Nick Richards – better known as “Second Semester Junior Nick Abdul-Jabbar Richards” around these parts – has been snubbed in the worst way imaginable.
Somehow, some way, the Kentucky star center was left off the candidate list for the award named after him.
This afternoon, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame released their top 10 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates, and Richards was left off the list.
Instead, here are the ten centers that made the cut:
2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Candidates
|Vernon Carey Jr.||Duke|
|Kaleb Wesson||Ohio State|
|Nathan Knight||William and Mary|
For those keeping track at home, Richards is currently averaging 14.6 points on 66% shooting to go with 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, making him just one of two players in college basketball to average 14-plus points on 60-plus percent shooting, eight-plus rebounds, and two-plus blocks per contest.
Udoka Azubuike? 12.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.
Kaleb Wesson? 14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game.
Factor in the roles each player on the list plays, team records, and overall school level, you’ll never convince me Richards isn’t deserving of one of those ten spots.
Before we officially start a riot in Springfield, MA, though, it should at least be known that we still have time for the selection committee to come to their senses.
While these are the official candidates for the award moving forward, players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2019-20 season. So while Richards was left off now, he could still make his way back on the list when the five finalists are announced in mid-March.
Until then, it’s completely fair to protest the egregious and inexplicable decision.
Richards needs to win this award. We must speak it into existence.
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 19, 2020