UNC Offers Nichols

Austin Nichols received a call from Roy Williams on Monday evening, during which the UNC coach informed the Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest junior that he now has a Tar Heel scholarship offer.

"Coach Roy Williams just called me and told me he offered me a scholarship," Nichols said.

"There were no words to explain it," the 6-foot-9, 210-pound post prospect said. "It's a dream come true pretty much. Duke offered me last week. That was special and now this week it's North Carolina."

Nichols said the recruiting process with North Carolina picked up a month ago.

"Their assistant coach [Steve] Robinson came out to see me play open gym four weeks back. Then at the Real Deal Coach Williams showed up and that's the game I had 33 points and I guess he liked me."

Nichols picked up the offer during his first phone conversation with Williams.

"He just said that he saw me this weekend and that I reminded him of Tyler Zeller because I have good hands and run the floor," he said. "Then he said he offered me a scholarship. He said he liked how I played and wanted to build the relationship."

Nichols, who also has scholarship offers from Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M and Florida State, said they didn't discuss a visit.

"No, not yet," Nichols said. "Sometime of course in the future, I'll make a visit. He didn't mention it though."

At this point, Nichols isn't rushing to make a college decision.

"It's awesome," he said of the process. "I can tell everybody that I'm neutral. I'll probably make a list of six or seven towards the end of the summer. I don't know who will be on it yet."

At the Real Deal in the Rock this past weekend in Little Rock, Ark., Nichols' M33M squad won the Gold Division championship.

"We all played well," he said. "I probably averaged 25 points a game. Robert Hubbs played well. I had fun. All the college coaches were there and we all showed out."

This past year Nichols led Briarcrest to a 24-6 record and a state runner up finish. Now that the off-season is here, the four-star big man is hoping to spend it working on a few areas of his game.

"I definitely want to improve on my shooting, getting stronger and ball handling," he said. "My post game is pretty good right now. I won Mr. Basketball for the state of Tennessee, but outside shooting and getting stronger."

Nichols averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks during his junior season.

UNC has a Briarcrest alumnus on its roster in junior Leslie McDonald.

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