– Hagans, the 2019 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, remains UK’s best on-ball defender with a team-high 58 steals. He’s a Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist for a second season in a row. With 119 swipes in 67 career games, Hagans is averaging 1.776 steals per game for his career. That rate is third all-time in program history, trailing only Rajon Rondo and Derek Anderson. And even those numbers don’t do him justice. His ability to disrupt an opposing team’s offense is as valuable as any basket or assist he can make. His presence was on full display in the win at Texas Tech. Hagans has been the consummate point guard in his sophomore season, doing a little bit of everything to affect the game. He is averaging 11.5 points, 6.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game while grabbing the leadership reins of a talented but once again young team. The second-year guard has boasted double-figure scoring in 20 games, including a career-high 26-point performance in the win over Utah Valley. He’s dished out three or more assists in every game and has five or more in 22 outings, including a career-high-tying 12 vs. UAB. His streak of 10 games with six or more assists was snapped with five dimes at Georgia. It was the best run by a Wildcat under John Calipari and the best run since Roger Harden dished six or more in 12 straight from Jan. 11 to Feb. 15, 1986. With 351 career dimes, he ranks 12th in program history in assists. His assist average is ranked 16th in the country and tops in the league (through games on March 7). Hagans has done all this while fighting through nagging injuries this season. He battled lower leg pain for the first handful of games to start the season, played through a left ankle sprain early in the SEC season and suffered a left thigh contusion recently that has limited him. Courtesy UK Athletics


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