ROUNDBALL DAILY

NBA Draft Profile: Andrew Nicholson

By: Kels Dayton

ANDREW NICHOLSON

6-9, 240 lbs.

Hometown: Mississauga, ON

School: Saint Bonaventure

Class: Senior

Photo: Jim Connor/AP

STRENGTHS: Nicholson has power forward size with the skill set of a guard. The 6-9, 240 pound forward is a terrific ballhandler, capable passer and deadly shooter. (He shot 43% from 3-pt range last season). Nicholson plays with a calmness that many college players don’t have, which puts him completely in control when he has the ball. He routinely finished over two and three defenders around the rim in the A-10, and has great length and touch near the basket.

Nicholson will have the ability to play the 3 or the 4 in the NBA, and may create mismatches at either position because of his unique versatility. He averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season in leading St. Bonaventure to the Atlantic 10 championship and its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2000.

He was also named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, and was the Most Outstanding Player in the Atlantic 10 tournament, averaging 23.3 points, 10 rebounds and 5.5 blocks in the three biggest games of the season for the Bonnies. Throw in his soft hands and knack for blocking shots, and Nicholson has a good chance to be selected in the first round come June.

WEAKNESSES: Although he does have guard-like ballhandling ability, Nicholson may not have the requisite speed and quickness needed to defend against slashing NBA small forwards. He’s not the most athletic wing player you’ll find out there, and may fit in more as a power forward on defense. Like most prospects, he’s going to have to bulk up big time. His biggest weakness is his inability to land good post position on the low block. Too many times in his Saint Bonaventure career, Nicholson was pushed out well beyond the low block by smaller defenders, and had to start his post moves from an undesirable position. He was effective in college because the competition couldn’t handle his post skills and athleticism, but that won’t be the case at the next level. Nicholson won’t get anywhere trying to score with his back to the basket from that far away in the NBA.

BOTTOM LINE: Andrew Nicholson was a difference-maker in college, and will go down as one of the best players ever to lace them up at Saint Bonaventure. He’s got some work to do to become a great player at the next level, but he’ll get there. Nicholson is a physics major, after all– and an incredibly smart kid. You know he’s not going to give you any trouble off the court. Those type of guys usually figure out a way to make long careers for themselves in the NBA, so don’t be surprised if you still see the kid from St. Bonaventure in an NBA uniform ten years down the road.


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