Richardson leads ECR over Colony

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
11:12
PM PT


WOODLAND HILLS -- The similarities between Julian Richardson and his father, former UCLA star and NBA veteran Pooh Richardson, are many. Both on and off the court.

With his dad watching from the stands Wednesday, the younger Richardson gave spectators at El Camino Real High a glimpse of how the apple does not fall far from the tree in a Southern California Regional playoff game.

[+] EnlargeJulian Richardson
Sean Ceglinsky for ESPNLA.comJulian Richardson, son of former UCLA star Pooh Richardson, had a big second half to lead El Camino Real to a win in the state tournament.
The up-and-coming sophomore guard scored 13 of his 23 points in the third quarter to help guide the Conquistadors to a 71-63 come-from-behind victory over visiting Ontario Colony in a Division II first-round game. Richardson also finished with five rebounds and two assists.

“I don't feel any added pressure, my dad has always taught me to be my own man,'' Richardson said. “He has been supportive and it's great having him around. I try to be a sponge and soak up some of his knowledge. He has helped me out with my game a lot over the years.''

That was apparent in the second half after Richardson got off to a particularly slow start for El Camino Real (24-7). Trailing by seven points at intermission, the 6-foot-3 underclassman heated up quick and scored 13 points over a six-minute stretch of the third quarter.

As a result, Colony (22-10) led 50-48 to start the fourth quarter.

Richardson got to work in the paint down the stretch. He was fouled multiple times and his handful of free throws helped the Conquistadors complete the comeback.

“My time is done on the basketball court, it's fun for me to sit back and watch my son play now,'' Pooh Richardson said. “You always want the best for your kids and I never told him that he had to follow in my footsteps. He does his own thing and I'm proud of him.''

Indeed Richardson has done his own thing this season, to the tune of 15 points, six rebounds and three assists per game. He appears to possess plenty of upside.

Richardson has received early recruiting interest from several Division I programs, mostly within the Pac-12 Conference, though he has yet to secure any offers.

Richardson had help along the way from his teammates Wednesday.

Maleke Haynes nearly finished with a triple-double. The sophomore point guard had 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. Michael Thomas added 10 points of his own.

Miles Poullard scored 17 points in the first half for the Titans. El Camino Real focused its efforts on stopping the senior guard in the second half and he finished with 22 points.

In the end, however, Richardson proved to be the difference.

“Julian is special player and you could see that out there tonight,'' El Camino Real coach David Rebibosaid. “His family is great, I have a great relationship with Pooh, he respects the boundaries. He lets us coach and worries about the developmental part of things with Julian. The system works out well and that's the best thing for the kid. Julian is on the verge of big things.''

Like father, like son.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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