Kentucky Wildcats point guard Ashton Hagans has declared for the NBA Draft with no intention of returning to Lexington for another season of college basketball.
Hagans, the team’s starting point guard for nearly all of the last two seasons, was recognized as one of the best defenders in the nation during his time at UK. This past season, he was awarded Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts.
The sophomore guard finished the year averaging 11.5 points and 6.4 assists per game, though having a handful of discouraging games in regards of handling the basketball.
Overall, Hagans had a decent year at Kentucky. However, it’s hard to ignore his “personal leave” towards the end of the regular season. This came almost immediately after his controversy with head coach John Calipari on the bench.
Calipari, though, was nothing but supportive in his statement on social media.
“We know what Ashton can do to change the game defensively and how much better he got offensively, but what’s going to separate him is his competitiveness. That kid is a winner. His competitive spirit drives him and is why I love him. If I’m going to battle, I’m taking Ashton.”
It’s hard to see Hagans’ draft stock being any higher than the second round, especially with his limited skills on offense in a high-scoring league. The NBA still has a place for defensive stoppers, though, so Hagans could very well work his way on to a roster.
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