By LARRY VAUGHT
John Calipari’s 2017 recruiting got off to a “big” start today when 6-11 Nick Richards, a Jamaica native who plays for The Patrick School in New Jersey, announced his commitment to Kentucky.
He’s not a player who will stretch the floor, but he will provide a big-time defensive and rebounding presence for Kentucky. He has limited post moves but finishes at the rim well.
He’s not as highly ranked as some others, but he is still a consensus top 20 player and could see his stock rise during the year like UK freshman Wenyen Gabriel’s status did last season.
Richards was also considering Arizona and Syracuse, but never took a visit there while he came to UK twice. Former UK standout Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went to the same high school and had been encouraging Richards to pick Kentucky.
Scout.com and FoxSports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels had predicted for more than a week that Richards would pick Kentucky.
The Wildcats are also expected to get a commitment from 6-7 forward P.J. Washington of Las Vegas tonight during an ESPNU signing show special that starts at 6 p.m.