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John Calipari: “Ashton (Hagans) is my point guard.”

Ashton Hagans missed all five 3-pointers he took Saturday and had four turnovers but John Calipari is not worried about his play. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Mississippi coach Kermit Davis believes Ashton Hagans is the nation’s best on-ball defender — and he might be.

However, he’s not the nation’s best 3-point shooting point guard. He was 0-for-5 from 3-point range in Saturday’s 67-62 win over Mississippi and is now shooting just 26 percent (13 of 49) from long range this season and more teams are going to dare him to shoot from 3-point range like the Rebels did.

Hagans also continued a dangerous trend from the last 11 games by making four turnovers — he has had four or more turnovers in five of the last seven games — and to complicate that he fouled out late in the game about 40 feet from the basket trying to fight his way through a screen rather than just going around it.

“He was better last game (when he had 11 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists at Vanderbilt). He struggled a little bit this game,”  Kentucky coach John Calipari said after Saturday’s comeback win. “He got beat up a little bit, but he’s fine.”

Calipari knows Hagans’ play has been scrutinized and even the sophomore point guard has admitted he has to play better. Yet the coach says he’s not that worried about him.

“He’s the least of our worries. Ashton is my point guard, and I’m with him. The one thing I do know, he’ll fight to win a game,” Calipari said.

“He wasn’t great at the end of this game. Very rarely does he make mistakes at the end. Usually he will come up with the ball to steal the rebound to win the game. He didn’t today.”

Calipari talked to Hagans in his office immediately after the game before even speaking to the media and mentioned the silly foul near midcourt late in the game.

“But like I said, he’s fine. I’ll say this about him: He’s not a robot, either. He’ll have bad games. I don’t know of anybody that every once in a while is not going to cop a bad game. It happens,” Calipari said.

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  1. Love the kid on the defensive end but I wanna pull my hair out every time he pulls up for a jumper or misses on a 1 footer. Very frustrating

  2. Nick only took 10 shots, EJ took none. Our guards go 2 for 22 from 3. Ashton is 3 for 11 overall, Immanuel 4 for 15. How did we win? That won’t cut it Tuesday in Baton Rouge. Why do our guards refuse to make post passes? My guess is they know they won’t get it back most of the time. When Nick sees that he isn’t getting the ball, he begins to force things and it throws his game off. Am I the only one who sees this?

  3. Oh, I forgot. I bet Will Wade takes notice of it.

    1. I agree, nostalgic33.
      When your guards go, what was it 16 of 43 in the game, and your best shooter goes 6 for 10, there is something wrong with that scenario.
      I think Hagans is pushing waaaay toooo much. He said the other day, the team goes as goes and he had to be the reason they win.
      That is not true at all, if he is part of a “team.” Yes, he as to be “part” of why they win, but he doesn’t have to be the “reason” they win. There is a big difference.
      I would much rather see Hagans getting 8-10 assists per game than taking 8-10 shots per game; especially, since he is not consistent on 3’s or layups.
      The kid plays hard and goes all out, but he just needs to involve the other players and take what the other team gives him. He doesn’t need 15-20 points a game, if he is getting 8-10 assists.

  4. NBA Ready

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