When the 2019-2020 season begins, the Kentucky Wildcats will have added several new playmakers to the fold.
But according to Andy Katz, it will be a returning player who possesses the greatest importance for UK and the entire conference next year.
Ashton Hagans was ranked No. 1 on NCAA.com’s “Most Important” players in the SEC.
Top 5 most important SEC players, according to @TheAndyKatz!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) June 16, 2019
1. Ashton Hagans
2. Andrew Nembhard
3. Anthony Edwards
4. Skylar Mays
5. Austin Wiley
Returning for his sophomore season seems to be the absolute best decision for a player who showed extreme potential as a reclassified freshman.
A season ago, Hagans averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 assists a game, but it was his defensive contributions that were often times most impactful. Katz wrote that he believes Hagans will improve in nearly all statistical areas.
1. Ashton Hagans, 6-3, So., Kentucky: “The Wildcats have a rare returning point guard and that’s why Kentucky is one of the teams projected to go on a Final Four run. Hagans emerged as the leader midway through the season and embraced the role. His numbers in all areas should increase, and as long as turnovers don’t as well, Kentucky will have the lead guard it needs to shepherd in another elite recruiting class.”
Andrew Nembhard, another sophomore point guard, was right behind Hagans coming in at No. 2 on the list. Followed by highly touted Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards, who came in at No. 3.
The SEC is getting loaded with some serious talent year in and year out.