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Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards Injury Report, Presented by 21C Lexington

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Will Nick Richards (ankle) and Ashton Hagans (thigh) be able to play tomorrow vs. Florida? According to John Calipari, the jury is still out.

“Neither [Ashton] nor Nick practiced yesterday and that’s why I went in, I wanted to see. We’ll see. They’re day to day, both of them.

Richards met with reporters before Calipari took the podium and said he is planning on practicing today. He suffered the ankle injury after landing on the ball coming down from a dunk late in the second half vs. LSU, but was able to play the rest of the game.

“It was pretty painful,” Richards admitted. “When I watched the video, I was very surprised I didn’t break my ankle, actually. It was actually pretty bad, but during the game I had a lot of pain and right after the game, I just started getting treatment on it to hopefully fix it.”

Ashton Hagans was also dressed for practice today. With about seven minutes to go vs. LSU, he fell (or some may say, was shoved) to the court going after a loose ball. After attempting to shake it off during a timeout, he checked out of the game, went to the locker room, and eventually returned with an ice pack on his leg. The official diagnosis from Kentucky was a left thigh contusion.

Immanuel Quickley was unsure of Hagans’ status, but said that Hagans was already having back pain from a fall he took in a previous game.

“I’m not sure. I just know from what everybody else knows, that he took a hard spill, I think it started from, I can’t remember what game it was, he took a hard spill on his back. I think it hurt him more at LSU, so we hope we can get him back but if not, we’re just going to have to be ready to play.”

Calipari said if Hagans can’t go, Quickley and Tyrese Maxey will share point guard duties. Quickley said the thing he and Maxey will have to focus on most is replacing Hagans’ toughness, especially on defense.

“It’s really obviously, but honestly, his defense, his leadership, toughness, plays. He makes winning plays down the stretch, whether it’s offense or defense. Getting guys shots, things like that. Just that toughness he brings, day in and day out.”

“I think we’re the same in a lot of ways as well, just being able to be versatile, offensively and defensively,” Quickley said when asked to compare his game to Hagans’. “But differently, he’s more of a drive-first [guard]. [Tyrese and I] probably shoot more jumpers than he does, but just as effective. He can make plays off the dribble, but we can make plays as well. We just have to make up for that toughness and that defensive stuff that he brings, those winning plays, like I said. We just have to make up for that.”

If Richards and Hagans both can’t go, Calipari joked that Ben Jordan, the baseball player, will see some playing time (“He can go out there and throw strikes”); however, he did say that even though both Richards and Hagans were out yesterday, Kentucky had one of its best practices yet.

“I’ll tell you what, we had one of our best practices with six guys yesterday. We went a full practice, which is our Thursday [routine]. The day before, I was thinking, maybe I should back up a little bit — not because of the injuries, because I didn’t know whether they’d practice or not, just it’s late [in the season]. We went two hours and something yesterday, and we went. They competed, they got better, they had great body language, there was — we went from one thing to another. We got better yesterday and you’re just trying to tell them, let’s not waste any time. ”

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2023-01-30