Kentucky basketball picked up a big win today, blasting Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center 71-58. Freshman Ashton Hagans was a big reason.
Hagans has come on very strong for the Wildcats over the last few weeks, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
During the upset win over North Carolina in Chicago, Hagans tied a program record with eight steals in the game.
He had three today, to go with 11 points and three assists, and numerous high-energy defensive plays that may not necessarily show up on the stat sheet.
He also isn't afraid to get into it with rival players, something that will probably endear him to Big Blue Nation.
Late in the game, John Calipari didn't appreciate the jawing that Ashton Hagans was doing with the game in hand.
With just minutes left in the game, and UK's win in hand, Hagans got into it with Louisville guard Darius Perry.
That drew the ire of Coach Cal on the sideline, who didn't think he players needed to say a thing given the performance.
That didn't stop Hagans from playing with a chip on his shoulder right down to the wire though.
In the waning moments, Hagans intercepted a UL inbounds pass, and dribbled out the clock while throwing the "L's down" hand gesture to mock the rival Cards, and waving goodbye to the home fans.
The taunting didn't end there either.
Kentucky has improved all year so far, and looks like a different team than the one that suffered a blowout loss to Duke to open the season.
Hagans' expanded role has a lot to do with that. Calipari's team isn't going top be a fun one for opponents to run in to as we move into conference play here.