We will have more on the Draft Lottery and that 4th pick coming shortly, but first we will also be identifying who could be available towards the end of the first round for the Cavaliers over the next series of posts by Nick Mancini. The Cavs currently also own pick numbers 24, 33 and 34.
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No. 30 – Andrew Nicholson, Senior, St. Boneventure 2011-12 stats: 18.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2 bpg, 57% shooting
As one of those rare four-year college players, Andrew Nicholson has kind of flown under the radar. He averaged double-figure points every season he played and was a consistent rebounder throughout his career. Early in his career, scouts questioned his toughness and basketball IQ. After he finished his senior campaign, he answered those questions.
Nicholson had a minor coming out party in the Bonnies near upset of third-seeded Florida State in the NCAA Tournament. He scored 20 points, went 4-5 from beyond the arc, and grabbed seven boards. He has been compared to David West for a while, and the more he plays, the more it looks that way.
Nicholson has the chance to be a great scorer in the NBA. In his 32 games this season, he was in double digits for 27 of them. In his last 10 games, he was 19-30 from the 3-point line. Compare that to his first 22 when he made only four. He is a long and lanky 4, with good hands, who is explosive around the rim.
Offensively, he really stacks up well at the next level, as long as he keeps playing with that toughness he found at the end of his college career. Nicholson is a good, but not great rebounder. For his size and ability, he should be a much more consistent rebounder. Yes, he averages over eight, but those numbers were slightly inflated by some monster rebounding games; namely a 23-rebound performance against Duquesne.
Defensively, he may have some struggles. He has the size at 6-9, but is a bit light at 220 pounds and definitely needs to add some muscle. He is a solid shot blocker, which may be able to make up for some of his lack of muscle. As a late first-round pick, Nicholson is an interesting prospect for the Cavs. As many fans saw last season, they struggled to find a consistent scorer off the bench, especially at the 4.
I really like him as one of the first few guys off the bench, providing instant offense. The Cavs haven’t had a solid scorer off the bench for a few years now, and even when they did it wasn’t consistent. Nicholson could provide that. If he gets even close to those David West comparisons, teams could be finding themselves a gem late in this draft.
Written by Nick Mancini