Saturday, September 9, 2017

Nichols Commitment Bolsters Friars Decorated 2018 Class

Providence continues to load up on star power in the Class of 2018.

 On Tuesday night, the Friars secured another top-profile recruit with the commitment of 6-foot-8 forward Jimmy Nichols.

 A four-star recruit out of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Nichols made a public verbal pledge to the Friars before a media swarm and extensive live coverage from ABC15’s Six O’ Clock News

Having narrowed his choices down to the Friars, Miami, and South Carolina, Nichols chose Providence directly after his campus visit.

Initially slated to visit the other two finalist programs, Nichols abruptly arrived at a decision.

A wiry left-handed forward possessing a deft touch and uber athletic finishing ability, Nichols garnered offers from Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Towson, VCU, and a variety of others before whittling his list down to three.

 With a prized 2018 recruiting class, the Friars have altered the perception and expectation level of the program. 

They now boast Nichols, versatile and high-scoring guard A.J. Reeves, and a highly-touted recruit from Raleigh, N.C. in Kris Monroe.

 Nichols, out of Conway High (S.C.), is a top-50 player in the country at his position and is ranked no.4 in South Carolina. Nichols authors proficiency around the rim and can take bigs out of the paint with a feathery touch.

He’s a steady presence on the offensive glass and utilizes a nifty, still evolving pack of post moves. 

On the defensive end, he’s displayed an adeptness for blocking and altering shots.

While his game appears to be predicated on finesse, Nichols has shown a steely resolve in the trenches.

 This attribute enables him to crash the boards in effective style and beat out bigger, more physical bigs on 50-50 balls.

As a junior, Nichols averaged 15 points and 10 boards en route to a South Carolina 5A All-State selection.

With the Friars locking up this Reeves-Monroe-Nichols troika, they’ll hone in on a pair of hotly pursued and still-available Class of 2018 guards: David Duke and Noah Locke.  

Duke, a teammate of current Friar Makai Ashton-Langford and the aforementioned Reeves on Mass Rivals AAU, lifted his stock in the summer of 2017.

An active defensive headache with a habit of eliciting turnovers and quickly converting them into transition leak outs, Duke shined at Adidas Eurocamp and NBA Top 100 camp. 

He worked vigorously at developing a reliable jumper, shoring up the lone scrutinized gap in his game.

Built on confrontational on-the-ball defense and steady acrobatic finishes in the lane, Duke is as appealing as ever at this stage in his recruitment. 

 While Providence is using their powers of persuasion to keep Duke local, they face heavy competition from Florida, Indiana, Villanova, and Virginia Tech.

Locke is the quintessential high-scoring, low-risk guard who can reel points off in a hurry. 

A catch-and-stick threat who excels at creating space for his shot and fending off defenders off the dribble, Locke underwent a similar stock explosion in the summer of 2017.