Admission of Talent

As pointed out by many astute members of our site, Darris Nichols doesn't get enough attention for his achievements. One thing that contributes to that problem is Nichols' self-effacing manner. Even getting him to admit that he is good takes a lot of prodding. But after his performance against Providence on Wednesday, even he might be ready to admit he's an upper-echelon Big East player.

Nichols' stat line from the game was outstanding. Five for eight from the field, including 4-6 from three-point range, none of which seemed to even touch the rim. Two for two from the free throw line in a clutch situation. Three rebounds. Eight assists. Zero turnovers. And a steal to cap it off, in 38 minutes of action.

A line like that should get more attention. However, Nichols is rarely WVU's leading scorer, although he easily could be. And in today's Doug Gottleib image is everything world, there's not a lot of appreciation for everything Nichols does.

Nichols' coaches and teammates certainly recognize all the things the smooth junior brings to the floor, and they constantly push him to unleash his offensive talents to an even a greater degree. Getting the unassuming Virginian to do that has been a career-long battle, but perhaps the final step has been taken. Following WVU's 92-79 win over Providence, he finally admitted he realizes that his talents stack up to those of other players in the league.

Of course, Nichols was also careful to note that he's not the type to brag, or even talk about himself. And while many players might say the same thing and not really mean it, there's no doubt that the humble point guard does. That character trait has, at times, made him fade into the background on the court, but on the world's biggest college conference tournament hoops stage, his performance may have gone a long way toward finally convincing himself of his talent.

In this exclusive audio interview, Nichols discusses his game and the growing realization of his influence on the team.

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