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Ashton Hagans named semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year

Hagans has been one of college basketball’s best defenders since arriving in Lexington.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

To no surprise, Kentucky Wildcats guard Ashton Hagans has been named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award. It’s the second straight year in which he was a semifinalist.

Hagans, the 2019 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, is averaging 11.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game for a top-10 Kentucky team that’s now 23-5 and is looking like a legitimate Final Four contender.

Hagans leads the Wildcats with a team-high 54 steals. His 1.9 swipes per game ranks second in the SEC. In just 65 career games, Hagans has already amassed 115 career steals, and his 1.797 steals-per-game career mark is second in school history, behind only Rajon Rondo’s career mark of 2.294.

The watch list for the award was trimmed to 10 Thursday, and the finalists for the award will be revealed March 12. The winner of the award will be announced April 5.

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