Andrew Nicholson of St. Bonaventure University, the tiny Western New York school that produced NBA great Bob Lanier, was selected 19th overall by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Nicholson, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward who averaged 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and two blocks per game for the Bonnies.
SI.com says this in an instant analysis of the pick:
"Whether or not Dwight Howard remains in Orlando, Nicholson should boost the Magic's frontcourt. He's a safe pick who can score from inside and out as well as rebound. Nicholson led the Bonnies to their first NCAA tournament in 12 years."
St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt called Nicholson "a special talent."
Here is Richmond coach Kevin McGeehan on Nicholson:
"He's really terrific. He's so, so good in the post. He can score every which way. And if you worry about all the damage he can do to you in the post, they'll run a play outside the foul line, and he can make that shot every time. He's also really improved as a 3-point shooter. Tough, tough kid to guard."
"Nicholson is a versatile forward who can step out and make a 3-pointer, as he shot 23 of 53 (43.4 percent) from beyond the arc as a senior after not taking a 3 in his first two seasons and making six of 23 attempts as a junior. One knock on Nicholson is his lack of upper-body strength and bulk, which was good enough to get him by in the A-10 but may prevent him from planting himself in the lane in the NBA."
Here are Nicholson's strengths and weakness from his NBA.com prospect profile:
- 7-foot-4 wingspan
- Good shot blocker
- Good rebounder
- Variety of post moves
- Has face-up jump shot past the 3-point line
- Scouts want to see him make corner 3-pointer consistently
- Has to continue to get stronger
- Can cut down on turnovers
- Some scouts have questioned the consistency of his intensity level