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Nick Richards is one of the 25 best players in college hoops, according to ESPN

So proud of Nick.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

Nick Richards is one of the 25 best college players in the country this season, according to ESPN. And that should not come as a shock to you folks.

Richards is ranked at No. 18 in the country by ESPN writer John Gasaway, midway through the season. Richards is the only Kentucky Wildcats player on the list.

Richards might be on the cusp of big things, or, alternately, maybe he’s enjoying a hot streak against so-so competition. In the past 11 days, he’s scored 51 points on 63% shooting inside the arc against Missouri, Georgia and Alabama. During that same span, the 6-foot-11 junior also blocked nine shots while having his way on the offensive glass. Is this the surge Kentucky fans have long been expecting from the No. 17 player nationally in the recruiting class of 2017? Possibly, and those fans will be even happier if Richards can capture all of the above gains while reducing his foul rate.

To see Richards regarded as one of the best players in the country is extremely satisfying given all the struggles and expectations put on him since he first stepped on campus. Richards had all the potential in the world, he just needed to find the confidence in himself, which is what he has done this season.

On tuesday, Kenny Payne shared some great shouts about Nick Richards’ growth that I suggest you read.

If Nick Richards can continue this trend of play, don’t be surprised to see him invited to the green room in June.