Austin Nichols surprisingly chooses Memphis over Tennessee
It looked like Tennessee was the odds-on favorite for four-star big man Austin Nichols. Until Monday, when Nichols announced for Memphis.
That wasn’t the case with Austin Nichols, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.). The Vols were considered the favorite in his recruitment, despite heavy interest from Memphis, Duke, Auburn, Virginia, Vanderbilt and others.
As a result, many people were genuinely surprised when Nichols announced via Twitter that he was going to play for Josh Pastner at Memphis.
“Austin called Josh this morning,” Mark Nichols, Austin’s father, told Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com. “He’s excited.”
Nichols has taken his time going through the recruiting process. He took all five of his official visits, plus unofficial trips to Memphis. Over the past week, Nichols had been quiet -- until emerging with his commitment to the Tigers.
“We gave him the week off [from calls and visits] and then had a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting yesterday,” Mark Nichols said. “We put together a 58-page report on all the schools and decided Memphis was the best place.”
Nichols is ranked as the No. 51 prospect in the country at CBSSports.com, with his stock rising during the spring and summer. He runs the floor well and has a decent face-up game, but is also effective with his back to the basket due to his length and ability to turn and score.
Pastner now has one of the top recruiting classes in the country, as Nichols joins Nick King (No. 23), Kuran Iverson (No. 24), Markel Crawford (No. 91) and Rashawn Powell (No. 96) in Memphis’ group. The Tigers are the only school in the country with five top-100 recruits at this point.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The government's case has had its skeptics, but from inside the courtroom this trial very much...
Sister Jean was just inducted into the 2018 Illinois Senior Hall of Fame
The Red Storm should now be expected to make the NCAA Tournament
The 6-foot-4 junior will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time
Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander discuss the scandal for over an hour is this week's episod...
The longest drought dates back to 2005; the Big Ten and Pac-12 have the most representation...