Height/Weight: 6’3, 192 lbs.
The speedy guard from Georgia is a pass first point guard with impressive athleticism. His point guard tendencies are elite and intangibles are arguably some of the best country. Duke’s Tre Jones is the only other point guard, who is also currently helping lead a powerhouse team, that is at the same level defensively as Hagans.
He’s truly an amazing defender that will pick up players full court, possessing the ability to swing the momentum at any given moment with solid defense.
Hagans’ top level speed is what separates him offensively, combined with his athleticism. A fluid mover without the ball, he keeps his defenders working constantly while Ashton hardly seems gassed at all.
Ashton is also an above average ball handler with a sizable wingspan at 6’8. He is able to break down the defense in multiple ways with the ball in his hand. He’s got a unique in-and-out dribble and showcases the ability to keep the play alive with his ball-handling. Add to that the fact that he has solid strength for his size and has a similar build to Eric Bledsoe. Overall, you can tell that he is a very unselfish player that guys love to play with all the time.
The size and athleticism is attractive for a point guard. Once he takes his first step towards the rim, if he is in front of his defender, he is going to find the open man once the defense collapses. His decision making is on point too as he’s not afraid to lay it up himself if the pass is not there. Hagans, being such a solid floor general, can lure the defense to sleep and score key buckets when his defender assumes he is going to be passive and distribute the ball.
Hagans’ ceiling largely relies on how his shot continues to improve. He doesn’t take many shots at all from beyond the arc and just really isn’t a jump shooter. He can score at the rim, but with him lacking size and having average athleticism he does not live in there. He hasn’t had to really shoot with him being quicker than most of his opponents. From what we have seen though, he has to improve with his shooting motion and consistency with his follow through to become a better shooter.
While he is a solid defender as I mentioned before, be can tend to go for the steal and gamble too often and that can come back to hurt him on a solid defensive possession. He has to become a smarter player defensively at the next level. He’ll often ruin his sold defensive possession by going for a steal or block when it’s simply unnecessary.The gambling could see him on the bench constantly if he doesn’t learn to choose to cut passing lanes more wisely at the next level.
He is constantly trying to get downhill a little too much, which sometimes leads to a poor offensive possession when he’s trying to play a lot of 1 on 1 basketball. Floor generals can’t be forcing the issue as that sets poor examples for their teammates. Ashton Hagans knows better and he’ll just have to adjust a bit when he moves to the next level.
The Kentucky point guard will continue to improve as a defender, possessing elite point guard intangibles, and could become a late first round pick if he can lead his Wildcats team to a beneficial tournament run in March.
As of right now, I see him as a sure fire second round pick given his defensive ability, but if he could prove that he is more than just a one-dimensional offensive player, that can quickly change before June.