Kentucky's Nick Richards is starting to wow NBA scouts | Zagsblog
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Friday / April 10.
  • Kentucky’s Nick Richards is starting to wow NBA scouts

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The more Nick Richards plays like this, the more he’s helping himself with NBA scouts.

    After the 6-foot-11 Kentucky junior big man went for 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 11-of -14 from the foul line along with 14 rebounds and 4 blocks in Kentucky’s thrilling 76-74 overtime win at Texas Tech, several NBA scouts chimed in to say they were impressed.

    “He’s starting to wow people, great game tonight,” one NBA scout said. “I love his energy level and he has good lateral quickness for his size.”

    Playing a career-high 39 minutes, the Jamaican native from The Patrick School (N.J.) notched his eighth double-double in 19 games. He had one double-double in 74 games prior to this season. He scored in double-figures for the eighth straight game and is averaging 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds over the last eight games.

    ESPN did not have Richards projected among the top 60 its most recent draft, while The Athletic has him at No. 75 on its Big Board.

    “This is a bad draft, he should be higher,” the first scout said. “Especially if he continues to play like he did tonight. The SEC Tournament will be a chance to further enhance his status.”

    Said a second NBA executive: “Second-round for sure. Top 45.”

    Added a third NBA scout: “I think [Ashton] Hagans does a good job making him look good and when he gets opportunities to score he works to rebound. Mid-to-late second-round guy.”

    And a fourth: “Loaded with talent, getting better all the time.”

    Photo: USA Today Sports

    This story has been updated.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.