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John Calipari on Ashton Hagans: “We’re going to go with whoever we have.”

Kentucky’s second-half rally beat Florida. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

Top-seeded Kentucky has a double-bye in the Southeastern Conference Tournament and will take on the winner of the Alabama-Tennessee contest at 1 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

No. 2 Auburn will take on the Texas A&M-Missouri winner at 7 p.m Friday., while third seed LSU will play South Carolina, Arkansas or Vanderbilt at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Mississippi State is a No. 4 seed and meets Florida, Ole Miss or Georgia at 2:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Kentucky, which rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat Florida 71-70 in the regular-season finale, defeated Alabama 76-67 on Jan. 11 in Lexington and split with the Volunteers this season. The Wildcats (25-6, 15-3) defeated Tennessee 77-64 in Knoxville on Feb. 8 and dropped a disappointing 81-73 decision  last Tuesday, ending the team’s eight-game winning streak.

A week that began in disappointment for Kentucky ended up in jubilation.

“They were pouring water on each other,” UK coach John Calipari said. “And this game gave us a higher seed in our conference tournament (which it didn’t). It didn’t, and they’re pouring water on each other in there, so they love to win.”

Kentucky rebounded from the setback and recovered from an 18-point deficit in the second half to complete a regular-season sweep and a fourth straight win over the Gators.

Kentucky was without point guard Ashton Hagans who missed the trip to Gainesville to sort out “personal issues” and leading scorer Immanuel Quickley fouled out with nine minutes remaining in the contest.

Calipari fully expects Hagans to be back with the team next week.

“Hopefully what you’ll see is an inspired young man,” the Kentucky coach said. “And if he doesn’t think he’s ready for that, then he’s not ready. We’re going to go with whoever we have.”

Like Calipari, junior Nick Richards is looking forward to Hagans’ return.

“That’s our brother,” he said. “We love him. We can’t wait for him to come back. We love him, we’re going to pray for him, we’re going to be there for him. But we had to do it today without him. We just have to be patient with him.”


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  1. Just heard Aston Hagans is being investigated about a video he posted with a was of money in his hand. I just wonder did it had something to do why he set out yesterday game.

    1. Is this the deal from a year or so ago. I have heard nothing new. If you did, please share where so I can look

      1. Larry. I got the source from sea of blue column and also KSR has a story about it

        1. I found it. Apparently it is an old video that UK already knew about and had checked out

  2. Wad of money that is

  3. Thanks Larry, I read it some Louisville media brought thisup over the weekend and doesn’t suprise me.

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