A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans among 15 named to Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list

The reigning Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year is being recognized for his stout defense once again. Kentucky men’s basketball’s Ashton Hagans was one of 15 players to appear on the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s midseason watch list for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award on Wednesday. He is the only player from the SEC listed. Players not on the midseason...

With family looking on, Ashton Hagans puts on a show as Wildcats complete sweep of Georgia

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans always seems to turn it up a notch against Georgia. With several of his family members in attendance, including his mother, Hagans scored 23 points and just missed a double-double with nine assists to lead No. 15 Kentucky to an 89-79 win over the Bulldogs on Tuesday night to complete a regular-season sweep. “It’s always good to go against my home state...

Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans expecting another tough contest against struggling Georgia Bulldogs

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans doesn’t think much will change when Kentucky takes on Georgia for the second time this season Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. “It was good to be back at home, but now we’re back in Lexington playing them,” said Hagans, a former Georgia Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year winner. “It’s the same game plan. We just go out there and play...

Ashton Hagans listed day-to-day as he returns to home state in Tuesday night matchup with Georgia

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans is returning to his home state, but it’s not known whether he will even play when No. 14 Kentucky takes on Georgia Tuesday night. Hagans suffered an apparent low ankle sprain in the Wildcats’ 71-59 win over Missouri last weekend in the team’s Southeastern Conference opener. Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus said Monday Hagans is listed day-to-day. “We...

Richards stands out as UK Cats defeat Missouri in the season’s first SEC game for both teams, 62-50

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Missouri had no answer for Nick Richards. Richards scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead No. 17 Kentucky to a 62-50 win over the Tigers Saturday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. It was the sixth double-double of the season for Richards, who poured in 13 points and grabbed 10 boards in a 78-70 win over No. 7 Louisville last week. The junior...

UK Wildcats looking forward to rivalry game against in-state foe Louisville, coming off two losses

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Nate Sestina isn’t looking back. The Kentucky senior is looking forward to his first taste of the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry set for Saturday. “We have a team full of guys that are ready to play and the game coming up is huge for us,” Sestina said. “It’s an in-state rivalry, it’s a big, another big toughness game for us. The tension around...

Transformed point guard Ashton Hagans a ‘star’ and a ‘pro’ as Cats win against Georgia Tech 67-53

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky coach John Calipari would match Ashton Hagans against any point guard in the nation. “He’s so far advanced,” Calipari said after Hagans scored 21 points to lead the No. 8 Wildcats to a 67-53 win over Georgia Tech Saturday. “There may be better point guards out there. I’d have to watch closely. I mean, the way he is playing — that he’s...

Jamie Vaught: Combination of Hagans, Maxey and Quickley give Cats one of nation’s best backcourts

Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley (Photos from UK Athletics) Kentucky has one of the nation’s best backcourts this season, featuring its three-headed monster lineup of guards Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley. As far as preseason hype goes, Hagans and Maxey had much more attention or publicity than Quickley as they garnered preseason Watch Lists and All-SEC honors....

Ashton Hagans helps carry short-handed Wildcats to 82-74 win over gritty Utah Valley Wolverines

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans wasn’t at full strength but had enough energy to carry Kentucky to victory Monday night. Hagans scored a carer-high 26 points to lead the ninth-ranked Wildcats to a 82-74 win over Utah Valley to help Kentucky survive its second scare in less than a week. “(I’m) still feeling it a little bit, but it’s all good,” he said. “(I’m) going to go...

With Ashton Hagans battling leg injury, John Calipari hopes five-day break will give Cats a chance to heal

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is already making adjustments to his practice schedule and hopes the five-day break will give his team a chance to get healthy. “I’ve had to change practice because we’re practicing with seven and eight guys,” he said following a stunning 67-64 loss to Evansville Tuesday night. “That makes it hard. So, I’ve got to figure out a way (to...

Jamie Vaught: UK sophomores Hagans, Howard will be key to success of respective teams this season

Ashton Hagans, in my opinion, is the most important player for the Kentucky Wildcats this season. As a valuable point guard on the hardwood floor, Hagans runs the show. The 6-3 sophomore from Cartersville, Georgia, will keep things going smoothly with his leadership. And Hagans sure can play sticky defense, creating chaos on his opponent. Last season, he was named SEC’s Co-Defensive Player of the...

Kentucky freshman guard Tyrese Maxey going after his piece of the bone against veteran Ashton Hagans

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyrese Maxey is always smiling but don’t let that grin fool you. Although an upbeat and personable player, the freshman guard hasn’t backed down from anyone on the team, especially veteran sidekick Ashton Hagans. “It’s like two dogs and one bone,” he said. “Two pit bulls going at it … that’s how I describe it. We’re both very competitive and we don’t...

UK draws national runner-up Texas Tech in Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 25 in Lubbock, Texas

The final piece of the 2019-20 University of Kentucky men’s basketball non-conference schedule came into place Thursday, and it’s a good one. The Wildcats will visit the 2019 national runners-up, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, on Jan. 25 at United Supermarkets Arena as a part of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. The full slate of games was announced Thursday by the respective leagues. It will...

UK basketball faces challenging non-conference schedule; Big Blue Madness set for Oct. 11

With the exception of a still-to-be-announced Big 12/SEC Challenge game, the University of Kentucky men’s basketball 2019-20 non-conference schedule was completed Tuesday with five additional games. Already packed with the annual slate of traditional powers and postseason contenders, UK added a multi-team event, the BBN Showcase, and finalized a two-year deal with Georgia Tech from the Atlantic...

Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery announces plans to return; Wildcats to play Auburn twice next season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today EJ Montgomery has decided to return for a second season at Kentucky. The 6-foot-10 forward opted to to return next season after declaring for the NBA Draft and gives the Wildcats another big man in the post. Nick Richards announced Tuesday that he would be back next season, giving the Wildcats four returnees, including guards Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley, on next...

UK’s PJ Washington going to NBA draft, ‘ready for next step’; Hagans returning next year

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington has decided to enter the NBA Draft and this time for good.   
“It’s been a little over a week since our season ended but it still hasn’t hit me that I’ve played my last game with Kentucky across my chest,” Washington said. “This place has been my home for two years and it’s hard for me to put in words how much I’ve grown in my time at...

Jamie Vaught: Despite early season setbacks, Cats rebound, make basketball in Kentucky fun again

UK Basketball is fun again. After that ugly season-opening loss to Duke in Indianapolis back on Election Day in early November, the Big Blue Nation suffered a horrible spell for nearly two months. The rabid fans had seen the Wildcats, a preseason No. 2 team behind Kansas, fall from grace. Kentucky was no longer a serious Final Four contender. Three days later, UK bounced back and defeated Missouri...

P.J. Washington posts second straight double-double as Cats capture lopsided win over Commodores

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Vanderbilt was no match for Kentucky and fast-improving PJ Washington. The seventh-ranked Wildcats showed no signs of a letdown after their win over No. 11 Kansas and rolled to an 87-52 rout over the Commodores Tuesday night in a game that was never close. Kentucky (17-3, 6-1) led Vanderbilt 45-15 at the break and kept the foot on the pedal in the second half to record...

Kentucky rolls past Mississippi State for fifth straight win, sets sights on Saturday matchup with Kansas

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky can now focus on Kansas. The eighth-ranked Wildcats prepared for the Top 10 showdown against the Jayhawks with a 76-55 victory over No. 22 Mississippi State Tuesday night. Kentucky extended its winning streak to five games going into the SEC-Big 12 Challenge this weekend. Kentucky coach John Calipari improved to 11-0 against Mississippi State. Kentucky notched...

UK’s Ashton Hagans scores career-high 23 points as Cats top Georgia Bulldogs Tuesday night in Athens

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans had a career night in a return to his home state. The Kentucky freshman guard scored a career-high 23 points to lead the 12th-ranked Wildcats to a 69-49 win over Georgia Tuesday night in Athens. Hagans, Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball last season, de-committed from the Bulldogs after a coaching change last spring and chose to sign...