Stop me if you have heard this before, but Kentucky struck it rich on the recruiting trail.
Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari reeled in another impressive recruit when on Thursday he got class of 2017 five-star center Nick Richards, who originally hails from Jamaica, to offer up a verbal pledge to play for the Wildcats.
HUGE NEWS! 2017 5-Star Nick Richards has commited to Kentucky! First of many UK commitments!!!
— Kentucky! #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) November 10, 2016
Oddly enough, though, this was the first class of 2017 recruit to commit to play for Calipari and the Wildcats. That said, many uncommitted recruits are strongly considering Kentucky—namely PJ Washington, who may offer a commitment to Kentucky at any minute.
Here is what Evan Daniels of Scout.com said about Richards (h/t Ben Roberts of Lexington Herald Leader):
“He brings a defensive presence,” said Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. “He’s a guy that rebounds his area really well. He plays with toughness. He’s physical. He finishes off plays around the rim.
“This is a talented post player who can really help them on that end of the floor.”
Richards, a 6’11”, 235-pound center from Manhasset, New York (St. Patrick High School) is rated as a five-star recruit according to 247Sports. The site ranks him as the No. 14 overall prospect in the 2017 class and the second-best center in the country. 247Sports also regards Richards as the best basketball player in the state of New York.
It was long thought that Richards was a strong Kentucky lean. He chose the Wildcats over heavy interest from Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana and Syracuse. Richards also had offers from Creighton, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, SMU, UCLA, VCU and Villanova.