Memphis lands Austin Nichols' commitment

MEMPHIS - Briarcrest senior forward Austin Nichols has committed to the University of Memphis, he told The Commercial Appeal Monday morning.

Nichols, a 6-8, 215-pound skilled power forward-type, chose the Tigers over Tennessee, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Duke.

He is rated a 5-star prospect and becomes the fifth commitment of the U of M's 2013 class.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 76

brod writes:

this is a blow. at least he considered us.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

I will say Memphis has one impressive recruiting class coming in 2013.

Vol4EVA writes:

Good luck Austin....Hate you will not be wearing orange, but knowing your mom & dad, I suspect a lot of prayer and thought went into this decision.

Play hard and enjoy yourself....

Go Vols! I'll hang up and listen to your comments...

MurfVol77 writes:

IMHO he was too soft for CCM's style anyway...nothing gained nothing lost is what i say

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to MurfVol77:

IMHO he was too soft for CCM's style anyway...nothing gained nothing lost is what i say

Yeah we need more of those tough two star recruits that landed us a 2nd round NIT exit. . .sour grapes much?

Ironcity writes:

For the life of me I don't understand why any decent player would go play for Pastner. I have watched this guy and he is awful yet he gets tons of talent. God luck Austin, I think you will be regretting this decision within a year.

Ayres_Hall writes:

WOW. The guy had offers from Duke and Virginia. He chose Memphis. WOW!

BrucePearlandDerekDooley writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Yeah we need more of those tough two star recruits that landed us a 2nd round NIT exit. . .sour grapes much?

I agree with the fact that we are getting some questionable recruits. They aren't getting much love from scouts so what does Cuonzo see in them? My thought is that he runs a strong defensive system, and in the system you don't have to have a ton of five star recruits. Cuonzo recruits defensive players over offensive players. And most of the time defensive players are not very high on scouts or rivals.

I don't necessarily agree with your NIT comment. In my opinion, our guys were burnt out and after a sore display against Savannah State the season was basically over.

VictorKruger writes:

Trolls should simply be ignored, and now there's a free browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that blocks trolls on govolsxtra.com and knoxnews.com.

Firefox users need to install the Greasemonkey extension first:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fire...

Chrome users need to install the Tampermonkey extension first:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/de...

The GVX/KnoxNews Troll Comment Blocker browser extension is installed from:
https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/...

Mr_Brownstone writes:

what a bum. this kid is a bum.

underthehill writes:

I have no doubt Martin represented UT well to this family and Martin would have been the best coach to make this young man a better player..with the father expressing doubt about whether or not UT's system would fit his son..this may be a situation that is best for both parties..I don't see Martin changing his system to satisfy the father of a potential recruit..

bUTchVFL writes:

The University of Memphis campus alone would keep me from signing there. Beautiful flat midtown Memphis.

born2ride writes:

No suprise but he is too skinny to play PF in the SEC. If a kid would rather play for Tiger High in a city with the highest crime rate in the country we do not need him.

Martin got Robert Hubbs who is a much better player. We will be fine without a Memphis thug.

Go Big Vols!
Orange For Life!

Colliervol writes:

in response to born2ride:

No suprise but he is too skinny to play PF in the SEC. If a kid would rather play for Tiger High in a city with the highest crime rate in the country we do not need him.

Martin got Robert Hubbs who is a much better player. We will be fine without a Memphis thug.

Go Big Vols!
Orange For Life!

"Memphis thug"? Obviously, you don't pay much attention do you? Austin is from a fine family and he attends Briarcrest High, one of the best private school in the nation. Far cry from a "Memphis thug".

I would say his error might be in going to play for a coach who has NEVER beaten a top 25 team. Pastner is a good guy and I like him personally but he has yet to prove he can coach at this level. And their move to the Big East isn't going to help the record any. They can forget all those 30 and 5 seasons when they move to that league. Conference America, it ain't.

UTMaster04 writes:

I'm from Memphis, so it's not a total shocker. They pulled out all the stops for Nichols during Midnight Madness, bringing back all the Tiger legends to show how much he'll pretty much be set for life no matter what happens with his basketball career with all the city connections he'll make (of course, some of those legends didn't take advantage of it). Plus, they have the Grizz and the NBA facilities and contacts there. Simply put, Nichols will never want for anything with this decision.

As for the Vols, big blow. The bottom line is beat Memphis to continue making inroads there. If UT wants recruits from Memphis to come, they have to upstage them on the court. Otherwise, Pastner is going to lock down that city.

Save your Memphis insults about "thugs" and whatnot, because we have plenty of those that are in and have come through our programs that didn't come from Memphis. We know they have great basketball there, and it would help to get some of them to play in Knoxville.

TrouserCough writes:

Gut shot

AtopTheHill06 writes:

in response to born2ride:

No suprise but he is too skinny to play PF in the SEC. If a kid would rather play for Tiger High in a city with the highest crime rate in the country we do not need him.

Martin got Robert Hubbs who is a much better player. We will be fine without a Memphis thug.

Go Big Vols!
Orange For Life!

Come on man. This kid is as far from a thug as you can get. He has a strong Christian family and is a 4.0 student. He would have been a great addition to Tennessee. When you make comments like this, it just comes off as bitterness.
I would say that he is missing out on the opportunity to play for a true players coach like CCM. Pastner has proven that he can recruit with the best but his player development skills is still very much in question.
Pastner-No top 25 wins in his first 3 seasons with multiple MCD All Americans
Martin-3 top 25 wins in his first season, with limited talent

VolInIndy writes:

Staying home so Mommy can see him play after her FedEx workday. What happened tothe bis ESPN announcement Dad said they were going to make.

Dexter writes:

in response to born2ride:

No suprise but he is too skinny to play PF in the SEC. If a kid would rather play for Tiger High in a city with the highest crime rate in the country we do not need him.

Martin got Robert Hubbs who is a much better player. We will be fine without a Memphis thug.

Go Big Vols!
Orange For Life!

B2R, Do we really have room to talk having had 4 hoops players commit an armed robbery, and our coaching staff forced to resign for lying to the NCAA?
Is Jarnell Stokes a thug?
Please remember recruits and their families read these blogs.

Dexter writes:

in response to TrouserCough:

Gut shot

Very true. His twin sister and girlfriend on campus, played with Hubbs on the M33 aau team.

I live near Memphis - every print and radio sports host thought he was UT bound.

Next year's Memphis high school class is much weaker, and Leron Black - a '14 top 10 recruit - has already committed to Baylor.

It's really disappointing that we could not build on the Stokes commitment, which was kind of a fluke anyway.

VolzsFan writes:

He is way overrated.

brod writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Yeah we need more of those tough two star recruits that landed us a 2nd round NIT exit. . .sour grapes much?

westknox...how many big time recruits did pearl land out of memphis? he couldn't even sign willie kemp, chism's buddy. had we had willie kemp it would have been very valuable when ramar smith and jordan howell forgot how to play point guard.

Dexter writes:

in response to mempuss:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They beat us twice last year.

And I didn't know Memphis, an NBA city, was smaller than Knoxville.

Don't think the Memphis staff doesn't troll these boards and pass these kind of posts on to recruit's families. They do.

I think if I was a Memphis high-school player reading these blogs, then I wouldn't want to come to UT either. A lot of sour grapes.

Bottom line is we really needed this player. We are going to be very thin up front next year. Stokes will definitely declare for the draft, whether he is ready or not.

HooRay_Vol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

He is way overrated.

Seen him play? Of course not, or you would know that this kid has game!

Stay on him CCM. Maybe he will reconsider. Get his friend Hubbs talking to him.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Yeah we need more of those tough two star recruits that landed us a 2nd round NIT exit. . .sour grapes much?

There you go again, rewriting history to justify your obsessive disrespect for Martin, even though he has only coached here for one season. We landed in the NIT with PEARL'S RECRUITS as last year's starters and first wave bench players along with Martin's FIVE STAR RECRUIT JARNELL STOKES. According to observers, Pearl's recruits will have the lion's share of minutes this year, too. Maymon, Hall, McRae, McBee, Golden, etc.

Please don't spend this next year like you did last season, incessantly whining about Martin's recruiting - especially after his recent recruiting gains. Please.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

The University of Memphis campus alone would keep me from signing there. Beautiful flat midtown Memphis.

Yeah. And then throw in those godawful painted concrete real-sized tigers standing around on Central Ave, and you've got people laughing at the campus.

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to Dexter:

They beat us twice last year.

And I didn't know Memphis, an NBA city, was smaller than Knoxville.

Don't think the Memphis staff doesn't troll these boards and pass these kind of posts on to recruit's families. They do.

I think if I was a Memphis high-school player reading these blogs, then I wouldn't want to come to UT either. A lot of sour grapes.

Bottom line is we really needed this player. We are going to be very thin up front next year. Stokes will definitely declare for the draft, whether he is ready or not.

Tennessee largest cities by population

Nashville, TN 1,617,142
Memphis, TN 1,325,605
Knoxville, TN 704,500
Chattanooga, TN 533,372

sambad writes:

I'll bet his mother got a raise from FedEx.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

WOW. The guy had offers from Duke and Virginia. He chose Memphis. WOW!

Memphis has a rich basketball tradition. I thought Duke was the dark horse. Never saw Virginy in the race at all.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to UTMaster04:

I'm from Memphis, so it's not a total shocker. They pulled out all the stops for Nichols during Midnight Madness, bringing back all the Tiger legends to show how much he'll pretty much be set for life no matter what happens with his basketball career with all the city connections he'll make (of course, some of those legends didn't take advantage of it). Plus, they have the Grizz and the NBA facilities and contacts there. Simply put, Nichols will never want for anything with this decision.

As for the Vols, big blow. The bottom line is beat Memphis to continue making inroads there. If UT wants recruits from Memphis to come, they have to upstage them on the court. Otherwise, Pastner is going to lock down that city.

Save your Memphis insults about "thugs" and whatnot, because we have plenty of those that are in and have come through our programs that didn't come from Memphis. We know they have great basketball there, and it would help to get some of them to play in Knoxville.

Well said!

pikavol writes:

So funny.. Had this kid chosen UT you guys would be all over what a great addition to the UT Family he would be.

The kid sat down with his dad and wrote up a 58 page pros and cos for his future at each school. It came down to Memphis wanted him more.

The "his mommy got a raise at FedEx" and "we don't need a Memphis thug" comments are real classy.

Some of the greatest Vols came from Memphis. It's a shame that the talent here would rather go to Bama (think Barrett Jones), Vandy (they hae killed UT in Memphis this year),and Ole Miss (ya think Freeze is not not gonna clean house?). Maybe the perception about memphis from some of our finest rednecks from east TN isn't helping.

615VOL writes:

I have a feelng a picture of this kid hammering JD is going to surface soon...

Dexter writes:

in response to pikavol:

So funny.. Had this kid chosen UT you guys would be all over what a great addition to the UT Family he would be.

The kid sat down with his dad and wrote up a 58 page pros and cos for his future at each school. It came down to Memphis wanted him more.

The "his mommy got a raise at FedEx" and "we don't need a Memphis thug" comments are real classy.

Some of the greatest Vols came from Memphis. It's a shame that the talent here would rather go to Bama (think Barrett Jones), Vandy (they hae killed UT in Memphis this year),and Ole Miss (ya think Freeze is not not gonna clean house?). Maybe the perception about memphis from some of our finest rednecks from east TN isn't helping.

Amen pikavol.

One football commit this year in the Shelby County area and probably 25 will sign with BCS schools - including Bama, Florida, LSU, Arkansas and UCLA as well as the ones you mentioned. We are getting our butts kicked in recruiting, and hopefully the redneck segment will cease with their insults to an area of the state we used to dominate in football recruiting.

I'm embarrased to read what some of our "fans" have to say.

GatorHater1998 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

"Memphis thug"? Obviously, you don't pay much attention do you? Austin is from a fine family and he attends Briarcrest High, one of the best private school in the nation. Far cry from a "Memphis thug".

I would say his error might be in going to play for a coach who has NEVER beaten a top 25 team. Pastner is a good guy and I like him personally but he has yet to prove he can coach at this level. And their move to the Big East isn't going to help the record any. They can forget all those 30 and 5 seasons when they move to that league. Conference America, it ain't.

Never beaten a top-25 team, that sounds familiar, hahaha

FIRE DOOLEY

kingofthevols writes:

This is a blow. Projecting to next season, Yemi Makanjuola will be the only post player on the roster. Maybe something will break in the spring.

volfan1954 writes:

in response to brod:

this is a blow. at least he considered us.

That's kinda like saying it's a moral victory. It doesn't quite fit recruiting.

johnlg00 writes:

Agree with many that all the "Memphis thug" comments do nothing but reveal the prejudices of those who make them, and do nothing AT ALL to help the Vols recruit in that area. That said, there must be an awfully powerful gravitational field in that area that SO MANY of the better players don't want to leave there. I don't know how much getting Austin would help the Vols on the floor--I see the point of those who think he is perhaps a bit skinny to play power forward right now, and some highly-ranked guys are not enamored about the necessity for going all-out on defense if they want to play--but getting a player with his name recognition would help them get in the door with other highly-ranked prospects. All the Vols can do now is tear through the schedule in such a way that EVERY player who isn't a Vol now will either regret it or decide they want to become one if they still have the chance.

PUL4VOLS writes:

DEREK DOOLEY'S fault and that horrible Tennessee defense. Oh...he's basketball...well it's still his fault ala(It was Bush's fault).

ETownVol writes:

If Duke offered him, the kid's crazy for not taking that. Just my opinion. Would like to see him at UT but Memphis over Duke???

EarthBoundMisfit writes:

So lets see..
Overrated, too-skinny, 'thug' (which if you saw the lily white kid and his family...that statement would make you laugh), too soft.

The kid also had a offer from DUKE (UNC as well). Coach K didn't think he was too soft, too skinny, overrated, or thuggish. It was a hard fought recruitment...and it went back and forth quite a bit. Just wish the kid well and move on.

I know you all think getting Stokes was a coup for Cuonzo, but if Memphis had had another scholly to give at mid-season last year....he would have signed with Memphis.
Since it didn't...and Stokes wanted to play last season....he went with Plan B.
His decision is starting to look like a a aberration.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Enjoy the cushioned seats at FedUp Forum, your rear will stay planted on them..

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to EarthBoundMisfit:

So lets see..
Overrated, too-skinny, 'thug' (which if you saw the lily white kid and his family...that statement would make you laugh), too soft.

The kid also had a offer from DUKE (UNC as well). Coach K didn't think he was too soft, too skinny, overrated, or thuggish. It was a hard fought recruitment...and it went back and forth quite a bit. Just wish the kid well and move on.

I know you all think getting Stokes was a coup for Cuonzo, but if Memphis had had another scholly to give at mid-season last year....he would have signed with Memphis.
Since it didn't...and Stokes wanted to play last season....he went with Plan B.
His decision is starting to look like a a aberration.

Dude, save your breath..Just be ready for the beat-down when the taggers come to K-town..GBO!!

Vol_Jokes writes:

in response to mempuss:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hear UT was at the top of his list until he learned he'd be living in an on campus trailer home painted orange with a confederate flag in the window rather than the dorm. The coonskin cap was too small and the cooked possum still had tire tread marks on it. You're just going to have to make a better presentation if you expect to get the top recruits.

Vol_Jokes writes:

in response to Colliervol:

"Memphis thug"? Obviously, you don't pay much attention do you? Austin is from a fine family and he attends Briarcrest High, one of the best private school in the nation. Far cry from a "Memphis thug".

I would say his error might be in going to play for a coach who has NEVER beaten a top 25 team. Pastner is a good guy and I like him personally but he has yet to prove he can coach at this level. And their move to the Big East isn't going to help the record any. They can forget all those 30 and 5 seasons when they move to that league. Conference America, it ain't.

Tigers will constantly be at or near the top of the Big East as they have been with any conference they've been in. Meanwhile the Vols will hang in the shadows of Kentucky and Vandy in the SEC. Where's Bruce at anyway?

Vol_Jokes writes:

in response to ETownVol:

If Duke offered him, the kid's crazy for not taking that. Just my opinion. Would like to see him at UT but Memphis over Duke???

Relax, you've still got your football program. Just look at what they did to Troy this weekend. A come from behind victory in the last couple of minutes while only allowing Troy to hang 48 points on them.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Agree with many that all the "Memphis thug" comments do nothing but reveal the prejudices of those who make them, and do nothing AT ALL to help the Vols recruit in that area. That said, there must be an awfully powerful gravitational field in that area that SO MANY of the better players don't want to leave there. I don't know how much getting Austin would help the Vols on the floor--I see the point of those who think he is perhaps a bit skinny to play power forward right now, and some highly-ranked guys are not enamored about the necessity for going all-out on defense if they want to play--but getting a player with his name recognition would help them get in the door with other highly-ranked prospects. All the Vols can do now is tear through the schedule in such a way that EVERY player who isn't a Vol now will either regret it or decide they want to become one if they still have the chance.

I'm sure some thought was given to having the parents close enough to see more games..can't blame them for that..I do think Martin could develop any player to a higher level as well as any coach in the country and when he starts proving it ...recruiting..which is not too shabby for the amount of time Martin has been here..will pick up even more...

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Agree with many that all the "Memphis thug" comments do nothing but reveal the prejudices of those who make them, and do nothing AT ALL to help the Vols recruit in that area. That said, there must be an awfully powerful gravitational field in that area that SO MANY of the better players don't want to leave there. I don't know how much getting Austin would help the Vols on the floor--I see the point of those who think he is perhaps a bit skinny to play power forward right now, and some highly-ranked guys are not enamored about the necessity for going all-out on defense if they want to play--but getting a player with his name recognition would help them get in the door with other highly-ranked prospects. All the Vols can do now is tear through the schedule in such a way that EVERY player who isn't a Vol now will either regret it or decide they want to become one if they still have the chance.

I'm sure some thought was given to having the parents close enough to see more games..can't blame them for that..I do think Martin could develop any player to a higher level as well as any coach in the country and when he starts proving it ...recruiting..which is not too shabby for the amount of time Martin has been here..will pick up even more...

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to underthehill:

I'm sure some thought was given to having the parents close enough to see more games..can't blame them for that..I do think Martin could develop any player to a higher level as well as any coach in the country and when he starts proving it ...recruiting..which is not too shabby for the amount of time Martin has been here..will pick up even more...

Dude, they just sent him to a private school costing about $35,000 a year..I'm sure trips to Knoxville aren't out of the budget..You act like his parents can only travel as far as MATA will send their city buses.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

There are other players. I'm sure Martin has some in mind. We've done pretty darn good so far. AND as someone stated Nichols could possibly change his mind. I he doesn't I wish him well in Memphis.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

WOW. The guy had offers from Duke and Virginia. He chose Memphis. WOW!

money talks and BS walks!!!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features