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John Calipari opens up about Nick Richards’ poor play and fall in the rotation

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Sophomore Nick Richards is having the same issues as last year, and it’s proving to be costly.

Aaron Gershon - A Sea of Blue

Nick Richards did not see the court until 15 minutes after the opening tip.

Despite playing better in his short amount of time in the floor of Kentucky’s win over Monmouth last night, Head Coach John Calipari said to expect Richards to see fewer minutes as he is now the fourth big man behind P.J. Washington, Reid Travis and the man who jumped him EJ Montgomery.

“You do understand I only played three big guys,” Calipari said when asked about why Richards did not see much time on the floor. “Only three big guys played. I didn’t play four.”

“So now who is the fourth big? Whoever chooses not to play with energy. Whoever goes to practice and if you’re not practicing, then you’re the fourth big, you’re out for a minute. Now you’ll get a chance to play, but you better play well because you’re that odd man out right now. So if you looked at our practice, you would say the fourth big on your team is Nick.”

This quote says a lot about the frustration level towards Richards poor play.

After a big performance in the Bahamas and then a solid night in Kentucky’s first regular season game at Rupp that saw Richards grab 19 rebounds against Southern Illinois, it seemed the sophomore might have turned the page on a rough freshman season.

Unfortunately for the big man, that hasn’t been the case. The 6-11 center’s numbers have decreased from a year ago, as he is only averaging 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Richards also hasn’t played great on defense overall, and his effort has been questioned as Calipari stated.

For Richards to see the floor more often, he’s going to have to work harder than anyone in practice and make the most of his limited minutes.

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