Richards proof that staying at Kentucky can pay off

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LUBBOCK, Texas (WKYT) -- In 74 games prior to this season, Nick Richards had one double-double and in the 19 games since, the junior has eight.

Kentucky's Nick Richards (4) dunks the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

That includes Saturday's 25 point, 14 rebound and four block performance to knock off No. 18 Texas Tech in Lubbock. Big Nick is the first Wildcat with that stat line since Anthony Davis in 2012.

Over the last eight games, he is averaging 17.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, proof that it sometimes takes time to shine.

"Just because I go to a school that is known for one-and-done, doesn't mean that I have to be one-and-done," said Richards.

"It took me time to develop. Over the past three years, I've had the best time in my life. Meeting incredible people, having the best coaching staff in the world, training me to be the player I am now and to be the better player I could become."

"We have four guys here because everybody thinks it's a sin to stay in school when you go to Kentucky two years," said John Calipari.

"PJ Washington. Now you got Immanuel Quickley and Ashton. You got Nick who stayed three years. What you see is they have never been better in their life. That is the whole key. How do we get guys to be the best that they have ever been?"

No. 15 Kentucky (15-4) hosts Vanderbilt on January 29 at 6:30.

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