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Josh Pastner calls Ashton Hagans a first-round talent

Hagans is certainly playing like one.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats won their eighth game of the season against Georgia Tech Saturday night, and sophomore point guard Ashton Hagans led the way with 21 points.

He finished as the game’s leading scorer. Immanuel Quickley put up 16 points while Nick Richards ended the game with 12. The trio led the Wildcats in their 67-53 victory at Rupp Arena.

After the game, Georgia Tech head coach Josh Partner gave some strong praise to Hagans.

“He was a pro tonight, a first-round draft pick. Hagans is a stud,” Partner said.

It was his all-around play that likely had the head coach loving Hagans. He was a monster on the defensive end while being the team’s playmaker offensively after Tech tried to neutralize Kentucky’s dynamic offense.

“I think Hagans has just gotten better and better and better. He’s really good and from where he was as a junior, senior in high school, because we recruited him. He’s just continued to get better and better, which is a great credit to Coach Calipari and his staff on the development of Ashton Hagans. I thought he was a big difference today.”

Hagans continued excellence has been another reason for the Wildcats 8-1 start to the season. Throughout this season and more specifically in this game, Hagans’ leadership has been a key part for the Wildcats success.

After this game, Hagans is now averaging 13.7 points per game. However, what’s arguably more impressive is the 6.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game that he also totals. And, to add to all that, Hagans is doing those numbers on 50% shooting.

Hagans may not be a first-round pick, but a 6-foot-3 guard that is among the best collegiate defenders should be at the top of most team’s big boards.