The accolades are beginning to pour in for Nick Richards. Andy Katz just named Richards the NCAA March Madness National Player of the Week for his performance in Kentucky’s 76-74 win at No. 18 Texas Tech.
On Saturday, Richards played a career-high 39 minutes, finishing with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 blocks. The only other player in the John Calipari Era with that stat line? Anthony Davis (vs. Arkansas on Jan. 17, 2012). In fact, Richards has one up on AD because he did it against a ranked opponent. He also had 20 points and eight rebounds in Kentucky’s win over Georgia earlier in the week.
Richards’ double-double was his eighth of the season and ninth of his career. He shot 7-10 from the field and a career-high 11-14 from the free-throw line, including 5-5 in overtime. He’s averaging 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds over the last eight games. Kentucky is 11-0 this season when Richards has eight or more rebounds, 4-0 when he gets at least 20 points.
The SEC’s weekly awards will be announced in a few hours, so keep making room in that trophy case, Nick.