Last week Syracuse added an offer to 2017 big man Nick Richard’s portfolio. The 6’10” St. Patrick’s (NJ) product also has offers from Kansas and UCLA, along with interest from a number of other big time schools like UNC and Villanova. The Orange feel as though his size and athleticism are so impressive already, he can come right in and play immediately. But just how good can Richards be?
Potentially, really, really good. First, he’s 6’10” (some have him at 6’11”) and still has two more years of high school basketball to play. So even if he doesn’t grow another inch, he has plenty of time to figure out how to coordinate and best use his body size, length and wingspan. Secondly, he transferred from St. Mary’s on Long Island to face better competition last year. So he’ll have a few seasons against top flight opponents, to be able to draw from when he gets to college. He’s also running with an AAU team, Expressions Elite, to gain experience against top level players. Third, he’s only played organized basketball for two years.
And how about this December anecdote from Adam Zagoria of Zag’s Blog:
In last Friday’s 69-61 victory over arch-rival Linden, (St. Pat’s coach Chris) Chavannes said he saw Richards dominate in the paint unlike anyone he’s seen in recent memory. And he has coached teams that featured Dakari Johnson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Derrick Caracter.
“In all my years at St. Patrick’s before, I’ve never seen someone dominate the game like this,” he said. “It wasn’t even about points, it was about fear and Phil [Colicchio’s] kids are tough kids but they panicked with the ball, they wouldn’t go in there, even when he wasn’t in there. He blocked six or seven shots in the first half of the game.”
We’re a long way from Richards deciding where he wants to play. His recruitment is just really heating up. But buckle up, we’re in for more wide-eyed reactions from people watching him ball for the first time, especially as he develops. He’s going to become one of the most intriguing basketball recruits in the country.