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Ashton Hagans on his decision to return: “There’s unfinished business”

After Kentucky forward PJ Washington announced he would be putting his name in the NBA Draft this morning, freshman point guard Ashton Hagans turned around and let the Big Blue Nation know he was back for round two.

The decision itself wasn’t shocking, as the 6-foot-3 guard out of Cartersville, GA was seen as a consensus late-second to undrafted prospect in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft. The timing, however, did come as a bit of a surprise, as Hagans opted to not even explore the draft process to receive feedback and work out for teams.

Why? Because he knew exactly where he wanted to be as a basketball player, and he’s just not there yet. In his own words, he has “only scratched the surface” with his game.

“We had a great season this year but I want more,” Hagans said in a press release. “I know I’ve only scratched the surface with my game and there’s so much more I want to accomplish at Kentucky. Coach Cal and the staff have challenged me since day one, and I know with another season at UK we can chase some special things with the same mindset. I can’t wait to get back to work with my brothers.”

After the announcement, Hagans talked to Evan Daniels of 247 Sports, saying he believes Kentucky has a legitimate shot to win the national championship next season.

“It’s Kentucky for one,” he said of his decision. “The team that I’m on next year is one that I think we can win again. Talking to my people and hearing the conversation we were hearing, it wasn’t that bad. But next year I feel like I can do something different and help the program more and build a better relationship with coach Cal. This year was a dream come true for me and next year can be something special.”

After seeing who Kentucky had coming in next season in Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, and Keion Brooks Jr., along with the addition of graduate transfer Nate Sestina, he knew he could would fit right in as the team’s leader.

“I think we are going to be a very good team,” Hagans said. “We just got a grad transfer and playing with this group that I was playing this year with Reid on the team, that was a big help for us. We also needed that. With Kahlil, Tyrese, Keion, there’s some special guys. I’ve known them from being in that class, next year is going to be a special.”

For Hagans as a player, he believes he has “unfinished business” to take care of before making the jump to the NBA.

“I just felt like I left something behind and there’s unfinished business,” he said. “I just want to try and work on my game and get better so I can go higher in the Draft.”

(247 Sports)

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Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

49 Comments for Ashton Hagans on his decision to return: “There’s unfinished business”



  1. nocode96
    8:11 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Can you imagine the collective shlt BBN will lose if for some weird reason Herro and KJ come back too?



    • UKBigBlueForever
      2:27 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      please don’t mess w/ my emotions nocode!! lol. I have some weird feeling that Herro is going to come back



    • syrin23
      9:53 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      I think so too.



  2. Catcasey1
    8:14 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Glad ur back don’t eat cheetos all summer and work on ur shot



    • kjd
      8:22 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      ….and his ball handling.



    • StillBP
      8:34 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      He probably never would’ve thought about working on his shot if you didn’t keep telling him to. Fire Cal, hire Catcasey1!



  3. bigbluenationmbb
    8:22 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    People don’t realize he should be a freshman this coming year he needs to work on his shot look what happens to pj when he worked on his shot he plays a lot like marquise Teague in my opinion



    • Luether
      8:53 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      And maybe you don’t realize that Hagans will be 20 years old on July 8…



    • JT919
      9:46 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      Age doesn’t matter that much one way or the other at this point in a player’s career. Younger or older they still have plenty of room to grow. Malcolm Brogdon is proof of that, came out of Virginia at 24 and developed into probably the third or fourth best player on the Bucks who are now Finals contenders. Every player at the college level has potential for growth.



  4. bpisforuk
    8:32 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Why is here and on the radio show no one mentions Dontaie Allen when talking about new players. He hasn’t been redshirted yet. Kid is a baller.



    • ibescootch
      11:40 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      Thinking the same thing. It seems like after he got hurt, everyone completely forgot about him! The dude is legit. And he was on an upward trajectory until his injury. As a guard, you don’t average 43 pts a game and not be special. I don’t care who the competition is- that boy good.



    • UKBigBlueForever
      2:29 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      yea man, he’s a baller for sure! He’ll be completely healthy by the time bball season comes around. Didn’t he tear his ACL in November or December last year? These days that’s usually a 9-10 month injury but getting your confidence back probably more likely 10-12 months… it’s crazy how far an ACL tear has came these days…



    • GM1978
      10:04 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      Yes, in late December

      And he’s the real deal…..’19-20 Cats are gonna fly up and down the court!!!!



  5. ukcats1776.90
    8:44 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    I really like ashton…he seems like a good guy who works hard. probably was hard to be a leader for him this year since he was supposed to still be in high school – I bet next year he will be a STUD and the de facto leader on and off the court



  6. Luether
    8:54 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Glad he’s coming back, and hope he dramatically improves his shooting…



    • KatFan48
      9:13 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      And the rest of us will work on our back seat coaching and overall troll skills



    • syrin23
      9:54 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      And not committing so many TO’s.



  7. makebasketballplays
    9:20 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    He’s going to start over Maxey now. We’re not going to be able to shoot again!



  8. Wade
    9:30 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Just want a starting 5 that hits 80. % from the line! Hagans does I think? So let’s see his development I think it’s going to be explosive this yr.



  9. Ukfan1010
    9:32 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    How about this starting line up for next year (I realize it’s way too early, but just having fun with this! Haha)

    1.) Ashton Hagans
    2.) Immanuel Quickley
    3.) Tyrese Maxey
    4.) Kahlil Whitney
    5.) EJ Montgomery

    If Herro comes back, swap him for Quickley! But even if he doesn’t, we would have a solid bench with Richards, Keion Brooks, Jemarl Baker, and Dontaie Allen



    • StuckinLville
      10:39 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      I just don’t see Quickley cracking the line up. I think Hagans, Maxey, Whitney, Sestina, and Montgomery is more likely. Sestina will start most likely for the same reasons Travis did.



    • maximumscott
      11:01 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      Dont count Baker stsrting mid season. Hagans, maxey, baker, kahlil, montgomery



    • Ukfan1010
      11:21 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      I keep forgetting about Sestina! But yeah he will definitely be in the mix! I wish the NBA draft was tomorrow and then the 2019-2020 season started the next day! ??



    • ClutchCargo
      12:15 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      Ya’ll are selling Brooks way short.



    • JoeMoney333
      7:40 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      Sestina is not a starter. He’s not Reid Travis.



    • StuckinLville
      10:20 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      He’s a better shooter and more athletic than Travis



    • StuckinLville
      10:21 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      I dont really think we selling Brooks short, he’s just not that big for his position, especially since they say he’s more of a pf.



    • 4everUKblue
      9:31 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      So glad you know so much about Sestina JoeMoney, too bad you’re not on the coaching staff.



  10. BigJohnC
    10:11 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Back to work with his brothers? So who all is staying? Everyone but pj?



  11. BigJohnC
    10:16 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Sounds great. I watched Wayne turner videos and hagans is built similar to him. I think he needs to watch turners tapes!!



    • StuckinLville
      10:40 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      At least he doesnt have an ugly jump shot like Turner lol Turner and MKG by far have the ugliest jump shot I’ve ever see in blue and white. Love them both though.



    • BigJohnC
      10:58 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      Yes sir that’s for sure. I see similarities in their handle and heart/hustle



  12. recliner coach
    10:42 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Wonder what RJ Hampton thinks



  13. StuckinLville
    10:42 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Also, why is the night post always a post from earlier in the day? All these writers and no one can come up with anything else?



  14. Larkin123
    11:01 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

    Do you ever feel the order of announcements is scripted? Like hey we will put Hagans release here so then we can soften them up for Herro leaving and so on and so forth…



    • ibescootch
      11:47 pm April 9, 2019 Permalink

      Yes- the team has gotten together, each planned their next year out, made incredibly difficult decisions, and then orchestrated a complex sociological experiment where they string the BBN along a carefully scripted storyline to slowly massage their decisions into our minds. That sounds like a totally normal thing that college basketball players want to be a part of.



    • JoeMoney333
      7:41 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      There is a 100% chance you believe in some sort of conspiracy theory based on this logic.



    • UK Big Board Update
      8:55 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      Probably follows QAnon.

      #FreeTheBoomers



    • dave1964
      9:44 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      Tyler H and Johnson are gone the only one I will miss is Tyler.



  15. zoupman
    12:54 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

    Not ready is right.



  16. BBaxterUK
    5:57 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

    Good for you young man!
    #9



    • kjd
      7:23 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      If you predict #9 long enough, eventually you’ll get it right.



    • UKFaninCO
      7:37 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      ^



    • UK Big Board Update
      8:56 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

      I did it with 7 and 8….



  17. Fitz
    7:19 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

    I’m sure PJ coming back and his resultant improvement had something to do with Hagans decision to return for a least one more year. That, plus not being considered a high pick, if any.



  18. Ned T.
    9:05 am April 10, 2019 Permalink

    PJ is one of the few who improved their shot. Most average or poor shooters start bad habits from day one and never break them.



  19. KYCat4EVER
    7:48 pm April 10, 2019 Permalink

    Got news for you! Every year since 2012… Calipari has left UNFINISHED BUSINESS for UK!

    It’s too bad he hasn’t FINALLY FINISHED all the UNFINISHED BUSINESS he’s created at UK… and FINISHED being our coach! LOL

    GO BIG BLUE!