Nick Richards returning to UK

The Junior Center adds some key size and experience to this year's Wildcats 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Nick Richards is returning for his junior season at Kentucky. 

The 6-foot-11-inch center went through the NBA Draft process for the first time and announced his return on social media Tuesday. Wednesday at 11:59 pm is the deadline to pull your name out of the draft if you wish to return to school. 

“These past two years have been the best of my life," Richards said. "It’s been an incredible experience. I’ve learned a lot, but the job’s not done yet. BBN, are you ready for year three?”

Richards will be the most experienced returnee for the Wildcats this coming season, having played in all 74 games of his two-year career with 40 starts. He joins Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Brad Calipari and Zan Payne as returning players for the 2019-20 season. 

“I was fully supportive of Nick going through the NBA Draft process for the first time in his career to see where he stood,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “I’m happy with where Nick and his family ended up and I’m excited to continue to coach Nick because I know how special he can be. I’ve told him, ‘If you come back, I’m expecting you to be one of the best big men in the country.’ There is no reason he can’t be. There is nothing that Nick hasn’t seen at this point, and he knows what my expectations are for him in his junior season. I want him to dominate the game and affect it on every single possession.” 

Freshman big man E.J. Montgomery has not yet made a decision.

P.J. Washington, Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson have already announced their intentions to stay in the NBA Draft.  Jamarl Baker has transferred to Arizona, and Reid Travis and Jonny David have used up their eligibility. 

Richards averaged 4.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game to this point with a career field-goal percentage of 60%. He has also made 70.4% of his free throws. 

Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.