No one improved their stock during the postseason more so than St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson, a 6'9" senior forward. The Canadian-born prospect had a heck of an A-10 Tournament winning three games in three days, all with impressive performances by Nicholson and then 20 points and 7 rebounds in a near-win against Florida State. During this four-game stretch, he averaged: 22.5 points on 53 percent shooting from the field, a scorching 61.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc (8-of-13), 9.3 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game. He was already on the first-round bubble, but secured himself a sure spot of guaranteed money in the 2012 NBA Draft with this clutch play.
Scouts have long been enamored with the 6'9" forward- he has huge hands and feet, almost clown-ish in a sense, but could be a sign he is still growing. He has drawn comparisons with another former A-10 Player of the Year, David West (Xavier, current Indiana Pacers forward) with his size, athleticism and ability to play both inside and out. He showed a new-found aggressiveness on the offensive end this season, leading his conference in scoring; Nicholson's perimeter-shooting has been impressive (43.4 percent from 3-point range), as has his ability to finish on the inside (59.3 percent on 2-point field-goals) with either hand and constantly looking to dunk the ball. Nicholson was also much more persistent on the boards this season, setting new career-highs in percentage of offensive rebounds grabbed and was amongst the national leaders in percentage of defensive boards collected.
Nicholson's biggest strength is also one of his key weaknesses as he spends quite a bit of time playing on the perimeter. Some scouts question his toughness, which he did a solid job of debunking this myth against Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament; he called for the ball in the low-post nearly every time down the floor, utilizing his quickness to beat his man to the rim or his versatility to score a bucket on an up-and-under move.
It's now a lock that Nicholson goes somewhere in the 20s on draft night, so don't be surprised when you hear his name called.