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Nick Richards has to shed the “stinkin’ thinking”

Nick Richards (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Did getting a combined 10 points and 10 rebounds from EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards in a combined 43 minutes of play in Saturday’s win over Auburn satisfy Kentucky coach John Calipari?

No.

Did they do enough to help offset the absence of Reid Travis, who was out with a sprained knee and could possibly miss the next three or four games?

No.

“We probably need a few more rebounds by those two,” Calipari said.

He said during one huddle he asked how many coaches/ players were cheering for Richards, who had four points and three rebounds, and wanting him to do well.

“Me, everybody, the coaches, we all want him to do well but we can’t do it for him. Most of the stuff is just energy, like loosen up your mind. You have what you call ‘stinkin’ thinking.’ You just have to loosen up your mind and go play and that means with energy,” Calipari said.

“

He’s not blaming anybody. He doesn’t say, ‘The coach takes me out every time I make a mistake.’ He ain’t — he knows he’s got to get this. At some point, that light bulb is going to go off and we’re going to see a monster.

”

Calipari has been pleading for Richards to take a giant leap for two years. He is constantly encouraging him and giving him chances to prove he can be a consistent contributor. With Travis out, Kentucky needs him more than ever.

“I love Nick. Nick’s one of my favorite players of all-time, of all-time that I’ve ever coached,” Calipari said. “I want more for him. He frustrates me. I know he’s better than he’s playing. I’m trying everything I can to get it out of him. Takes longer with some kids than others.
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5 comments

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  1. I like Nick, too. I don’t think he has been playing as long as most of the kids UK gets, but I agree with Cal. When Nick finally gets comfortable and can just play, I think he will be a fun player to watch.

  2. I would give a lot to see Nick screaming out loud while running “all out ” down the floor. I would flat out cry to hear his voice above all his teammates yelling, “get em EJ, get em!” while on defense, and noticeably begging coach Cal , while subbed out, to put him back in the game. Wake yourself up Nick, you’ll love what you see about yourself. Make it your goal to kick 3J’s ass at least one time in the endurance practice sprints…you have WCS running ability. You owe it to Coach Cal for all the confidence he has publicly proclaimed for you. You owe it more so to your self. I’m one of those “BBN crazies” who can hardly wait to rejoice in your success. That’s why you came here, and if your read this, or hear about my comments, know that there are many more in line like me pulling for you. Get em Big Guy!

  3. He will come into his own before this season ends. The transformation is happening now if you look closely.

  4. LP…..transformation??..you must see something I haven’t seen to level you have. I know I have been very negative on Nick, but I just can’t stand apathetic play and glad Cal really feels the same but has to measure his words.

  5. Nick and EJ combined for 10 points, 10 boards, 6 blocks, and 3 steals yesterday. That’s a big improvement in itself. Let’s not ask more of them than they can do. They have a little confidence now, lets be happy with that until Reid gets back.

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