Well, our prodigal son, Nick Richards, is off the NBA Draft. After three seasons as a Wildcat, Richards has decided to forgo his senior season, with the hopes of becoming an NBA player.
Richards will go down as one of the more beloved Kentucky Wildcats in history. Because he stayed the course over three seasons and worked on himself and developed his game better than almost anyone we had ever seen.
Richards had a breakout year this past season, almost looking unstoppable by the time conference play rolled around.
If I have one messaged to an NBA GM, it’s as simple as this: #PickNick
Here’s what social media and the BBN had to say about Richards:
Thank you to everyone that was apart of the journey pic.twitter.com/gBXdCdMJOq— Nick Richards (@iamnickrichards) April 14, 2020
Of all the kids that we've coached who have elevated and benefited from the culture we've built here, I would say @iamnickrichards is at the top of the list. Nick's ability to self-evaluate and block out the clutter for the last three seasons has shown incredible maturity. https://t.co/oJrHgWPf2P— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 14, 2020
Watching @iamnickrichards develop into the dominant force he is now has been one of our favorite journeys to be a part of. The growth will continue in the @NBA.— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) April 14, 2020
Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.
➡️ https://t.co/0UVaKdw54q #LaFamilia pic.twitter.com/xX9ela4Ah3
Nick Richards quickly became one of my favorite Kentucky basketball players of all time, arguably the best success story of the John Calipari era.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) April 14, 2020
Not sure I've ever been so excited to see a player reach his NBA dreams. https://t.co/J0HKSFTUyy
Nick Richards officially out.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) April 14, 2020
Maybe the biggest improvement in one year in the history of UK basketball.
Best of luck to Nick in the NBA. https://t.co/CS0mhB7OQS
Of the 28 multi-year players in the Calipari era at Kentucky, only Tyler Ulis (+11.6 ppg) and Immanuel Quickley (+10.9 ppg) made a bigger jump in scoring average from one year to the next than did Nick Richards (+10.0 ppg).— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) April 14, 2020
I’m so happy for Nick Richards. Talk about someone that deserves this. He watched so many teammates reach their dreams the last two years. It’s his turn now.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) April 14, 2020
Nick Richards is headed to the league. #BBNpic.twitter.com/KkOZyvVHif— BBN Polls (@BBNPolls) April 14, 2020
Nick Richards worked so hard for this moment #DreamChaser #BBN— . (@LilJoeBHall) April 14, 2020
He was one of four players in the country to average at least 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while shooting at least 60.0% from the floor. He was in the 98th percentile of offensive efficiency in the Synergy national rankings and in the 88th percentile on defense.— Kentucky MBB Stats & Info (@UKMBBStatsInfo) April 14, 2020
Nick is heading to NBA.— Charlie Walter (@CharlieWalterTV) April 14, 2020
E.J Montgomery is the last decision to be made.
Cats fans worried about size right now, but they still will have Ware and Jackson at 6’9 plus they have some BIG guards.
The focus is now on a transfer center. 7’3 Matt Haarms needs a new home. Stay tuned https://t.co/RA4jCT9W7O
I would argue Nick is THE best success story of the Cal era. Congrats to a guy I’ve heard several folks around the program describe as “maybe the best person we’ve had here” under Calipari. A genuinely kind human. https://t.co/Be3PxrEvU6— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) April 14, 2020
The jump Nick Richards made is unmatched! I love Nick and I will miss him!— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard925) April 14, 2020
Nick Richards recorded exactly one double-double over his first 75 collegiate games. He had 10 in a 21-game span this season.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) April 14, 2020
My favorite @iamnickrichards interview in his three years at Kentucky.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) April 14, 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/GPNYeRpl0H
No senior Nick Richards. Happy for him. pic.twitter.com/qoGuUrDnqT— Kelly Harper (@Kamharper) April 14, 2020
Crazy to think that Nick Richards came in with that 2017 class that consisted of Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jarred Vanderbilt, PJ Washington, Quade Green and Jemarl Baker.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) April 14, 2020
Seems like an eternity ago.
Best of luck to Nick Richards at the next level! He is a perfect example of the player development that takes place at Kentucky. I will always remember JUNIOR NICK RICHARDS! https://t.co/jib4uA6Ddc— Brandon Ramsey (@BRamseyKSR) April 14, 2020
Nick Richards: “Thank you Big Blue Nation for welcoming me into your family. I heard your cheers and they meant everything to me.”— BBNation (@BBNation15) April 14, 2020
Nick Richards has declared for the draft and plans to forgo his eligibility pic.twitter.com/dtkVEv2T2S— Kentucky Men’s Basketball Daily (@kentucky_daily) April 14, 2020
By my count, since Nick Richards got to Kentucky, he’s watched 12 players leave for the NBA, and 10 players either transfer or graduate from the program.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) April 14, 2020
Nick Richards has officially declared for the NBA Draft. Can’t wait to see what Nick does at the next level. Over the last 3 years, he’s worked extremely hard and made huge improvements to his game. Super proud of him and wish him the best #BBN ⚪️— Wildcat News (@BigB1ueNation_) April 14, 2020
NBA MVP Nick Richards*— Chase Slone (@chaseslone15) April 14, 2020
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