Billy Richmond inching toward decision, Kentucky among schools pushing hardest

On3 imageby:Jack Pilgrim07/24/23

This time last year, 2024 wing Billy Richmond was a fringe four-star, top-100 prospect holding offers from the hometown Memphis Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs. From the high school season on, he’s added offers from the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, Alabama, Villanova, Michigan, UConn, Louisville and Miami (FL), among others, while jumping up to No. 35 overall in the On3 Industry Ranking.

He played with current Kentucky freshmen DJ Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw at Camden High School, then joined their former EYBL program, the NJ Scholars, for his final season of grassroots basketball this spring and summer. There, he averaged a team-high 18.0 points on 54.0% shooting while adding 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals during the regular season, then 13.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks at Peach Jam.

A top-15 scorer overall and a force on both ends of the floor, Richmond proved himself on high school basketball’s biggest stage.

“Just trusting in myself, staying in the gym. Trying to remain consistent, staying locked in. It’s my confidence,” he told KSR. “I have coaches in my ear telling me to just play how I can play, and I take it from there. Just show everyone what I can do.”

What separates his game from his peers in the class? While he’s working on his shooting — he only shot 25.0% from three during the EYBL regular season and 12.5% at Peach Jam — he prides himself on his willingness to make winning plays beyond simple counting stats.

“My intensity and energy. It’s like, ‘OK, I took a bad shot, but let me get back on defense. Let me get a rebound and defend.’ I’ll do the little things,” he said. “(I’m working on) shooting for sure. Getting in the gym every day, especially this offseason before high school starts. I’ll probably go two-a-days and just shoot jump shots. And then keep up with strength and conditioning.”

His on-court growth has led to an off-court frenzy of recruiting interest — he’s got offers from the best of the best. Now, though, he’s ready to start winding down his recruitment and inch closer toward a commitment.

That could come sooner rather than later.

“It’s going good, it’s a blessing to hear from the coaches and everything. I’m trying to find a time, find a date (for a commitment),” Richmond told KSR. “It’s going to be right before or during the beginning of the school year, maybe before basketball season.”

The four-star wing told On3’s Joe Tipton he still has visits he’d like to take, four officials to Kentucky, Louisville, Alabama, and Kansas.

Who is prioritizing him the most at this point, though, making it clear he’s needed at their respective programs?

“Kentucky, Memphis and Alabama,” he told KSR. “They are (pushing for me the hardest).”

What does he like about those three programs in particular?

Alabama: “I like how Alabama plays. A lot of big guards come from there like Brandon Miller. The game style is there for me, and it’s a great coaching staff.”

Kentucky: “You can’t go wrong with Kentucky. Big Blue is one of the best schools in basketball history, and there’s a great coaching staff there.

Memphis: “It’s my hometown and I have a great relationship with the coaches over there and everything.”

Something to keep in mind: Richmond’s father, Billy Richmond Jr., played for John Calipari at Memphis from 2002-04. 20 years later, the Kentucky head coach is pushing to land his son’s commitment with the Wildcats.

“It’s a cool relationship, we text from time to time,” the standout wing said of Coach Cal. “He likes how aggressive I am and their guards and forwards, they play aggressively. They attack and they like how I attack.”

And again, two of his close friends and former teammates are already in Lexington learning under the Hall of Fame coach. That can’t hurt the Wildcats’ chances.

“I haven’t gotten to talk to DJ a lot, but I talk to Aaron a little bit. Just checking up on their journey in college basketball,” Richmond told KSR. “It’s a great blessing, two big-time players who are for sure going to the league. They put trust in me and know I can fit into that system where I can come in and do my thing. The coaches trust me to do my thing, too.”

What is he looking for when it comes time to make a decision?

“Somewhere that feels like home, somewhere I’m confident in myself going there. A safe environment, great education,” he said. “And somewhere that fits my game style.”

As for his own personal goals as a basketball player, he’s looking to speak and work legendary status into existence.

“I’m going to be one of the greatest,” Richmond told KSR. “One of the greatest ever, Hall of Fame.”

Discuss This Article

Comments have moved.

Join the conversation and talk about this article and all things Kentucky Sports in the new KSR Message Board.