Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis has seen the light. Davis was blind when he walked into Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon, but he leaves with crystal clear vision after taking a front row seat to see Junior Nick Richards in action.
After Saturday’s eye-opening experience in Lexington, Davis could only marvel at the greatness that is Naismith Award Midseason 30 Watch List Junior Nick Richards.
“He may be the best center in college basketball,” Davis said in his postgame remarks, admitting Ole Miss came in with a plan to zone and double Kentucky’s big man, but Richards was still too much to shut down.
Richards’ own coach, John Vincent Calipari, wasn’t as high on the 16 and 7 afternoon, saying, “he didn’t play particularly well.”
But Cal did praise Richards for four very clutch free throws on two trips to the line as the game was coming down to its dramatic finish.
“How many of you were sitting there saying a seven-footer can’t make four in a row, and he makes four in a row,” Cal said. “BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM.”
It was those four free throws plus the four second-half buckets and five second-half rebounds that had Richards, and a couple others, pulling the Cats across the finish line.
Richards, the best center in college basketball.
Kentucky is 19-1 this season when he scores in double figures.