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No doubts about Ashton Hagans defense, but is his 3-point shooting now a lot better?

Ashton Hagans (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Watching the videos of Kentucky’s time at the SEC Media Day Wednesday didn’t provide a lot of new information but one thing did jump out at me — sophomore guard Ashton Hagans’ shooting.

Hagans is known for his defense and can dominate a game that way. However, Calipari said in a recent five-minute shooting drill that Hagans hit 60 3-pointers. That might not have been a big number for a player like Tyler Herro, but Calipari said last year Hagans would likely have made 40 to 45. This year he has hit 65 in one of those same drills, so that is a dramatic improvement.

Not that Calipari has forgot about Hagans’ defense. He told reporters at SEC Media Day that Hagans was the best defensive player of any point guard he’s had.

Hagans said part of his success is because of the way he’s pushed in practice by Immanuel Quickley and now Tyrese Maxey.

“Immanuel is looking 10 times better than he was last year, so for him to keep putting in the work that he’s putting in to make himself better, it’s just going to make our team even better as the season goes on,” Hagans said.

“Tyrese is a hard worker. No one’s really seen him play except for high school and the McDonald’s (All-American) Game but I guarantee he’s going to bring the same thing he brought in those games to Kentucky.

“Johnny Juzang, he came to college a year earlier, he’s ready to work and show everybody what’s he’s got. The guards are just ready to come out here and compete.”

 

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