Nick Richards has unbelievable potential within him, and John Calipari seems to think so as well.
In his media day press conference, Calipari said that Nick Richards was “in the best shape of his three seasons” at Kentucky and is “playing well and playing confident.”
Confidence has been the biggest issue with Richards to this point, as he tends to lose faith in himself when things don’t go his way in a game, so hearing he’s playing with confidence is great news.
Calipari added that last year, playing against two “moose” in PJ Washington and Reid Travis may have hurt Richards’ confidence as a big man, but Calipari believes the 6-11 big man is ready for a big leap in Year 3.
One thing’s for sure: No one wants success for Nick more than Calipari.
“No one rooting for him more than me,” said Calipari.” Obviously, the expectation is this is his time. I hope he’s ready for it.”
But Calipari isn’t the only one who thinks Richards has made big strides. In an interview with The Athletic, freshman guard Tyrese Maxey had strong praise for the junior center.
“Nick has made humongous strides just since I’ve been here,” Maxey said. “He’s going to have a breakout year.”
Richards has shown flashes in his two seasons at UK, but Year 3 is the time for him to put it all together and bring out the unlimited potential that we all know he has. He’s all but assured of getting starter’s minutes this season, so he’ll have the chance to opportunity what he’s really made of.
And with a big season, Richards could hear his named called in the 2020 NBA Draft.