A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky sophomore Ashton Hagans declares for the NBA Draft, gives up last 2 years of eligibility

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The expected exodus of Kentucky basketball players to the NBA Draft has officially started. Sophomore guard Ashton Hagans declared for the NBA Draft on Sunday and has opted to remain in the draft, giving up his last two years of eligibility. It wasn’t clear if he had signed with an agrent. Hagans is the first of probably four or five players from the 2019-20 team...

Calipari says at least five players will enter NBA Draft, including SEC Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is used to rotating rosters. The Kentucky coach is expecting more turnover next season. Calipari said he believes at last five players to declare for the NBA Draft, including Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley, along with Nick Richards, Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery and Tyrese Maxey. “My guess is four to five guys would probably...

Kentucky coach John Calipari wants Ashton Hagans in ‘great frame of mind’ heading into SEC Tournament

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari isn’t worried about Ashton Hagans and the Kentucky coach expects to meet with the sophomore point guard soon to sort out their differences as the Wildcats prepare for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. “My hope is we’ll talk (Monday) or (Tuesday) and I think he’ll be fine,” Calipari said Monday during the SEC Teleconference. “Whether I start...

Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards day-to-day as Wildcats prepare to host Florida Gators at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards didn’t practice Thursday and it’s uncertain if both players will be able to play when Kentucky hosts Florida on Saturday. Hagans missed the final five minutes of Tuesday’s game with LSU because of what appeared to be thigh injury, while Richards came down on his ankle after dunking late in Kentucky’s 79-76 win in Baton Rouge. Kentucky...

Jamie Vaught: Calipari asks media, ‘What did you learn about my team?’ after scare from Vanderbilt

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari loves teaching his players how to play and respect the game. He really enjoys his role. Instead of Coach Cal, we perhaps should start calling him Professor Cal. And he probably couldn’t resist an opportunity to teach the media folks a thing or two like he did after 13th-ranked Kentucky’s 71-62 comeback win over Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena Wednesday...

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...