Austin Nichols transferring to Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Virginia men's head basketball coach Tony Bennett announced on Monday that Austin Nichols is joining the Cavaliers' program.
Nichols, a 6-foot-9 forward from Collierville, Tennessee, has signed a financial aid agreement and is transferring to Virginia after playing two seasons at Memphis from 2013-15.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Nichols will be able to practice with the team but not play in games for Virginia during the 2015-16 season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2016-17 season.
“We are certainly fortunate and excited to add Austin to the Virginia basketball family,” Bennett said. “The experience he brings will be invaluable. His redshirt year will be an opportunity for him to improve and be more ready to step in the following season and help our team. Austin is a great fit for our program and system.”
As a sophomore in 2014-15, Nichols averaged 13.3 points and ranked third nationally with 3.4 blocked shots per game en route to All-American Athletic Conference first team honors. Nichols shot 49.7 percent from the floor and added 6.1 rebounds per game. He recorded 22 multi-block games and ranked among AAC statistical leaders in blocked shots (2nd), field-goal percentage (7th), scoring (8th) and rebounding (9th).
Nichols was named the AAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2013-14. He averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots. He shot 58.9 percent from the floor and had 14 double-figure scoring games. The four-time AAC rookie of the week also ranked third in the AAC in field-goal percentage and 11th in blocked shots.
Nichols averaged 11.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots in 61 career games for Memphis. He totaled 35 double-figure scoring games and 34 multi-block games. Nichols also scored 15 points and added two rebounds and one assist in the Tigers’ 2014 NCAA tournament third-round loss to Virginia.
Nichols is a graduate of Briarcrest Christian School, where he was named the 2012-13 Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year after averaging 22.7 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots. Nichols, who was rated No. 28 by Scout.com, No. 37 by ESPN.com and No. 46 by Rivals.com following his senior season, led Briarcrest to a 50-13 record during his junior and senior seasons.