It’s no secret that Ashton Hagans has struggled over the last couple of weeks, both with shooting the ball and turning it over with careless play.
Through it all, though, John Calipari has continued to support his starting point guard.
Over his last seven games, Hagans has only averaged eight points on 35.8% shooting from the field. On top of that, he’s averaged 3.9 turnovers vs. 5.1 assists per game.
That stretch included Saturday’s game against Ole Miss, where he fouled out after 31 minutes with only 6 points (3/11 from the field, 0/5 from three) and one more turnover than he had assists. His fifth foul was both reckless and unnecessary as well and could have very easily put the Wildcats in a bad spot with only 57 seconds left and the home team only up one.
With all this said, Calipari is still riding with Ashton through this rough patch.
“He struggled a little bit this game. He got beat up a little bit, but he’s fine. He’s the least of our worries. Ashton is my point guard, and I’m with him,” Calipari stated. “The one thing I do know, he’ll fight to win a game. He wasn’t great at the end of this game. Very rarely does he make mistakes at the end.
“Usually, he will come up with the ball to steal the rebound to win the game. He didn’t today. He and I talked in my office about it, like hey, a lot of it’s just a mentality that we — he wasn’t playing well, and when he fouled out, we won without him, basically, and we were down — he gave him that foul near half court, but like I said, he’s fine.
“I’ll say this about him: He’s not a robot, either. He’ll have bad games. I don’t know of anybody that every once in a while is not going to cop a bad game. It happens.”
If Calipari is still in support of Hagans, everyone else should be as well. You have to appreciate Calipari’s stance as he’s willing to ride with a struggling player, especially his floor general, until the very end. Hagans will get better, break out of this slump, and continue to lead this team, but it will take time and support from those around him. With those word from Calipari, it’s off to a great start.
Ashton Hagans is one of the best point guards in the country, and Calipari has even gone as far to say he is the best. He hasn’t played like it recently, but that player is still in him with time left in the season for him to get back to that.
Kentucky will need the best version of Hagans they can get if they plan on going deep into the tournament, but he’s more than capable of being that dynamic player on both ends who can help lead them all the way.