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Keldon Johnson appreciated Ashton Hagans’ wakeup call

Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Early on, it looked like Keldon Johnson might be on his way to another bad game. After going scoreless vs. Georgia, the freshmen let a pass from Ashton Hagans sail through his hands out of bounds, prompting Hagans to yell at him, “Wake the f— up!”

Thankfully, Keldon did wake up, finishing with 20 points off 7-11 from the floor, 2-5 from behind the three-point line, his best offensive outing since the North Carolina game. When asked about it after the game, Keldon said he appreciated Ashton’s tough love.

“He just told me, you’ve got to wake up, man. It’s not acceptable. If we’re going to be the team we’re gonna be, you’ve got to wake up. We need you to play. I did it for my teammates. They had my back and I had theirs. I just went out there and played.”

Not everyone would accept Ashton’s call-out in such a mature manner, especially a freshman used to leading his team in scoring; however, Keldon said he knew it came from a good place.

“Definitely. In a positive way. I know he always wants what’s best for me. We might argue sometimes on the court, but I know my teammates always want what’s best for me.”

“We all know that we have each other’s back, regardless of if it’s now, beginning of the season, or later down the road. You’ve just got to accept it because if they’re telling you something, they’re not just doing it just because. They’re doing it because they want what’s best for you and what’s best for the team.”

Once Keldon did get going, Ashton kept encouraging him.

“He was just like, you’ve got to just keep playing. Just keep going, keep going. We need you. We need you. Same thing for him. We need him the whole game. We need everybody. Tyler, Reid, PJ, Jemarl, everybody that played tonight.”

Tyler Herro said it wasn’t just Ashton holding people accountable; early in the game, he said something similar to PJ Washington.

“Really all the way from the beginning of the game to the end. When Ashton said that Keldon, I was saying it to PJ. Just sticking together. Keldon, he took it the right way and when guys are taking it the right way, the sky’s the limit because we all have each other’s back. As long as we’re holding each other accountable, we’ll be fine.”


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 Comments for Keldon Johnson appreciated Ashton Hagans’ wakeup call

  1. dhard
    7:56 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

    Sounds like he gave him wise words and Keldon listened to them.

    • wyatts1
      8:13 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

      Keldon Johnson is a beast but once he becomes more consistent with his jumper The ceiling is probably the highest outta all the players on this year’s squad.
      I firmly believe that pj should be the best player on this team with no doubt about it but he just isn’t stepping up with that killer instinct that we saw his freshman year, and that urks the hell outta me. Knowing that potential greatness is there but not giving it 100% and take advantage of his gift, which in turn helps himself out in the future and his teammates throughout the remainder of this season.
      Unsung herro of this team is undoubtedly Tyler herro. He should’ve been given the same respect as his counterparts on this team coming outta high school. By the end of this season I believe it will be the hagans and herro show and they will be the ones that will push others and gives UK another magical year.

    • Wade
      11:34 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

      He’s just taking some bad shots early and trying to assert himself but loses trust and focus a bit! Freshman! A few words of wisdom help! They all need to yell at pj!

  2. Racerr11
    8:17 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

    That’s the stuff that will matter and make us a legitimate contender for the title. I love it

  3. cats646
    8:24 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

    Keldonhad one heck of a game, I love that he is able to take criticism and turn his game around. Hagans is a dawg, and a leader. I like my team

  4. Jiminy Crickets
    8:33 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink


  5. catheaven
    8:52 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

    Tyler, can we please get someone to post the postgame show on the podcast site? I need to hear postgame show, pretty please.

    • DHBsr64
      10:16 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

      I second that!!!

    • uk27ncaa
      10:45 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

      I also like this statement!

  6. binarysolo
    11:08 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

    Seeing Keldon and Tyler get up on the podium still in their game jerseys, anyone else think the players should be allowed to shower and get dressed before doing these? I mean after I work out the last thing I wanna do is face a bunch of camera still sweaty.

    • michaelb
      3:27 am January 21, 2019 Permalink

      It’s just how ball is solo.

    • michaelb
      3:29 am January 21, 2019 Permalink

      A winning sweat is something you never wanna wash off solo . Lol jk

  7. Kerosenerag
    8:57 am January 20, 2019 Permalink

    Ashton is becoming a floor general and that’s just what this team needs……..skies the limit now!
    Go Big Blue