Memphis Signs Top Recruit Austin Nichols; First Team to Nab 5 Top 100-Recruits in 2013 Class
Start marking your calendars for the 2014 NCAA Tournament Final Four Memphis fans, because the Tigers nabbed 5-star power forward recruit Austin Nichols this past week, the No. 51 prospect in the country, per CBSSports.com.
According to John Martin of the Commercial Appeal, the 6-foot-8, 193-pound behemoth to an already stellar cast of ball players set to hit the floor in 2013. Nichols was said to be involved in discussions with Auburn, Duke, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia before choosing to play under head coach Josh Pastner in his home state of Tennessee.
“I think we’ve been pretty stable,” Mark Nichols, Austin’s father, said per Rivals.com. “The degree and education matters a ton. The system they play and the coaching staff and all of that plays a big part. We’re trying to stay on track with that and some schools are probably better as far as social fit maybe than others. But we’re trying to keep everything focused on what makes it the best decision for Austin”
People close to the deal were generally surprised that Nichols picked Memphis over Tennessee, who was said to be the frontrunner in recruiting the 17-year-old prospect. Though, Nichols took his time throughout the two month-long recruiting process, doing his due diligence in visiting with each school and each head coach.
The Briarcrest Christian High School product is one of the most talented big men to come out of the Class of 2013. He gets up and down the floor pretty well for his size, has an above-average face-up game when he’s 15-to-20 feet from the basket and can also post-up with centers taller than him. He will sure make an immediate impact for a team already suited to make a run at the Final Four this year.
Nichols will join a slew of top prospects in the 2013. Pastner has already signed Nick King (No. 23), Kuran Iverson (No. 24), Markel Crawford (No. 91) and Rashawn Powell (No. 96) to Memphis’ squad, marking the only school to have nabbed five players coming in under the top-100 recruits list.