Austin Nichols the Memphis Tennessee big man has made his choice and he doesn’t have to go very far to find his dorm room.
Nichols announced on Monday that he was going to stay home and play for the Memphis Tigers and Josh Pastner. There was a lot of speculation that Nichols a 6-foot-9, 193 pound power forward from Eades, Briarcrest Christian, would stay close to home either at Memphis or Tennessee.
In the end the draw to stay close to his home town was too much for the big man to pass up and he agreed play for join Pastner and the hometown Memphis Tigers in a bit of a coup. Pastner beat out Duke and Mike Krzyzewksi as well as fellow ACC member Virginia and Tony Bennett for Nichols’ services.
Nichols’ decision is one that is seen by many a perhaps a bit of a surprise considering Duke was considered heavily in the mix and up until a few weeks ago, some thought that the Blue Devils may have even been the favorite. But shortly after his visit to Durham on October 6, the rumors started swirling that Nichols was favoring either the Volunteers or Tigers and that Duke was no longer the favorite.
And then late last week there was talk about Nichols was dropping Duke altogether in favor of his home state schools and many felt that perhaps Tennessee, where his twin sister currently attends, would end up with Nichols, but the final twist in his recruitment was his decision to stay even closer to home and play at Memphis.
The news shouldn’t really be a shock to Duke fans as there were enough Nichols rumors floating about over the last few weeks to eliminate most hope that he might change his mind and become a Blue Devil.
It isn’t the end of the recruiting for the Blue Devils for 2013. Duke still has a very good shot at landing Jabari Parker, the No. 2 recruit in the class. The Blue Devils have already secured commitments from small forward Semi Ojeleye and guard Matt Jones. Duke is also very much in the mix for 2014 recruits Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor as well as Theo Pinson.
As for Nichols many Duke fans may be asking why he didn’t choose Duke. Some may claim it is because Duke has become a football school, but I say he wanted to stay close to the Memphis-style dry rub, and for that I can’t say I blame him all that much.
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