Five-star Kentucky signee Nick Richards recently received some high praise from his high school coach.
Mike Rice coached Richards in high school and is the former head coach at Rutgers. He recently talked to SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker about what he sees in Richards and what he can accomplish next year in Lexington.
“He can guard one through five about as well as any 7-footer has in a long time,” Rice said. “So I think he has such a big upside and Kentucky is getting a special person.”
Those are strong words from Rice, and it will be interesting to see how teams play Kentucky offensively next year. This past year, we watched teams implement a significant amount of pick and roll plays to create mismatches.
If Richards is able to guard multiple positions, that significantly increases his defensive value, even more so when taking into account his ability to block shots and be a force on the defensive glass.
Richards is relatively new to basketball, only having played organized basketball for about four years.
“It’s scary, from when I started two and a half years ago to where he is now,” Rice told Tucker. “He came into basketball late, so his basketball instincts aren’t there yet, but they’ve come on so much. No one moves like him. It’s unfair that a 7-foot kid moves like that.”
Richards will likely continue to grow his basketball instincts with more experience. That has to be an exciting prospect for Kentucky fans.
Kentucky is still in the running for Mohamed Bamba. Richards has previously said he would welcome Bamba into the fold and that the two would be an exceptional shot-blocking tandem for the Wildcats.