By LARRY VAUGHT
Other than a letdown against Evansville, junior center Nick Richards has been remarkably consistent for Kentucky this year — a big change from his first two seasons.
He’s shown the “demonstrated performance” that UK coach John Calipari says a player must have to increase his confidence and become an even better player.
“Yeah, he can say that. This is who I am,” Calipari said.
The UK coach said during last week’s win over UAB when Richards went 7-for-7 from the field he asked the junior why he was not demanding the ball.
“Confident players will come over and do that and they will know, the problem if you ask me that, I never say no, ever, ever. You are going to get the ball,” Calipari said. “Now, it just went off of me and on them. That’s why I love it. Tell me you want the ball. Where do you want it? Right over there on that side? Good. All right.
“Here’s what we’re doing and make sure you throw him the ball. And then it’s on him, it’s not on me, it’s not on a teammate. So that’s why it’s hard to, come on, give me the ball more. Well, where you want it?
“But he’s gotten so much better. He’s so much more confident.”