Nichols Talks Recruiting

PHILADELPHIA – After garnering many offers in the spring, including one from North Carolina, Austin Nichols is focused on finishing the summer circuit before taking the next step with his recruitment.

The 6-foot-8, 205-pound power forward from Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest, who was standing out among his peers at the Reebok Breakout Challenge, listed scholarship offers from Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Ohio State, Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, and Missouri to go along with many others.

Thus far, Nichols has only had the chance to visit one college and that was an in-state school.

"I took an unofficial visit to Tennessee and that's it," Nichols said, going on to add, "That was back in football season, probably in November, something like that."

Although he has no trips planned right now, Nichols did say he will be utilizing all five his available official visits. He mentioned that he will probably visit North Carolina, but did not specify whether it would be official or not.

Nichols is unsure of his exact timetable for a commitment, but it does not seem like a decision will be coming soon, and perhaps not in time for the Class of 2013's signing period this November.

"[I will] probably wait until after my high school season," Nichols said.

The Volunteer State star is planning to chop some schools off his list well before making his final choice.

"I'll probably narrow my list down in a month or two," he said.

Nichols went into some detail about what factors he is taking into consideration as he surveys his college options.

"Style of play, who's going to be there when I'm there at my position, of course the coaching staff, and then the conference," Nichols said.

The skilled face-up four man elaborated a bit on exactly what he means by the conference playing a part for him.

"Stronger conference or weaker conference," Nichols said. "That may decide my choice, but I don't know yet."

Are there any conferences in particular that Nichols likes the most? "They're all pretty good conferences. SEC, ACC, that's where most schools recruiting me are from," he said.

Nichols said he is unsure of whether or not he would like to remain close to home for his college years. His decision to withdraw from the USA Basketball U18 team due to homesickness begged the question, and he expounded upon the positions that'd be associated with choosing a nearby college.

"Of course staying close to my family," Nichols began. "They're there when I need somebody to talk to; I can go talk to them. If I decide to stay close to home I could talk to them pretty much every day."

North Carolina's not as close as in-state schools Memphis (15 minutes) or Tennessee (six hours), but the Tar Heel coaches have been consistently building a relationship since offering him in late April.

"They definitely keep contact with me," Nichols said. "Every two to three weeks they call me [and I also] text them. They're definitely interested."

The UNC coaches that Nichols keeps in touch with are head coach Roy Williams and assistant Steve Robinson. Although it is Williams who he has most of his communication with, Nichols chats with the two coaches in different ways.

"I probably text Coach Robinson more and I'm on the phone with Roy Williams more," Nichols said, noting that it is usually Williams who calls him.

Nichols provided some insight into what he is hearing from Roy Williams, including which of his former players Williams reminds him of.

"He likes how I run the floor and everything. He said I remind him of Nick Collison when he was at Kansas," Nichols said. "So, if I could fill that role, [that would] be great."

Collison is a player who Nichols said he is indeed familiar with, but he noted that he also watches Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Mike Miller (who sponsors his AAU team).

"I think I'd fit in pretty well," Nichols said of UNC's style of play. "Just got to be running the floor and hope the guards get it to me if I go there."

In addition to recruiting, Nichols spent a bit of time talking about the type of player he is on the hardwood.

"Probably running the floor and my length and being able to shoot it a little bit for a big man," Nichols said of his primary talents.

As for his main area of weakness, he remarked, "Probably strength right now."

Asked what his goals are for the summer, Nichols responded, "Get stronger, faster, quicker, and have fun."

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