By LARRY VAUGHT
Andy Katz, one of the nation’s most respected college basketball writers, recently picked his “11 rising stars to watch” for the 2019-20 season for NCAA.com.
The only Southeastern Conference player on the list is Kentucky sophomore point guard Ashton Hagans, who opted not to put his name into the NBA draft even for evaluation purposes. He was a starter most of the season for Kentucky coach John Calipari but Katz is expecting even more from Hagans next season.
Here’s what Katz wrote about Hagans:
“Hagans’ announcement that he will return to Kentucky locks in an experienced lead guard for the Wildcats. Kentucky needed a player at the point who can shepherd along another high-level recruiting class.
“Hagans took over the position and excelled. He had close to a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio and will be counted on by John Calipari to be a leader.
“His standout game came against Kansas when he scored a dozen points and dished out eight assists. He handed out 12 assists and scored 10 points in a four-point SEC Tournament semifinal loss to Tennessee. Hagans hasn’t shied away from the big moment. He’ll have plenty of those next season.”