Everyone wanted Keion Brooks’ tip-in to end the game in regulation. That would have been an incredibly dramatic ending, beating the Louisville Cardinals at the buzzer. But if that had fallen, we would have never gotten to see the future of Kentucky basketball: clutch Nick Richards.
Richards played well throughout the game, getting nine rebounds in regulation and playing fantastic defense. But after getting his fourth foul with several minutes remaining in the second half, Nick Richards became a different person. He played smart defense, got buckets, and came up clutch on both ends of the floor during overtime.
Richards had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the game. He scored seven of those points in the extra period, one of those buckets being a put back after a HUGE offensive rebound. He also hit three out of three free throws in overtime, putting Kentucky back up for good at 72-70.
Richards has been solid for most of the season. But if you can imagine the amount of confidence a performance like this could give a player like Richards, I would not be surprised to see him come out as a monster in the next few outings.
Tyrese Maxey may have led the team in points (27), but Nick Richards was the star of the game. And if this post game reaction from the Kentucky student section is any indication after he dropped the L’s down, this game by Richards will be one of a long line of legendary performances against the Cardinals.