In a move that was (somewhat) surprising, Kentucky point guard Ashton Hagans announced yesterday that he will be returning to Lexington for a sophomore season.
It’s not so much that Hagans is returning—he hadn’t gained a lot of steam in the NBA mock drafts—but Hagans didn’t enter his name to test the waters, hire an agent, work out with teams, gather feedback, etc. With the new rules allowing players more opportunities to take advantage of these options, many thought Hagans would go through the process a little.
However, it appears Hagans is focused on a sophomore season at Kentucky, where he will hope to build off of an up-and-down freshman campaign for the Wildcats. On the season, Hagans averaged 7.7 points, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. His ability to create turnovers was magnificant in December and January, but began to fade a little in February and March.
He has some definite room for improvement in his game, especially in terms of ball control, three-point shooting, and finishing at the rim (where he experienced noticeable improvement through the year) as well as continuing to work on his defensive game.
The guard situation is shaping up to be a major strength for Kentucky heading into next season now. Kentucky could bring a backcourt group of sophomores Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley, as well as freshman Tyrese Maxey and redshirt sophomore Jemarl Baker... assuming everyone returns. That’s a group that can make you pay on the perimeter, assuming Hagans improves his jumper, and has a lot of positional versatility.
John Calipari has to like the potential of his backcourt next season with Hagans in the fold.
Tweets of the Day
I had a great meeting with @H23Ash. He had a wonderful season but he’s not satisfied. He said his desire was to come back and continue to grow and do some special things at Kentucky. That’s all I needed to hear. He’s ready for the challenge, and I’m all in with him. https://t.co/gln7RJTcev— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 9, 2019
You have to love that statement.
Ashton’s coming back, but it was no surprise to see PJ announce his departure.
Hopefully PJ’s success can be a model for other similar players at UK.
Not everyone can follow that path, but several can.
Hagans looks to be a major piece for the Wildcats next season.
With notable improvements, Hagans has the ability to help take the Cats to the Final Four.
The Carolina and Louisville games are all-time classics.
The coaches are looking for consistent improvement from Terry Wilson and the young receivers.
Rick in the headlines again.
Cronin leaves behind Cincinnati to head west.
Wall is still recovering from an Achilles injury that sidelined him more than half of this season.
Anthony Davis wore a shirt that read “That’s All Folks” to the team’s season finale last night.
More changes coming in Los Angeles?
What a send off for the NBA legend.