Andy Katz of NCAA.com believes Kentucky sophomore point guard Ashton Hagans will be one of the top players in all of college basketball next season.
In his recent list of the top 25 players in all of college basketball, Hagans came in at No. 23 overall and No. 10 among all guards.
23. Ashton Hagans, So., G, Kentucky: The Wildcats have the experience at the most important position to make a Final Four run.
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.
As a freshman, the Wildcat point guard was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year alongside LSU’s Tremont Waters, also picking up SEC All-Defensive Team honors in the process. Finishing as a Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist and two-time SEC Freshman of the Week winner, Hagans averaged 7.7 points, 4.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 28.5 minutes per game in his first year in Lexington.
Starting 30 of 37 games for the Wildcats, including the final 29, Hagans tied Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the third-most steals by a freshman in school history, dished out the fifth-most assists by a freshman in school history, and recorded 10 games with three or more steals.
Check out the entire list here:
- Cassius Winston, Sr., G, Michigan State
- Markus Howard, Sr., G, Marquette
- Myles Powell, Sr., G, Seton Hall
- James Wiseman, Fr., C, Memphis
- Cole Anthony, Fr., G, North Carolina
- Jordan Nwora, Jr., F, Louisville
- Kerry Blackshear Jr., Sr., Florida
- Tre Jones, So., G, Duke
- Anthony Cowan Jr., Sr., Maryland
- Lamar Stevens, Sr., F, Penn State
- Anthony Edwards, Fr., G, Georgia
- Devon Dotson, So., G, Kansas
- Jarron Cumberland, Sr., G, Cincinnati
- Udoka Azubuike, Sr., C, Kansas
- Kaleb Wesson, Jr., C, Ohio State
- Sam Merrill, Sr., G, Utah State
- Tristan Clark, Jr., F, Baylor
- Jalen Smith, So., F, Maryland
- Trevion Williams, So., F, Purdue
- Xavier Tillman, Jr., F, Michigan State
- Killian Tillie, Sr., F, Gonzaga
- Ayo Dosunmu, So., G, Illinois
- Ashton Hagans, So., G, Kentucky
- Andrew Nembhard, So., G, Florida
- Isaiah Stewart, Fr., C, Washington
While other players might put up bigger numbers next year, I have a hard time believing there will be 22 players better than Hagans by the time the 2019-20 season comes to a close.