2013 power forward Austin Nichols has received an offer from North Carolina. Nichols now becomes the second big man to receive an offer in the 2013 class in hopes of adding to a class that already includes PF Isiah Hicks and point guard Nate Britt. The Heels are also going after the elite big man in the class, Julius Randle hard. Roy Williams and his staff are very vested in Randle and I don’t think they are backing off him by any means. The offer to Nichols says to me that Roy would like to deepen the 2013 class soon.
Another prospect UNC is chasing, small forward Troy Williams is set to announce Tuesday May 1st. If Williams chooses Carolina, and indications are strong he will. A commitment by either Randle or Parker would make the 2013 class one of the best in recent memory.
Nichols is a very good player, but not a headliner type of guy. Recent comments by Roy Williams support the fact that he wants a mix of the very top players, and some four star guys that will stick around for a while. And that’s Austin Nichols. He’s very fundamentally sound, he runs the floor extremely well. His athleticism will fool you, and he’s a player that will be very good at the collegiate level.
“I’ve always said you have to have a mix. You can’t have everybody you recruit thinking that way (going to the NBA after one season), and you can’t have every recruit not being good enough to think that way. You have to have a good mix.”
Nichols isn’t ready to come in and dominate. He’s a 2013 version of a Brice Johnson type of player if you want a comparison. Though Nichols is probably a little more developed offensively. He can hit the short to mid range jumper, knocks down his foul shots and doesn’t commit many fouls or turnovers and really plays with his head.
As soon as news of the offer first broke, fan reaction wasn’t always supportive of the offer to Nichols. This is the time of year when a lot of fans and team observers find themselves clamoring for the top names to commit to Chapel Hill. UNC will get it’s fair share of those players in both the 2013 and 2014 class. Hicks and Britt already make Carolina an early favorite for the best class in the country. The team already has offers out to Parker, Randle and Williams.
This offer to Nichols shows me that Roy knows he’s closing in getting the last of his five star, A+ players committed that he’s going to get. Now he’s getting a jump on the rest of the class, the strategy looks sound. An offer to Nichols, a player rated between 20-25th at his position in his class doesn’t always sound that exciting. But it’s these kinds of players that stay at programs longer, blossom later in their careers and can end up playing big roles for championship teams. Lastly, to be clear, this offer does not affect the chase for Julius Randle whatsoever. He’s still a main target in the class.
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