Kentucky's Nick Richards somehow left off Kareem Watch List | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / May 26.
  • Kentucky’s Nick Richards somehow left off Kareem Watch List

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Kentucky junior big man Nick Richards was inexplicably left off the list of 10 finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Watch List released Friday.

    The 6-foot-11 native of Jamaica is averaging 14.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for a Kentucky team that is 17-5, 7-2 in the SEC.

    A spokesman for the Naismith Hall of Fame, which sponsors the award, said the list is fluid and could still change before the final five players are announced in March.

    As reported here last month, Richards has started to impress NBA scouts with his play this season.

    “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.”

    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

    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.