The rise of Nick Richards has not only been the biggest story of the Kentucky Wildcats’ season, but also one of the best stories in all of college basketball.
Sure, Richards came to college as a five-star prospect, as well as a one-and-done hopeful, but even the most talented players aren’t always able to make a major impact in Year 1.
In Richards’ case, it’s taken him three years of college hoops to finally tap into his full potential and play like a first-round NBA Draft pick. It’s been a road less traveled for five-star recruits at Kentucky, as nearly all of them have left for the NBA after two years at most of college ball.
That’s led to a stigma that Kentucky players are a disappointment if they’re not in the NBA after 1-2 years at the school, but Richards knows that’s not the truth.
What a great lesson for college basketball players from @iamnickrichards regarding enjoying your time in college and understanding the process. You don’t have to be a one and done sometimes it takes time. Enjoy both the process and experience. @KentuckyMBB— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) January 26, 2020
Following Saturday’s thrilling win over Texas Tech, a game in which Richards recorded 25 points, 14 boards and four blocks, the junior spoke about why it’s ok to be a one-and-done hopeful that ends up staying in college for multiple seasons:
This is a great comment from Nick Richards about his development.— Lee K. Howard (@HowardWKYT) January 26, 2020
"Just because I go to a school known for one and dones, doesn't mean I have to be one and done." pic.twitter.com/27AxnnAIF0
This is the Nick Richards I Know Keep Killing my brother don’t let ya foot off the gas ! @iamnickrichards— Hamidou Diallo (@hamidoudiallo) January 26, 2020