By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari has confidence that center Nick Richards is going to have a more productive sophomore season.
“He’s gotten way more comfortable, way more confident, way more physical,” Calipari said Thursday on the SEC summer coaches teleconference. “But he’s going to have to demonstrate performance in games so that he builds his own confidence.
“It’s not what I’m going to do or what I say. He’s gotta go do it. We’re working with him every day.”
But Calipari has bigger plans for him — along with P.J. Washington, E.J. Montgomery and Reid Travis.
“I want him to train as though he’s a guard. I want him to have those kinds of skills at the end of the day. Just like Reid. Just like PJ and just like EJ,” Calipari said.
None have shown they can be 3-point threats in college. However, with the positionless style of play in the NBA, Calipari knows his four “bigs” need to show they can do more than score inside.
“They all are being trained as though they’re guards, but I want them to finish like they’re bigs,” Calipari said. “I said to PJ and Reid, ‘You two are bulls. You two are so physical. You don’t want to get away from that, but undersized bullies don’t make it in that next level. You’ve got to have great movement. You’ve gotta be able to fly up and down the court. You better be able to space the court out. You don’t have to make them all out there. You just can’t miss them all out there.’
“Those are the things we’re working on with all of these guys.”