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Nick Richards is finally having fun and it shows

Nick Richards broke out in a big way in Kentucky’s first game in the Bahamas, scoring a team-high 19 points to go along with three rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. What helped Richards transform from an insecure freshman to the sophomore sensation we saw tonight? Some simple advice from his family: go out and have fun. 

“My family members told me it didn’t look like I was having fun out there. It looked like I wasn’t really into the game as much as I was and I just went back and watched old clips of myself when I was younger and playing freely, and I just got back to that and hopefully I continue to play with that idea.”

“Oh wow,” John Calipari said of Richards after the game. “He’s not the same player. Like I told him, if you make your free throws like that, get fouled. Ball fake, don’t fade away. Go to the rim and shoot through people. He played well. Blocked some shots.”

Calipari said Richards has also been working with renowned sports psychologist Bob Rotella, although Richards declined to get into specifics about their conversations.

“I can’t really talk about what me and Bob talk about on the phone, but I try to call him once a week and we talk like 30, 40 minutes at a time. We talk about anything and he gives really good advice. He just tells you what he’s done for past players, All-Stars in the NBA. He’s a really good dude. He’s been helping me a lot.”

Calipari has noted Richards’ improved confidence throughout the summer, but reiterated that the big man had to demonstrate it in games to take the next step in his development; Richards certainly did that tonight, and gave all the credit to his teammates.

“I didn’t expect to play like that. I was just trying to let the game come to me. I wasn’t expecting to score 14 points in the first half, but I’ll give it to my teammates. They did a really good job of getting the ball in the right spots and finding me for open jump shots, open buckets.”

It’s best not to read too much into an exhibition, but Nick Richards’ performance was the story of the night. At 6-11, he’s Kentucky’s only real rim protector and tonight’s performance bodes well for the Cats if his confidence continues to grow. As for the answer to the million dollar question?

“Yes, I’m having fun out there,” Richards said, smiling.

It shows.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

9 Comments for Nick Richards is finally having fun and it shows

  1. Luether
    11:16 pm August 8, 2018 Permalink

    Good post, Mrs TT. Was also impressed with the confidence that Nick played with on both ends of the court…

  2. JMFATZ47
    11:18 pm August 8, 2018 Permalink

    Why did he “not expect” to play like that? Contradicts the entire article

    • Parker_UKFanNC
      12:52 am August 9, 2018 Permalink

      He’s just a humble guy who wanted to give credit to his teammates.

    • ClutchCargo
      9:31 am August 9, 2018 Permalink

      He’s saying he wasn’t looking to go crazy and score like he did, he was just going to get into the flow of the game.

  3. Angelo
    1:24 am August 9, 2018 Permalink

    Zoloft works great for performance anxiety!! Out to put it in the water like fluoride!!

  4. SGD
    6:14 am August 9, 2018 Permalink

    It is only 1 game, he had 1 game last year

    • 4everUKblue
      7:21 am August 9, 2018 Permalink

      And how many have you had???

    • kjd
      9:54 am August 9, 2018 Permalink

      Doesn’t matter.
      One exhibition game doesn’t matter.
      Work hard, play hard. Results should take care of themselves.