the ball has earned himself preseason All-SEC first team honors as well should place him in the running for SEC Player of the Year.

Hagans finished the night with 14 points, six assists, three rebounds and four steals.