At times during the spring Nick Richards was inconsistent with his effort and with his production. However he decidedly couldn’t be questioned in either department on Wednesday night at the Peach Jam in helping his team to a big win.
In a matchup with four-star center Luka Garza, Richards was just fantastic. The big time talent went for 16 points (on 8-8 shooting) and 17 rebounds. While he did foul out and miss overtime, it was Richards energy and effort that stood out.
If there is one major lingering concern with Richards it is that he has inconsistent hands, and at times that was still the case on Wednesday, but he did do a fairly decent job of catching the basketball in traffic.
What Richards does best is rebound and block shots. The 17 rebounds was absolutely dominant, and then he also blocked or altered numerous shots, and even was called for a few fouls on shots that looked to be clean blocks as well.
In the stands watching Richards was an assortment of coaches. Head Coaches included John Calipari, Tom Crean, and Kevin Ollie. Also assistants from Arizona, Duke, and Syracuse were present watching the game.
Richards has a recruitment that is likely to be an extended process. Right now the plan is for him to make numerous official visits in the fall before coming to a decision, and at least at the moment it appears as though he is fairly open in the process.
He definitely did nothing to hurt his stock on Wednesday, and played about as well as he has in quite some time. More efforts like this and Richards is sure to make a jump back up in the rankings after the summer evaluation period.