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Nick Richards returning for sophomore season

Nick Richards has a world of potential that UK hopes to harness in his sophomore season.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky Media Day Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to Kentucky Basketball, it’s never a given that any player is returning for the next season.

We’ve seen that come into play this offseason with guys leaving for the NBA Draft and transferring. Usually, those decisions don’t come as surprises.

However, there is the occasional guy like Charles Matthews or Dakari Johnson that surprises everyone with his decision to leave UK.

It doesn’t appear Nick Richards will be that type of surprise.

According to Jon Rothstein, Richards will return to UK for his sophomore season. There had been some thought that Richards could declare for the draft and see if he could get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine, but it looks like he’ll pass on testing the waters.

As a freshman this past season, Richards appeared in every game and recorded 5.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest. However, his role diminished as the season wore on, and he had just 11 points over his final 10 games.

There’s no question Richards has a lot of work to do, but we did see some flashes of the 7-0 center becoming a quality big man. He could make as big of a jump next season as any returning Wildcat, and it may lead to him being a first-round pick in what’s shaping up to be a very thin 2019 draft class.

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