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John Calipari expected LSU to back off Hagans

Ashton Hagans (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Ashton Hagans is a 28 percent shooter from 3-point range this season and it was no big surprise to Kentucky coach John Calipari that LSU backed off the UK point guard and left him open from 3-point range.

“There are a lot of times that I’ll watch the game from a year ago, unless the coach wasn’t there,” Calipari said after the 79-76 win over LSU. “But when I watched the tape I saw that they did not play Ashton in our building.

“I kinda came in with the idea that they’re not going to play Ashton again.”

So when that happened, Calipari already had a plan in place.

Hagans hit two 3-point shots in the second half before getting injured with just over six minutes to play. He finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.

“They put (Trendon) Watford on him and basically gave him space and just said, ‘We’re going to help (on other players,'” Calipari said. “That’s why I had told Ashton if they do that, ‘Shoot the ball, man. You’re shooting the ball great.’

“It’s hard though to make shots when they’re not playing you. You may think, well that’s easy. No, you’re looking like, ‘They’re not even guarding me.’ But he made two 3s in the second half.”

Calipari said on his weekly radio show Wednesday night that Hagans was “day to day” after suffering a thigh contusion. Kentucky will host Florida Saturday night.

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