The former Razorback coach addressed Arkansas' poor start in the Southeastern Conference at the club's weekly luncheon and expressed disbelief over how fan expectations changed because of two wins.
"Sometimes when you play a game like the ones against Oklahoma and Texas it can give you a false sense of how good you really are," Richardson said. "I've always said anyone can win one game."
Arkansas fans have become increasingly upset as the team has limped to a 1-5 start in SEC play. Richardson said he is sometimes amazed by fan perceptions.
"I've had 40 years of coaching experience and when I hear people talking I find out I don't know anything about the game," Richardson said. "I listen to people on talk shows talking about how we can still make it to the NCAA Tournament if we do this and this.
"I'm more concerned about winning. Who cares about the NCAA? If we get the program going, we'll get there."
Richardson, who will return to Bud Walton Arena March 1 for the 1994 National Championship reunion, said he had full confidence in current Arkansas coach John Pelphrey's ability to take the program back to the top.
"I'm convinced, using my knowledge of 40 years in the sport, we have a brilliant young coach," Richardson said. "It takes time, though.
"I believe John has the program going on the right track. It'll be painful as he goes. But there comes a point where it all pans out.
"Patience is a virtue. He's a young coach. As he develops his feel he figures out what he does best. If we're impatient it won't work well."
Richardson used Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt and UCLA legend John Wooden as examples of how coaching works.
"Pat Summitt is going for her 1,000th win tonight," Richardson said. "She wasn't thought to be any good in 1975. And I played against John Wooden's first teams and they were terrible. But people stuck with him and it paid off.
"He became the greatest coach this game has ever seen because of patience."
Richardson knows a thing or two about coaching guards at Arkansas. Freshman point guard Courtney Fortson has caught the former coach's eye.
"I love Fortson," Richardson said. "Boy, that little feller is good. He has a chance to play on the next level.
"I believe because of him, Michael Washington is a better player this year - because of his passes. The little guy makes the big guy better. I used to always tell Oliver Miller he needed to take care of Lee Mayberry and tuck him in and feed him because he made him a better player."
Keeping with his theme of patience for the day, Richardson said Arkansas fans need to be patient with freshman guard Rotnei Clarke, assuring his shot will fall.
"It's going to happen," Richardson said. "Not many guys can shoot like him. You've got to put it up if you're a shooter, even if you miss it.
"I'd rather see his misses than some guys make it because his shot's so pretty. It's just a matter of time before he shows what he's made of."
Arkansas' biggest struggle back to the elite in college basketball might come in recruiting, Richardson said. But the decisions on who to bring in needs to come from the coaching staff, not scouting services.
"Who made these guys stars anyway," Richardson said. "Now you listen to scouting reports that say, 'He's four stars.' Hell, he couldn't even chew gum and walk at the same time in my system. The coaches make these guys stars, not the recruiting gurus."
Richardson said he never recruited anyone based on stars next to their name and even tried to keep it a secret who his staff was actually going after.
"My players weren't McDonald's All-Americans," Richardson said. "But they didn't have to be. They just needed to fit my system."
Georgia on his mind?
Club founder and former Richardson assistant Wayne Stehlik said he couldn't believe Richardson's name wasn't being mentioned for the coaching vacancies at Georgia and Alabama.
"You hear Bob Knight on TV talking about he would consider these different jobs and then you have a man who revolutionized the game of basketball and has a national championship ring, and his name never comes up," Stehlik said. "That doesn't seem right."
Richardson was asked if he would consider returning to coach one of the programs.
"It'd have to be the right situation," Richardson said. "You always have to listen.
"I haven't been beating the drums or had an agent to go out and do what they're doing with Knight."
Richardson said he was still in good physical shape and that plays a factor in coaching. He said he had put out feelers to NBA franchises in the last two years, but wouldn't want to coach on that level, but possibly be a consultant.
The game hasn't passed him by, though, he said. Richardson pointed out Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden as examples age means little in coaching.
"The cowboys of the game are still the cowboys to beat," Richardson said.