Why John Calipari Kept Ashton Hagans on the Court

Nick Roushover 2 years

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Aritcle written by:Nick RoushNick Roush

@RoushKSR

Ashton Hagans did not bring his A-game to the Elite Eight. The freshman point guard struggled on both ends of the floor. As Jared Harper's primary defender, the Auburn point guard scored 26 points. While leading Kentucky's offense he turned it over seven times and only finished with ten points, leaving quite a few points off the scoreboard near the rim. Despite Hagans' struggles, Calipari played him 39 minutes. "Well, you go through a whole season and some of the stuff you have to understand is bigger than one game," Claipari explained. "I know everybody will go nuts and say what are you talking about? There are times you have to let guys play through stuff and you got to get them to change on run. Then they understand that the only thing they're trying to conquer is themselves. If you don't like how you're playing, change." As Calipari noted, the alternative to Hagans wasn't at his best either.  Immanuel Quickley took six shots, all threes, and only made one. "Immanuel couldn't make a shot. So he wasn't exactly playing confidently, either. We put Jemarl in. He got scored on a few times right there and fouled it. I felt comfortable with Ashton. I know he was turning it over and -- but you know, Tyler -- we just -- guys didn't play well,"  Calipari said. P.J. Washington was good enough in the post, but he didn't have enough help from the backcourt. Calipari gave Auburn credit, but to put it bluntly, Kentucky's guards just didn't bring it when it mattered most. "You've got to have better perimeter play," Calipari said, "and we have all year until today." [mobile_ad]

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2021-09-20

UTC-42157

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