By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky fans sometimes have been frustrated by the physical style of play that Cuonzo Martin coaches. It happened when he was at Tennessee and has since his return to the SEC at Missouri.
After Saturday’s 71-59 Kentucky win, Martin had some kind words to say about Kentucky junior Nick Richards — who had 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and one assist.
“You have two talented teams, both sides have guards that can get to the rim and make plays. I think he (Richards) was a difference maker in the game,” Martin said. “Of course, Ashton (Hagans) does a great job distributing to the team.
“I think he (Richards) was a difference maker you see from his points, his production. And that was the difference, they got more from their bigs then we did from ours. Simply that both teams fought both teams played hard. He did a great job, his numbers if you look at his stats in the season and this game.
“But he’s a much-improved big guy to his credit. You hate to lose games, but you love to see a young guy grow like that as a junior in college. He’s improved his game, his free throw shooting, his touch around the rim and putting the ball on the floor. I’m happy for him.”