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.”