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Calipari says Nick Richards confident “in who he is and what he does”

Nick Richards scores over Reid Travis. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Sophomore Nick Richards had 16 points and 16 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, along with five blocks shots in Sunday’s Blue-White Game.

That continued the strong play that Richards had shown during UK’s exhibition trip to the Bahamas in August.

Here’s what Kentucky coach John Calipari said about him after Sunday night’s scrimmage when asked about his favorite thing about the sophomore:

“That he has a smile and he’s looking up. He doesn’t look like shuffling his feet looking down. He’s confident in who he is and what he does,” Calipari said. T”here’s no — what I keep saying to the kids, you know, you guys know that and I’ve said this if you’ve listened, most of you don’t, but where I talked about hate turns into fear?

“So I don’t try to get my kids to hate another team or another coach, hate that guy, we hate them, they get all the — we don’t do that here. Because hate turns into fear within your body physiology.

“Well the other one is anxiety and excitement. If they hooked your body up and it was anxiety or excitement, the doc would say, well, you’re either anxious or excited, I don’t know which one, but it’s one of the two. So my thing is, if that’s what the case is, then you would challenge your own mind to be more excited than anxious. You would be excited about getting shots. You miss two, I’m excited about the next one. I’m not worried I’m going to miss it.

“You’re excited about shooting game winners, you’re excited about trying to make five in a row. Or you could be anxious. And so we have been talking a lot about that to get guys in a right frame of mind. They have got to get themselves in there and when they feel anxious, flip that switch. Get to be excited.


  1. Richards, Herro, and Travis are a trio of beasts that opponents will not be able to stop across the board any night. Add Montgomery, Washington, and Hagans to that mix, and this team is unstoppable.

    My starting (and finishing 5) Richards, Travis, Washinton, Herro, Hagans with Montgomery, Green and Baker off the bench for the 8 player rotation.

    Johnson and Quickley only get into rotation with 10 man rotation, which is possible with Calipari, but not as likely as it was in 2015.

    I think Calipari will use all 10 in rotation in the exhibition games, but against Duke, I would not be surprised to see the 8 players get 20 to 30 minutes each.

    1. Prof it sounds good but there is no rotation Cal will use that won’t include Johnson and Quickley IMO. Quickley can shoot the three off the high pick and roll far better than Hagans and Johnson is as tough a freshman as we have seen. I could be wrong but those two will not be out of the rotation.

      1. Perhaps, but that would require him to play a 10 player rotation after Camp Cal, and I don’t see that happening in Cal’s world. He will winnow this down to 8 players once SEC arrives.

        The competition for one of those 8 spots will be intense, but competition yields winners and losers. If the 2 losers are not Quickley and Johnson, who will it be?

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