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Calipari: “Ashton is my point guard and I’m with him”

Ashton Hagans did not play like the best point guard in the country, the label Calipari has given him in the past before Hagans fell into this recent funk. In today’s close call against unranked Ole Miss, UK’s star point guard went 3-of-11 from the field, 0-of-5 from outside with no trips to the foul line, in addition to four turnovers and an early exit from the competition with five fouls.

The fifth and final foul could’ve cost Kentucky the entire game. With under a minute to go and Kentucky hanging on to a one-point lead, Hagans tried to swipe at the ball while fighting through a screen about 40 feet from the basket, putting Ole Miss’ best player, Breein Tyree, at the line with a chance to retake the lead. It was an inexcusable foul on that possession, but Tyree missed the front end to bail Hagans out on his mistake. Of course, Kentucky went on to close it out with Hagans on the bench.

After the game, The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker asked Calipari what’s up with his point guard’s struggles as of late, noting Hagans is shooting 35 percent in the last seven games with a lot of turnovers. Cal briefly acknowledged there were some struggles, but was quick to defend his guy: “He is the least of our worries. Ashton is my point guard and I’m with him.”

“The one thing I do know, he’ll fight to win a game,” Calipari continued. “He wasn’t great at the end of this game. Very rarely does he make mistakes at the end. Usually, he will come up with the ball, the steal, the rebound to win the game. He didn’t today.”

Cal then added that Hagans, like everyone else on the team, is not a robot.

“He’ll have bad games. I don’t know of anybody that’s not going to every once in awhile cop a bad game. It happens.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

12 Comments for Calipari: “Ashton is my point guard and I’m with him”

  1. damage_control
    5:10 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    We’ve seen it before. A similar thing happened last year down the stretch run of SEC play. I hoped that since the team doesn’t need to rely on him as much and another year of maturity/conditioning, he might run through the “ freshman wall”. I still believe he can overcome this recent funk but he does need to play much better if UK has any hopes of reaching the Final 4 for the first time since 2015.

  2. 4everUKBlue
    5:15 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    I hope he can get is turnovers and fouling under control.

  3. classof68
    5:19 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    That’s quite a change from what Cal has said about him before. Before it was that if there is a better PG in the country, he would like to know who it is.

    • damage_control
      5:32 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      If he stayed 4 yrs, I’m confident he would be the best PG in the country his senior year. He’s a young sophomore and just not consistent enough to hold that title at this point in his career.

  4. Rob
    5:44 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    There is no denying that Hagans is a competitor. He just needs to play smarter basketball. Just like when he got called for his fifth foul.You know you have four fouls already. Why would your force the issue?! He has to be smarter than that.

    • CrystalBall
      7:52 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      This is one of my disagreements with Cal. Hagans was trying to go over the screen. Cal teaches to always go over the screen.
      I was coached when 35 to 40 feet from the basket, and especially when in foul trouble, it’s best to go under the screen. Just a
      difference in coaching philosophy. Probably doesn’t mean much.

    • Rob
      12:38 am February 16, 2020 Permalink

      I agree CB, but that’s when your “Basketball IQ” should kick in. Surely to goodness they talk about situational basketball. Oh well. A win is a win.

  5. JT55
    6:20 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    What do you expect him to say? With all of the recruiting misses this year, mother Hubbard’s cupboard is quite bare with this roster. Unless Hagan’s plays at a much higher level, this team has 0 chance to make a final four run!

  6. classof68
    6:23 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

    “I’m with him.” Sounds like something a democrat would say. lol.

    • Bluehender
      6:40 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      Ignorant comment ^^^

    • 4everUKBlue
      6:51 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      Beyond ignorant Bluehender

    • JT55
      9:08 pm February 15, 2020 Permalink

      Very true!!