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‘Beat up’ Ashton Hagans a “mentally, physically tough kid”

Ashton Hagans (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

A “beat up” Ashton Hagans didn’t quite have the opening game for Kentucky against Michigan State that he expected. He certainly played solid defense against outstanding Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston in UK’s win over the No. 1 Spartans Tuesday night in New York during his 29 minutes on the court but other parts of his game were off.

He had 11 points but missed more shots (6) than he made (3). He had as many turnovers (3) as assists (3). He managed just two rebounds and one steal, not the numbers would one expect from last year’s SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

At the end of the game, Hagans was not on the court to lead coach John Calipari’s team because the coach said after the game he was “beat up and hurt” before the game even started.

“His leg has been bothering him for about four or five days. But he’s such – I don’t know if you saw whoever we played. He got kneed, kicked in the head. And if you saw it you would’ve said ‘wow’ and he just kinda bounced up,” Calipari said.

“He is really tough. For him to say his leg is bothering him, and we’ve had the MRI, we’ve had everything done. There’s nothing there. It’s more of a strain, a muscle thing. And I just kept telling him, ‘Take yourself out, tell me when you’re ready to go.’

“That last free throw he made, he looked at me like ‘take me out.’ And EJ ran out. So he stayed on the court. But he’s a really mentally, physically tough kid.”

2 comments

  1. Thanks for being an outstanding defender Ashton. So hopefully now, it looks like the team will at least sit at #1 for the next 8 weeks, while they tune up the offensive side of the ledger. If this holds true to form, and the Red Birds don’t crash and burn, it could be another #1 vs #2, with more outstanding pub for the Big Blue Program. Can only help recruiting-Go Cat!

  2. I am really surprised that UL is where they are. Guess should have been following their recruiting all along but haven’t. Mack is a very good coach, but I am still surprised they are getting the Pub they are. Looks like they will continue to be an in state nemesis as long as he stays there.

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