With the college and high school hoops season in full swing, Nick Richards is making his case to be UK’s biggest commitment in 2017.
The five-star center out of Queens (NY) is currently ranked 15th overall by 247 Sports and 19th by Rivals.com. Those rankings may increase if he keeps up his current pace in his senior season.
In last week’s City of Palms Tournament, Richards was one of 247’s biggest standouts at the heralded event.
Nick Richards: The 6'11" Kentucky commit was much more engaged in his second game, on both ends of the court, for the local battle against Hudson Catholic (NJ) playing out on a Florida hardwood. Richards, who has committed to Kentucky, showed extended flashes of his significant upside. Although he only took six shots, he finished through contact and was able to knock down all five of his FTs. Richards used his length and positioning to secure nine rebounds, including eight on the defensive glass. Defensively, Richards was able to swat two shots, as Hudson Catholic looked to penetrate into the heart of the Patrick School defense. His motor, which has sometimes been an issue in the past, was on for long stretches. The five-star center has been able to transform his body and improve his overall conditioning. A big development may be in terms of his improved face-up game, but he's most effective in the low-post for the foreseeable future.
247 National recruiting director Jerry Meyer went as far to say that Richards may deserve top-five consideration.
Love what I'm seeing from UK signee Nick Richards. Playing w alert and aggressive athleticism. Making skilled plays. https://t.co/QkeilL95bi— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) December 21, 2016
As for a ranking ceiling for Nick Richards, I think you can make a top 5 argument. https://t.co/DHgTrms7N6— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) December 21, 2016
Meyer added that “Tyson Chandler is a player who comes to mind while watching Richards.”
HoopSeen’s Justin Young was also impressed with what he saw from Richards:
10x more impressed with him this week than the guys above him (ie Ayton, Carter). https://t.co/6tVTjK02zF— Justin Young (@JustinDYoung) December 21, 2016
Despite his immense potential, Richards was ranked in the 15-20 range of most recruiting services this summer because of his raw offensive game, but by all indications, that’s improved significantly this fall.
Our own Timothy Coleman has been saying Richards could end up being right there with guys like Mohamed Bamba and Wendell Carter in terms of the best big men in the 2017 class. It’s certainly looking like that may play out, which is great news for UK next year.