Heels Keeping In Touch With Nichols

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Prior to this past weekend, Austin Nichols had only played in one major AAU event this spring.

But his performance at that event - the late April Real Deal in the Rock, in front of college coaches - was good enough to land a slew of scholarship offers, including one from North Carolina.

The Tar Heels offered the 6-9 skilled post player from Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest right after Real Deal, and since then have kept tabs on the rising senior.

Nichols played in his second major AAU event of the season this past weekend at the Best Buy Chicago Classic with his M33M squad.

"Things have been crazy with the recruitment and everything," Nichols said. "Our first tournament was in Little Rock and we won that (event), and then this is only our second tournament, so we're just trying to keep getting better and win some games."

Scholarship offers for Nichols began rolling in after his strong performance at Real Deal in the Rock.

"Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Ohio State, Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, and a few other offers," Nichols said of the offers. "But I don't have a particular order; I'm neutral right now."

Carolina has kept in touch and head coach Roy Williams already has a player comparison in mind.

"I speak to Coach Williams on the phone," Nichols said. "He says that I remind him of Nick Collison and the way he plays. They like me running the floor, rebounding, and pushing the ball. He wants me to come and see a game soon."

However, after the rapid rise in attention last month, Nichols is taking his time with his recruitment.

"I haven't scheduled any visits yet, and I don't really have a list at this point," Nichols said. "Maybe some time in the summer, but I'm not sure. Sometime soon, but I'm not really sure until then."

The recruiting process is going slowly for Nichols, but he's still focused on improving his game. At the next level, Austin sees himself as a skilled forward.

"I'm probably a three/four, pick-and-pop guy. I don't think I'm really a five," Nichols said. "I really want to work on hitting the weights, my ball handling, and perimeter shooting."

Nichols has a busy summer planned of hitting camps and events.

"I went to Adidas Nations last week in Las Vegas, and hopefully I'll be going to the James Academy. I think I might be going to Amar'e Camp, as well," Nichols said. "I'm looking forward to playing with great players; it's been a great experience."

Evaluation from Best Buy Chicago Classic
by Brian Snow, Scout.com

"Nichols is skilled, runs the floor well, and is getting stronger down low. Still, he much prefers to face the rim and score from 12 feet than to go down on the block, but overall it was a good showing. Once he gets more assertive on the glass, Nichols will be very difficult to deal with, and it is easy to see why so many colleges are intrigued with his game."

Austin Nichols Profile

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