Calipari excited to have starters returning

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2019

For just the second time in his 10 years at Kentucky, John Calipari will have a starting point guard returning to lead his team.

Andrew Harrison came back for a sophomore season and UK went 38-0 before losing in the Final Four to Wisconsin in 2015. Now the Cats will bring back point guard Ashton Hagans from a team that reached the Elite Eight before falling to Auburn.

“It’s nice to have players back. We have four really quality players back,” Calipari said. 

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In addition to Hagans, Kentucky also returns Nick Richards, EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley off last year’s team. For some teams that might not be a lot, but for Kentucky it is a lot.

“The last time we had four players back who were quality players like that was 2014-15. I enjoy coaching guys two, three and four years,” Calipari said. “In this, what I do, you just want people when they leave to be prepared and ready for success. That’s the whole thing. 

“We’ve had some guys leave too early, but it wasn’t my choice. They were counseled, ‘It might be too early. You might want to think about this.’ But, when they decide to do it, you’re all over it to help them.  But it’s nice to have guys back.”