I told you. I told you months ago. And you laughed in my face.
Sophomore Nick Richards is an animal. He’s not the Nick Richards of yesteryear. He’s the new version with new confidence, better hands, the offense of Hakeem Olajuwon and the defense of five Dikembe Mutombos. If you’re to rank the greatest centers of all time, he’s at the top of the list. He’s Wilt Chamberlain meets Shaquille O’Neal. He’s George Mikan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Patrick Ewing and David Robinson all rolled up together in one freakishly big and athletic frame. And next time you’re debating LeBron versus Jordan, you’re debating who is second behind Sophomore Nick Richards. Put some respect on his name.
Now that we’ve all seen how right I was, I’m welcoming all comers to the Sophomore Nick Richards bandwagon. I could be bitter about the months of mockery, but I will instead allow everyone to board, free of any shaming. Save your apologies and your unwanted explanations for your doubt. Just know you’ve been sleeping on Sophomore Nick Richards for too long and now you’re all woke. Welcome to the Sophomore Nick Richards show. It’s a good one.
Other mid-Bahamas trip notes:
— Blue got in. Kentucky fans fill the Atlantis this week and they flooded the Imperial Ballroom for last night’s game. They’re wild, they’re loud, they’re loving every minute of it, and the ones who waited two hours to get in the game are crazy people. Big Blue Nation never disappoints. Even the drunk ones, and there are many here.
— Immanuel Quickley’s family is awesome. The loudest bunch of fans at last night’s game was the Quickley family. It’s my second time witnessing their passion and support. You may remember I wrote about the family when I traveled to Maryland for one of Quickley’s high school games earlier this year. They’re extremely nice and they’re the real cheerleaders and it’s going to be fun having them in blue. Be listening for them tonight and beyond. You’ll hear them.
— Reid Travis is enormous. Travis is built like a monster and he has magnetic hands on the glass. He struggled to actually put the ball in the cylinder last night, but we’re going to chalk that up to first game jitters. He’ll bounce back tonight.
— Ashton Hagans is Calipari’s best on-ball defender. With all due respect to Tyler Ulis, Hagans will be the best lockdown guard Cal has had at Kentucky. I think you’ll have to go all the way back to Rajon Rondo to find a UK guard that is so disruptive. Opposing guards are going to hate him this year.
— Keldon Johnson is out to kill someone at the rim. Opposing defenders, get out of his way. Rims and backboards, brace for impact.
— This team is going to be so fun to watch. If they play as fast as they played last night, we’re in for a lot of fun in 2018-19. Can’t wait to see them again tonight at 7 pm on the SEC Network against a better team.
But first, I have some sun to catch. Goodbye for now and welcome to the Sophomore Nick Richards club.