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Will Wade: Nick Richards “totally controlled the game defensively”

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@KentuckyMBB

A lot of talk about last night’s 79-76 win over LSU has centered around Immanuel Quickley and Nate Sestina — and rightfully so — but it couldn’t have happened without Nick Richards. Once again, the junior big man was a force down low, finishing with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 blocks, just one shy of his career high.

Afterwards, Will Wade said the Tigers had no answer for Richards inside.

“Killed us. Killed us to me. We talked all week about playing off two and showing Richards the ball and we just go in there and throw the ball off the backboard.”

Wade did some quick math at the podium, concluding that LSU’s frontcourt of Emmitt Williams, Darius Days, and Trendon Watford was a combined 9-33, proof of Richards’ ability to not only block, but alter shots, as well as take charges.

“Not gonna get it done. Not gonna get it done. Richards totally controlled the game defensively. He’s as good as there is in the league in getting in the charge circle with the shields. He’s gotten in great shape, his body looks great. We just couldn’t finish over him.”

LSU guard Skylar Mays agreed.

We haven’t seen a rim protector as good as Nick Richards. He did a great job of controlling the paint and it made it tough for us. That’s kind of our bread and butter, and he definitely made it a lot harder for us today.”

Sestina said he knows from practice that going up against Richards in the lane is straight up “intimidating.”

“For any team driving into the paint — we have really good defenders that are guards, so if you get by our guards and you go in for a layup thinking you have an uncontested layup, you have a seven-foot center with a 40-inch vert coming at you too. He’s really good at walling up too. He’s not always just blocking stuff. A lot of times he’ll jump straight up and you’re putting it straight into his arms and he’ll just grab it. But it’s really intimidating. It’s intimidating in practice when you’re trying to go up for a layup in practice and he throws it off the wall. I think for any guard going in it’s an intimidating thing.”

So far this season, Richards averaging 2.3 blocks per game, well above his average of 1.3 last year. He’s also connecting on 65.9% of his baskets, which is on pace to finish in the top three on Kentucky’s all-time list.

“I always say, if you have no post presence, your team is a fraud,” Calipari said last night. “And that doesn’t mean the guy has to be seven foot, but you have to have someone in there who can do something both ways. Scoring, dunking, something. Also, making them shoot more jumpers than driving layups.”

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.

10 Comments for Will Wade: Nick Richards “totally controlled the game defensively”



  1. Papaw
    10:20 am February 19, 2020 Permalink

    Say what you will, but Nick and IQ are are keys to how far the Cats go, and very close to them is Maxey. They can win without Hagan’s if need be, but those 3 have to be playing



    • Cokely53
      10:54 am February 19, 2020 Permalink

      I disagree that we can win without Hagans. He may commit terrible turnovers at times but he makes the offense move and allows Quickley and Maxey to do what they do best. Plus he gets us so many more possessions with his defense



  2. Wade
    10:34 am February 19, 2020 Permalink

    Can’t win without hagans I hate not having a pg that can shoot but he’s doing better just when he becomes a turnover machine he’s useless. His defense and speed are unmatched. I’d like to see us play more complete games last night we started bad and closed out bad



  3. Fly Cat
    10:35 am February 19, 2020 Permalink

    And let it not be overlooked that Nick’s hair is looking more stylish lately.



  4. nocode96
    10:50 am February 19, 2020 Permalink

    Can we talk about this pic of number 4 from LSU? It’s as if he’s totally missing a chin! It’s weird, right?



  5. Cokely53
    10:57 am February 19, 2020 Permalink

    Nicks numbers didn’t show up on the box score as much as we would like but he dominated that game. Bilas said he was off to a slow start last night and he couldn’t have been more off. Dude was the main reason that game was close in the first half with how everyone else played. He’s a game changer. And for that note, Quickley is too. Completely under appreciated by the media. His numbers have been insane lately.



  6. Newtype
    2:04 pm February 19, 2020 Permalink

    I actually kind of like Wade. Shame he’s a cheater and all.



  7. Commissionersteele
    3:57 pm February 19, 2020 Permalink

    Nick is approaching Cauley-Stein material in my eyes and its a shame the rest of the league doesnt quite see it. Maybe its because he’s been with us for 3 years now, but I really love him and his demeanor! He is no longer playing on his heels, but on his toes



  8. bigblue2284
    4:29 pm February 19, 2020 Permalink

    How does Will Wade have a job still?



    • Lyle Evans
      7:14 pm February 19, 2020 Permalink

      Exactly. Glad he complimented our guy but it’s a disgrace the POS still has a job.