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Can Ashton Hagans be like Lynn Bowden and “will” UK to more wins?

Ashton Hagans (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky point guard Ashton Hagans will face another marquee point guard when he goes against Alabama’s Kira Lewis Saturday in Rupp Arena.

Lewis is averaging 16.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.6 and 1.9 steals per game and playing almost 38 minutes per game. Hagans averages 12.9 points, 7.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game while playing 33 minutes per game.

“Kira’s playing well. He’s playing fast. He’s shooting balls. He plays 38 minutes a game. He’s good. They’re good,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “(John) Petty’s good. I mean, they’re good. They’ve got guys who were twos and threes who are now fours and fives. They were twos and threes and now they’re fours and fives, which means your four and five better be able to play.

“You’ve got hands down, they’re shooting. They’re taking 3s. They’re – like when you watch them, because I’m not watching a whole lot of college games because I’ve got those Alaskan shows I’ve gotta catch so – but when I watch this tape, I was stunned at how they’re really spacing this court and how and what they’re doing.”

Hagans had a marquee matchup at Georgia with star freshman Anthony Edwards Tuesday where Hagans did not play with his normal poise the first half.

“Ashton came out, went home, got a little excited, took a few too many jump shots, but at the end of the day, the kid has a will to win and drags the rest of us,” Calipari said.

Once again the Kentucky coach compared him to receiver turned quarterback Lynn Bowden who was the savior of UK’s football seaosn.

“He’s Lynn Bowden for us. … May be able to throw the ball better. I don’t know,” Calipari joked.

Hagans didn’t deny he was too “amped” up for the game at Georgia.

“The coaches were talking to me about it before the game. Just like keeping my cool, don’t try to go out here and do too much, but I couldn’t (help myself),” Hagans said. “They said I had put up at least 10 shots when we went into halftime. I’m like, ‘Dang, I don’t normally do this. Let me go out here and try to chill this second half. ‘

“I had the family in. I had over 50 people at the game so I was just trying to put on a show for them. At least we came out with a dub (win).”

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