Recruiting Profile: Ashton Hagans
Patrick Ewing and his staff are still looking to fill two more scholarships for next season’s roster, and at least one of those will need to be occupied by a guard. Needless to say, it’s late in the recruiting cycle for the Class of 2018, but some of the options include late-bloomers, graduate transfers, de-commits, and re-classifications. Point guard Ashton Hagans represents the very top level of talent in each of those last two categories, and he could be a game-changing recruit for the Hoyas.
Weight: 185 pounds
Year: High school Class of 2019 (potential re-classification to 2018)
School: Newton High School (Georgia)
Recruiting Profile: Class of 2019
ESPN: Five-star recruit, No. 18 prospect
Rivals: Five-star recruit, No. 6 prospect
247Sports: Five-star recruit, No. 6 prospect
Widely regarded as the top point guard in the Class of 2019, Hagans has all the tools that Georgetown needs in a lead guard. At 6-foot-4 with a college-ready frame, he is known for his elite handle, court vision, and passing ability. Despite his height, he keeps his dribble low and tight and is able to navigate tight spaces with the ball. He’s capable of regularly beating his man off the dribble to get into the lane and create plays for himself and his teammates.
Hagans considers himself a pass-first guard and takes pride in setting up his teammates, and he can make almost any pass from anywhere. He occasionally likes to throw flashy passes, including behind the back and no-look passes, and his teammates always need to be ready to catch the ball at any time. Like many top point guards, he is particularly effective in transition, where his combination of athleticism and passing skills makes him very difficult to contain.
As a scorer, Hagans is an effective finisher around the rim, using his height, athleticism, and handle to get to favorable spots on the court. He’s right hand dominant at the rim, but he has good body control in the air and can finish through contact.
Hagans is still working to establish a consistent jump shot, but his form looks fine and he has shown the ability to hit the three off the catch and the dribble. More reps and practice time in a college program should help him as a shooter. Like many talented young point guards, Hagans does turn the ball over now and then, but that comes with the territory with any guard who can make as many plays as he can.
Hagans is also known as a strong on-ball defender, using his length and quick hands to disrupt opposing guards’ rhythm. He has also said that he takes pride in his defensive abilities. Hagans reads the game well and is capable of functioning as a ball hawk on defense, often initiating the fast break with steals. Overall, Hagans is an immediate impact player who will be a game-changer for whichever school is lucky enough to land him.
Originally a member of the Class of 2019, Hagans committed to Georgia in December, but amidst uncertainty surrounding Head Coach Mark Fox’s status at Georgia, he de-committed this week. In addition, Hagans is now considering re-classifying into the Class of 2018, which would make him eligible to play this fall.
Patrick Ewing and his entire staff went down to Georgia on Wednesday for Hagans and his Newton team’s game against Wheeler High School and fellow five-star prospect and Hoyas’ target E.J. Montgomery. The Hoyas appear to be making a late push for Hagans’ services, presumably with a priority on bringing him in as a member of the Class of 2018. Marquette will also be bringing its entire staff down to see Hagans this week, and numerous other schools will no doubt get involved.
One positive of this situation is that many of the top blue blood programs have already addressed the point guard position for next season. These schools include Kentucky (Immanuel Quickley), Duke (Tre Jones), UNC (Coby White), and UCLA (Aaron Holiday and Tyger Campbell). Ewing is working hard to get involved in this recruitment, and it certainly seems like a possibility that he could get in the door.
I’m not going to waste words here. Hagans would be a game-changing recruit, and would in my opinion immediately turn the Hoyas into an NCAA Tournament-caliber team next year. He would start immediately and would play big minutes until he moves on to the NBA. Hagans is the type of guard who can control the tempo of the game, break presses, get his team into sets smoothly, and help his team execute late in the game — in other words, he addresses almost all of Georgetown’s biggest weaknesses this season.
As previously stated on this site, the recruitment pitch for Hagans is simple. Georgetown can offer a starting job in a wide-open offense, an all-conference caliber frontcourt, the chance to help bring a historic program back to glory, and the opportunity to learn from a coach who knows what it takes to make it in the NBA. We’ll see how this one turns out.
Please let this happen.