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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Nick Richards About to Play With Some Big Boys

I think the play of Nick Richards has been the top storyline of this UK basketball season so far.  Not only has he shown improvement in several areas of his game, but the consistency he has shown so far has been very encouraging.  With Nate Sestina out for several weeks, Richards stepped right into a bigger role and has become this team’s leading scorer.  And whether or not you think that is a good thing, it has been a thing that has helped UK through some tight games.

But I would caution people on one thing when it comes to Richards play so far.  He has not been playing very many guys his size, either in height or weight, in UK’s first 8 games.  Take a look at each opponent’s biggest starter so far in the first 8 games:

Nick Richards: 6’11”, 245 lbs.

Michigan State (7 points, 4 rebounds)
Xavier Tillman: 6’8”, 245 lbs.

Eastern Kentucky (21 points, 10 rebounds)
Darius Hicks: 6’8”, 225 lbs.

Evansville (6 points, 6 rebounds)
Deandre Williams: 6’9”, 190 lbs.

Utah Valley (21 points, 10 rebounds)
Brandon Morley: 7’0”, 225 lbs.

Mount St. Mary’s (19 points, 6 rebounds)
Malik Jefferson: 6’9”, 230 lbs.

Lamar (10 points, 13 rebounds)
David Muoka: 6’10”, 210 lbs.

UAB (16 points, 9 rebounds)
Tamell Pearson: 6’10”, 223 lbs.

Fairleigh Dickinson (12 points, 10 rebounds)
Kaleb Bishop: 6’8”, 210 lbs.

Richards has only faced up with one guy who weighs as much as he does, Xavier Tillman of Michigan State, and in that game Richards had his lowest rebound output.  And he’s only faced one player who was 6’11” or taller, Morley from Utah Valley.  Now in that game Richards had a huge game, collecting 21 points and 10 boards, but Morley was also giving up 20 pounds to Richards.  I want to see Richards up against some guys with his height and bulk and see how he handles that.  And luckily, we’ve got that coming up.  Take a look at some guys Richards will be matching up with soon:

GEORGIA TECH: James Banks III, 6’10”, 250 lbs.
OHIO STATE: Kaleb Wesson, 6’9”, 270 lbs.
LOUISVILLE: Steven Enoch, 6’10”, 255 lbs.
MISSOURI: Jeremiah Tilmon, 6’10”, 260 lbs.

Richards is set to play 4 guys in the next 5 games who carry more weight than him and all stand at least 6’9”.  And Utah, who I didn’t list here, has a 7-foot starting center but is slight in frame.  These next 5 games will show me a lot about what Nick Richards can truly be this season.  If he still remains a double-double threat and one of the team’s leading scorers, then I think we have officially seen the transformation of Richards into a real key piece on this team.  If we see him bullied and in foul trouble, with low rebound numbers and turnovers, then I worry what we saw in these first 8 games was just a big guy bullying smaller players.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

7 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Nick Richards About to Play With Some Big Boys



  1. meeksfor3
    10:40 am December 13, 2019 Permalink

    The key is for the guards to get him the ball in position to score. It all starts with good entry passes and the guards being able to beat their man off the dribble and dish to Nick for easy lobs.



  2. Corder
    11:01 am December 13, 2019 Permalink

    I think the big key for Richards is if things don’t go his way can he keep his head up and not revert back to his old ways. His confidence has been a big key in the way he has played this year. What will be interesting is if he struggles does he still do the small things that make him a solid part of this team. Playing solid D, getting rebounds and easy put backs and blocking shots. He has come along way since his first year and I hope he can keep up what we have seen in the first part of this season. Also need EJ to play his game as well and I think that will help take the pressure off of Nick.



  3. BluemanGreen
    11:36 am December 13, 2019 Permalink

    The big key is how many tick tack bs fouls will they call on him? If they call it straight up we are good. If they send him to the bench with 2 touch fouls 5 mins in then he is screwed like anybody else would be



  4. bigblue2284
    1:26 pm December 13, 2019 Permalink

    You can expect his play to shrink in the next five games. He doesn’t play well against like sized competition. This has been proven time and time again, false hope against bad teams and complete let downs against good teams.



    • BluemanGreen
      1:36 pm December 13, 2019 Permalink

      He hasn’t got much playing time against big competition either. It’s on now!



  5. VirginiaCat
    2:19 pm December 13, 2019 Permalink

    If Nick can bang with the big boys, we have a decent shot this year. If he shrinks from the competition, it will be another year of starting the year highly ranked and then fading at the end. I am pulling for the big guy.



  6. Aar
    2:25 pm December 13, 2019 Permalink

    I’ve got all of the confidence in the world in Richards and every Wildcat. They will all be the best versions of themselves by March! (injuries aside)