Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans out for Florida game due to personal reasons

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Ashton Hagans will miss Kentucky’s regular-season finale at Florida on Saturday.

Wildcats head coach John Calipari and Hagans both confirmed his absence on Twitter. The sophomore guard will sit out the matchup due to personal reasons. During Kentucky’s home loss to Tennessee on Tuesday, Hagans and Calipari appeared to exchange words on the sidelines. The Wildcats blew a 17-point lead and lost to the unranked Volunteers at Rupp Arena to snap an eight-game winning streak.

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Hagans has been a vital two-way presence for Kentucky this season. The 6-foot-3 guard is the team’s leader in assists and a standout perimeter defender. Hagans is averaging 11.5 points, 6.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Although Hagans has been a steady presence in the Kentucky starting lineup, he’s struggled with confidence on the offensive end at times this season. Hagans has only scored in double-figures six times over the past 12 games. His high point total in that span is only 12 points. And Hagans has become a non-factor as a perimeter shooter in that span by only shooting 4-for-23 from three-point range the past 12 games.

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Kentucky has been rolling even in the midst of Hagans’ offensive struggles. The Wildcats ran off a strong winning streak and locked up the SEC regular-season title the past several weeks. But if Kentucky is to make another deep run in March, they need Ashton Hagans to be on the floor and ready to go.

The SEC tournament now has an intriguing subplot next week as Hagans will likely re-join the team for the postseason stretch run. It’ll be interesting to see if this time away from the team can help the guard clear his head.