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Could UK signees co-exist in UK backcourt if Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans both return to UK?

BJ Boston

By LARRY VAUGHT and recruiting writer Krysten Peek believes guard BJ Boston is the best player in Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class even though he is not ranked quite as high as signee Terrence Clarke, another guard. Boston has made a significant climb in the recruiting rankings to where he is also a top 10 recruit now like Clarke.

“I have seen a lot of Boston this year. He has even grown a little from the summer,” she said. “He has a tight handle and his shot release is so high. He’s confident from shooting 2-3-4 steps behind the (3-point) arc. He also likes to get to the rim and has a swagger about him. Confidence is not an issue for this kid.”

Point guard Devin Askew — who had 43 points in a recent playoff game — is also part of the 2020 Kentucky recruiting class. Three of UK’s top players this year — freshman Tyrese Maxey, sophomore Immanuel Quickley and sophomore Ashton Hagans — are all guards. Maxey is listed as a lottery pick in NBA mock drafts but what if Hagans and Quickley both stay at UK. Could they co-exist with Boston, Clarke and Askew?

“Maybe they could. I’m not sure,” Peek said. “Ashton would stay at the one and Devin would fall in line behind him. With Immanuel and BJ, it would be a battle for playing time.”

Peek knows Quickley is playing as well as he has in his two years at UK and thinks he might opt for the draft. He had a career-high 26 points against Florida last week, including 22 in the second half, and had scored 20 or more points five times in nine games after the Florida win.

“If he waits a year, that next draft class is so talented and so good,” Peek said. “Players have to take that into consideration. I think Immanuel now is a second rounder and it might be time for him to make the move.”

Blue Ribbon College Basketball publisher Chris Dortch, who also writes for, says a player believing he’s ready for the NBA and actually being ready are two different things as shown by over 80 underclassmen declaring for the draft last year when only 60 draft spots were available.

“Maxey is undoubtedly in the best position in terms of overall draft stock because he’s forecast as a high lottery pick by many,” Dortch said. “I wonder if Quickley and Hagans might be like (Nick) Richards and still think they have more to learn. But you just never know what might drive guys.”


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  1. Hagans has played his way out of the draft.
    Not sure about Quickley, but I don’t think he is anywhere near ready.
    There is not a player on this team that can stay focused for 40 minutes; Nick is the closest they have.

  2. This team will lose several players whether they are NBA ready or not, including Hagans, Richards, Quickley, and Maxey. That is the way this system has worked and is intended to work by its designer.

  3. The Professor is right. They will all go, even if they are not ready! I it hard for an 18-20 year old to understand. The NBA stars are blinding them. Most players would be smart to stay in college for four years and then give the NBA a chance. It is just too tempting for most!

  4. They will go because they do not want to come back and live down the upcoming implosion this team is about to experience. The exceptions are Nick and EJ. My guess is Nick will leave because he has had enough and EJ will transfer. to a team that has a dominant big man. EJ is not ready to be that man. Keion will not go to the draft, but I am not sure how he sees his future at UK either. Johnny may well be in the same boat as Keion. If things really go South with this team (a loss to Florida on Saturday, an SEC tourney semi-final loss, and a second or third game loss in the Dance), I would say transfer would be their choice. We will have a bunch of wings with no true point guard or center next year. It very well could end up being next year’s version of North Carolina this year. This OAD crap is ruining college basketball and could very well set our program back a good 3 to 4 years. Is anyone else having fun yet?

  5. I just heard something on WLAP Sports Talk about a shouting match between Calipari and Hagans on the bench during the second half.

    I would Like to know if this actually occurred, because if it did, Hagans needs to ride the pine for the rest of the season.

  6. At this point and time, in my opinion, Maxey is a better point guard for this team than Hagans. Hagans is good defensively, but right now, that is the only part of his game that is helpful. He can’t shoot outside, doesn’t rebound, and is lucky to shoot 50% on layups. He is better than this, but we have not seen it for a while.
    If I was Cal, I would have Hagans backing up Maxey for a while and start Brooks in his place. I would just have to see what would happen.

  7. I agree with both of you. I said last night Hagans needs to ride the pine for a while. Then today when I heard about the trouble on the bench, Hagans needs to regroup and heal up for the Tournament. Losing to Tn. is embarrassing!!!

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