Kentucky landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Thursday afternoon, as big man Nick Richards pledged to the Wildcats.
Richards, who is the No. 19 player in the class, according to Rivals, picked Kentucky over Syracuse and Arizona.
“At this time I would like to announce that I will be attending the University of Kentucky under the guidance of John Calipari,” said Richards during the announcement. “I know it will be a challenge not only on the basketball court, but in the classroom.I promise to work equally hard in both places.”
Richards is a perfect fit for John Calipari. He’s a 6-foot-11, 235 pound center that has the length and athleticism to flourish around the rim. Kentucky’s three best teams under Calipari – 2010, 2012 and 2015 – have finished in the top two in defensive efficiency on KenPom because they’ve been top two in block percentage. Richards may not be as skilled offensively as DeMarcus Cousins or Karl Towns or Anthony Davis, but he will be able to provide that defensive presence as well as an outlet for guards at the rim; he may average 10 points a game solely on dunks and lobs.