Sports might not be the first thing on anyone’s mind right now. I can tell you it’s not the first thing on mine.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 did take down the whole sports world. The NBA was first, then conference tournaments, other professional sports leagues, and finally, the NCAA Tournament. And it came at a horrible time for Syracuse athletics. Play was suspended a day after SU basketball played its best game of the season, walloping North Carolina 81-53. Syracuse’s men’s lacrosse was undefeated, and ranked number one in the nation. The women’s lax team was number three, with Emily Hawryschuk well on her way to winning the Tewaaraton award.
And on Friday, freshman Brycen Goodine announced that he plans to enter the transfer portal.
Before basketball came to a screeching halt, I began watching film and writing an analysis of Kadary Richmond’s game. And I guess with Goodine now transferring, a look at the future is warranted. Here’s my view on Kadary Richmond (and the highlights I drew my analysis from).
Written Tuesday, March 10th
Kadary Richmond is a 6’5, 175 lb. combo guard from Brooklyn. Richmond attended and graduated from South Shore HS in New York City, then took a prep year at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He is the 96th-ranked prospect by 247 Sports, and the site gives him a composite score of .9553. Richmond was mainly recruited to SU by Allen Griffin, and signed with SU in October of 2019, picking the Orange over Penn State, Oregon, Georgetown, and 24 other offers.
Watching the film, it’s obvious that Richmond’s best offensive skill is getting to the basket. He’s 6’5, so his physical gifts come in handy when attacking the rim. To me, Richmond’s most impressive skill is his footwork before the finish. He uses his long strides to glide to the basket, and is able to vary speeds mid-drive to change directions, euro step, or fade away from the basket. He can also slow down right before leaping, allowing him to take two quality “possession steps” to reposition his body and finish. He prefers to jump off of two feet, but is comfortable off of one. He also has bounce, and hunts for put-back slams after missed shots.
Richmond’s wingspan is his best asset. He does a great job of protecting the ball when he drives, holding it high and away from smaller defenders or pinning it to his body almost like a running back taking a handoff. His length allows him to shoot two-handed floaters and adjust his shot on the fly to avoid would-be shot blockers. Richmond can finish through contact, and a year or two in a college strength program and diet will improve his strength tenfold. He does favor his right hand when laying the ball in, but can finish with his left if needed.
Richmond’s handles are every bit as impressive as his finishing ability. He is comfortable driving with either hand, and his best move is his crossover, which staples defenders’ feet to the floor. Combined with hesitations, head fakes, and a nice spin counter that he pulls out every once in a while, Richmond’s handles can leave opponents in the dust. He is not a speedster with the rock, but his up fakes and pauses, which expertly change rhythm after size-up dribbles, allow for quick bursts to the rack.
I’m a bit worried about Richmond’s jump shot at the college level since his release is a little unorthodox. His guide (left) hand gets very high on the ball when shooting, which if rushed can cause angular rotation. Not many high school guards could bother Richmond’s shot, but opponents at the college level will be just as tall and more athletic. He rarely takes jumpers off the dribble, mostly opting for catch-and-shoot or step-in threes, which makes sense because of his high release and unique hand position. However, this variety makes his stop and pop game a surprise for many defenders. Richmond seems comfortable when spotting up, and doesn’t take many bad shots. And he definitely possesses the clutch gene. I’m confident he’ll develop well as a jump shooter at SU next to deadeyes Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim.
Richmond in my opinion definitely is a score-first guard. But his driving ability draws attention, and he has the ability to dish the rock. He draws help after beating his defender and drops passes off to bigs. No-look dimes are a mainstay in his arsenal. Richmond usually operates in one-on-one iso situations, but in the pick and roll, he can perfectly place a pocket pass (check out the spin on this one). His drive-and-kick ability will be a great asset next year.
Richmond mostly guarded bigger players in high school. Therefore, he played a lot of help defense. Richmond shows good instincts when coming from the weak side to block shots. His wingspan also wreaks havoc in double teams, help situations, and the press. He’ll be a positive in the top of the 2-3 zone and will have to contribute on the boards.
Now that Goodine is leaving, Richmond will step in to the role of sixth man for the Orange. His driving game and length will pair well with Joe Girard’s shooting ability. However, Buddy Boeheim might have to move to the bottom of the zone to fit Richmond in defensively. All in all, Richmond is made for Jim Boeheim’s isolation style of offense and the zone, and although unheralded, is a great recruit for SU.
All that being said, I hope everyone stays safe, and spends some time with their loved ones.