HILLSIDE, N.J. -- Nick Richards, the 6-foot-11 big man from St. Patrick's High School, enjoyed his official visit to Kentucky this past weekend and will return to the campus in two weeks for Big Blue Madness.
Richards also plans to visit Arizona and Syracuse in the coming weeks as he heads toward a college decision.
"[Kentucky] was cool, I liked it," Richards told me Tuesday before an open gym. "I got to watch two practices and it was pretty fun. I got to talk to talk to all the coaches, they showed a lot of interest in me. It was a fun visit overall."
He added: "I'm going to [Kentucky] Midnight Madness next weekend."
Kentucky coach John Calipari has made Richards, a native of Jamaica who has only played organized ball for about four years, a top priority in the Class of 2017, visiting him twice in the last couple of weeks, including a home visit.
On the official visit, Richards stayed with Kentucky freshman big man Bam Adebayo, a projected Top 10 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft whom Richards may ultimately have to replace.
"Bam was my host player, it was fun but I mostly chilled with Isaiah [Briscoe], Malik Monk and Wenyen Gabriel," Richards said.
Briscoe, of course, is a fellow Garden State native who played at Roselle Catholic, one of St. Pat's primary rivals.
Richards was the only player visiting Kentucky this weekend.
"They didn't tell me what my role is, they have to see who commits," he said. "They told me who commits there, they will tell their role to."
Richards will now head back to Kentucky Oct. 14 for Big Blue Madness along with several other players, including Trae Young, Quade Green, Kevin Knox and P.J. Washington.
Richards was initially supposed to take an official to Arizona this weekend, but "I pushed it back because I want my AAU coach to take the visit with me and he couldn't," Richards said.
Asked when he will make the trip, he said, "I don't know, sometime before November."
Both Arizona coach Sean Miller and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim have also been in recently to see Richards, and he plans to visit both soon.
"Arizona and Syracuse will be in October, that's a guarantee," Richards said.
As for Syracuse's message, Richards said: "Basically, he just talked about the history of the school, who came through the school, what the school could do for me. The program, the campus, the education of the school. We talked a lot of stuff about Syracuse."
Arizona's Miller and assistant Book Richardson also made their pitch.
"They basically said the same thing," he said. "We were talking about who came, how many players that went to the NBA and what they could do for me. I asked questions about what they could do for me. He gave me a lot of information about the school."
Richards said he's feeling "all three schools equally" and is still considering other schools. Indiana and UConn have been in the mix.
"I'm still considering other schools," he said.
Still, for now Kentucky, Syracuse and Arizona seem to be at the forefront and St. Pat's coach Chris Chavannes said a decision could come by November.