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BREAKING: Ashton Hagans declares for the NBA Draft

After two years in Lexington, UK point guard Ashton Hagans will enter the NBA Draft.

This afternoon, the sophomore point guard out of Cartersville, GA officially announced he would be forgoing his final two years of eligibility and leaving for the NBA.

“When I chose to come back for my sophomore year, I had some goals in mind,” Hagans said in a press release. “First was to win a national championship. You know it’s killing me that we didn’t get the chance to compete for one this season, but I understand why we couldn’t. But, just know, we would have been right there. The second thing we did, which was to win an SEC championship. I also wanted to become a better all-around point guard. My coaches and my teammates really helped me improve and now I know I’m ready to take the next step.

“I just wanted to let you all know that even though I love Kentucky with all of my heart and really wish I could have played for a ‘ship, it’s time for me to live out my life-long dream and declare for the NBA Draft. It’s been my No. 1 goal since I first picked up a ball to take this step and I know my time is now. It’s so hard for me to say goodbye to the best fans in the world, because these last two years have been some of the best of my life.

“I want to give some shout outs to Coach Cal, KP (Kenny Payne), Barb (Tony Barbee), Joel (Justus), Robes (John Robic) and all of the staff. You helped me grow into a man and I know you’ll be there supporting me forever. To all my brothers, you all know how much love I have for you. Wish we could run it back one more time. Lastly, I need to thank my family. You’ve been there with me since day one. We’ve been through a lot and I hope I’ve made you proud.”

As a sophomore, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 11.5 points, 6.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game en route to becoming a National Defensive Player of the Year finalist.

“Ashton is ready for this,” UK head coach John Calipari said in the official release. “From where he was when he got here two seasons ago to where he is now isn’t even close. He’s a completely different player and he’s built his skills and his confidence to take that next step.

“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.

“I wish we could have had the opportunity to chase his goals of a championship this season but I’m so proud of who Ashton has become. I’m happy for him and his family and will be behind them the entire way.”

Hagans is the first Wildcat to make his NBA Draft decision official, though Calipari said last week that five total Kentucky players would be testing the waters. With Hagans now off the board, we will now wait on the likes of Tyrese Maxey, Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley, and EJ Montgomery to make their announcements in the coming weeks.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

46 Comments for BREAKING: Ashton Hagans declares for the NBA Draft

  1. Dark Soul
    3:33 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Good riddance.

    • Han
      3:38 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Cal does not appreciate “fans” like you who trash his players.

    • Dark Soul
      4:05 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      I’m not trashing him. I want him to do well just not on this team.

    • Middy
      6:22 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      That statement makes absolutely no sense! You don’t want him to do well for us, but you want him to do well for someone else?

    • JASUN74
      8:24 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Just a stupid stupid comment. That’s all!!

  2. kykid16
    3:33 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Not shocking after what happened at end of season! Good luck but you’ve got a lot of work to do!

    • mashburnfan1
      6:04 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Agree, two things are obvious. One he is not ready for the NBA and two he was done with Coach Cal. That is why he is going, hopefully he can do well in the G league and get a call up. I doubt it but will hope it happens for him.

    • mashburnfan1
      6:09 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Like many others I just hope the stack of cash, in a vehicle, in a shoebox, at night does not come back to bite Kentucky. Everyone can make every excuse they want but that is not normal for a college athlete to have.Hope it came from a legitimate source, but it’s doubtful

    • nocode96
      6:31 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Mash you idiot, let me explain some things to you. First, a story. In 2004 my little brother graduated high school. In his graduation night, or mother took out all the cash she had in savings so he could pose with his friends in pictures just like what Ashton was recorded doing. Was it silly of my brother and possibly my mother? Probably, but my brother and his friends got to look cool for some pictures and pretend they were rich. Flaunting money has grown far more popular amongst kids since then. Thousands upon thousands of kids shoot videos like this daily and post it to whatever site they’re on so they look cool. Some are selling drugs, but most, like Ashton, are getting that money from family, friends, or money saved up. Ashton’s family is FAR from destitute. Hell, when I was in college I had no job, but once a semester a grant check would get mailed directly to me after my tuition and stuff was paid, and that was 2-4 k every time. I wasn’t doing anything nefarious. Why is it you assume Ashton was? No need to answer that, it was a rhetorical question, I, and everyone else here, know why and it’s not just because you’re an idiot Cal hater. How does it feel knowing Cal will be here forever if he wants? Hope it really makes you angry.

  3. UKLugo
    3:33 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    If we can just get one of the three backcourt guys to return, we will have the best backcourt in the country next season. That’s strike one.

  4. Dark Soul
    3:36 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    I used to really like him but after he chose to not go back in the game I was done. I still hope he makes it and gets paid though.

  5. BleedingBlue1996
    3:39 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    I hear you, good riddance. Quit on his teammates and his coach. Enjoy the G-league.

  6. johnfranke
    3:42 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Actually, I thought he declared for the draft in January. This is no surprise. No harsh words. Good luck to you in your chosen future.

  7. UKCatAttack
    3:43 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    I’m not sure I see a path for him in the NBA. I hope I’m wrong but he isn’t As good as Wall, Bledsoe, Knight, Murray, Fox, Monk, SGA… He’s got a horrible jump shot, very questionable decision making, and lacks elite size to defend the bigger and stronger PGs he’ll face in the league. That being said I’m not convinced any of that would’ve changed had he come back. I don’t fault him for taking advantage of a weak draft year. Maybe he can land a contract get paid and make a life for himself and his family. I do wish my last memory of him wasn’t refusing to go into the game and being left behind for the Florida game. I’m afraid that might be the way I remember him in 10 years.

  8. kyfan200587
    3:45 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Cal says “I’m taking Ashton” but ur leader, QB, and a “veteran” on the team and in a way basically quit on ur team. Idk all the basics but you could see it in Ashten’s eyes he didn’t want to play.. with all that being said I’m glad he’s able to achieve his goals and hope he tears it up in the nba. GO CATS!!

  9. michaelb
    3:48 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Ashton had dunk of the year . It was a close race between Ashton and Nate’s put back late vs Florida

  10. JT55
    3:51 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Welcome to the G leauge. You’ll be there awhile

  11. michaelb
    3:51 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    If ur get better offensively he can be a starter . Kinda like Pat Beverly did

  12. Corder
    3:52 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Some of y’all kill me. A kid makes a mistake and has a lot going on in his life and head and Becasue y’all don’t like how a kid at his age handle a certain situation y’all totally turn your backs on him and say good riddance. I hope when y’all make a mistake in yalls lives your entire families turn their backs on you and write y’all off. How pathetic are people like y’all. The kid played two years here and busted his ass every game. You don’t get that many steals and get called one off the best on and off ball defenders in the country by not giving it your all. Same people that want kids to stay for 3-4 years are the same people that turn your backs on these players any chance y’all get.

    • UKgrad80
      4:04 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Do you get paid by the y’all’s

    • kyfan200587
      7:45 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      The same fans that’s taking up for him we’re the same ones that when he missed 237 layups and 165 WIDE OPEN 3 pointers cussed him out.. I don’t wish nothing bad on him as I hope all the other fans don’t either but him being the PG and quitting on his team wasn’t just a sweep under the rug.

    • Corder
      10:00 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Being disappointed in his play is one thing. Criticizing a kid for a mistake and totally writing him off is another. The fact you can’t comprehend that shows a lot about you.

    • luvmycats15
      9:13 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Well said Corder, well said. The just plain meanness , coming from what is supposed to be the best fan base in the country, never ceases to amaze me!

  13. BleedingBlue1996
    3:56 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Hey Corder, Quitting on your team is unacceptable. You don’t need talent to work hard.

  14. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    3:58 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Won’t miss his flexing and posing after every made layup. And I guess he got to keep that stack of cash, no questions asked. Good for him.

  15. UKgrad80
    4:01 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    To me he went out on a sour note. Not sorry to see him go at all! He showed bad judgement off and on the court. Sorry don’t care if Cal likes my comments or not. It’s my opinion!

  16. BigBlueWildcats
    4:03 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Most of you all suck. Why can’t you just be supportive. He wore the blue and white and put in a lot of hard work for you all to cheer for and enjoy. Instead you bash a kid who is 20 years old and following his dreams. Sad really.

    • UKgrad80
      4:06 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Sad is when someone puts themselves above team goals. If he put in hard work it was not for the fans it was for the money! You do live in a dream world don’t you?

    • blueballs80
      4:15 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Good news. His actions towards the end were not team oriented and just a distraction.

  17. DelrayCat
    4:13 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    I get it with all the salty responses here. And I don’t think it is necessarily personal against Ashton either. I think many UK fans are just tired. Tired of the same ol’ thing year after year. Guys leaving after one or two years who are clearly not ready after yet another mediocre season without a title. Granted this year was a little better than I expected (thanks almost solely to one Immanuel Quickley), and they did win the only title possible (SEC regular season). But we all know how this story ends. All 5 guys who’ve announced will stay in the draft. We then go into next season without any depth and totally reliant on Freshmen and a couple of unproven Sophomores (again)….and then another mediocre to slightly decent season without a title….again.
    Rinse and Repeat.

  18. makeitstop
    4:17 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Archie Goodwin. More D, less offense, but that’s about where I put Ashton in our list of guards. I wish him well, he (Usually) played hard, he wanted to win but the decision making and bad chemistry down the stretch will be a big part of his legacy here. I’ll miss Maxey’s love of the game and love of life, and his uncanny body control and touch a lot more than Ashton. I assume Nick goes because he’s not getting any younger but he’d be a great addition next year. EJ’s dad sounded like he was gone though he’s got the most to gain staying, and IQ, man I’d love for him to stay but how much higher would he go coming off POY in the SEC? We need a guy (or two) I suspect.

  19. Gaber
    4:43 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Good luck Ashton. He will get his head right. He had a lot going on at the end and didn’t get to make up for it.That kid has a fight on the court that can’t be taught. If he works on his jumper and finishing at the rim, he can be a good player .

  20. blueblood80
    4:48 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    A few select posts refer to Cal reading these comments. Even with all the time available now, do you really think he (or the players) read KSR posted comments?

  21. Dildo Baggins
    4:48 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    He was already gone way back when he deserted his team. No doubt the new group of NBA guards with their size would play over him next year. He’ll make a good living in Europe for awhile though if he gets mentally tougher.

  22. T-Town Cat
    5:17 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    I wish he would stay as I think he could be helpful to Askew – assuming his head is in the right place – but I wish him well and hope he finds an NBA team that sees long term potential in him.

  23. kjd
    5:20 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    No surprise. Wonder who’ll replace him for 21-22 season. (Flattened the curve, 20-21 won’t happen)

  24. Looother
    5:48 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Hope he gets exactly what he deserves…

  25. chris43
    5:49 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Good luck and hope he does well. Hoping Quickly returns.

  26. BobbyBlue
    5:52 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Made some poor choices when I was 20 years old, but I was able to overcome my mistake,so I wish him the best in overcoming his poor choices and reaching his dreams.

  27. Swizzle
    5:59 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink


  28. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    6:52 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    He was gone the second he flashed that stack of cash. No way Cal could allow him back after that. The money probably came from an agent/runner anyway. Just glad it got swept under the rug.

  29. StuckinLville
    8:23 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Hopefully Askew can finish at the rim.

  30. dave1964
    8:34 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Hopefully the G-league will teach him the art of making a layup and being a team player. Was no room in next years backcourt for him good luck you will need it.

  31. catsby.5
    4:14 am April 6, 2020 Permalink

    We all knew this was coming and we all know he’s not ready but can’t blame a kid for chasing his dreams. I wish him the best of luck. What kills me though is every time I read through the comments section on any story is all the people who claim to be die hard cats fans but all they do is trash our players, say how awful Cal is, and act like the sky is falling if we don’t win a national title. Last I checked only Villanova has more championships than we do since 2012, and only Duke and UNC have more since Cal got here, and all 3 teams have 2 to our 1 since 09. Not to mention we’ve had more tournament success than all those teams. I just feel bad for y’all who just can’t realize that only one team cuts down the nets every year and it can’t always be us. If you hate the Cats and Cal that’s fine, but don’t parade yourselves as die hard fans then tear down everything about the program every time something doesn’t go perfectly. I’ll get off my soapbox now, but come on guys, be better.

  32. Fitz
    8:01 am April 6, 2020 Permalink

    I with you Catsby. Here’s my critical disappointment level formula for some UK fans.
    (High Annual NCAA Title Expectations + Multiple Five Stars + Heavy Freshman Dependence + Lack of Experience) – (No Title + Perception of Cals Coaching) = Critical Disappointment Level