Memphis Tigers big man Austin Nichols’ season has come to a premature end after reinjurying his right ankle during the team’s game game Saturday night. According to reports from 92.9 FM in Memphis, Nichols sustained a high-ankle sprain and a bone bruise likely causing him to miss the remainder of the season. The most recent news comes as an exclamation point on a disappointing season that began with extremely high expectations. Nichols, however, was one of the squad’s lone bright spots averaging 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per contest during his freshman campaign.
Despite the injury, Nichols showed great promise throughout the 2014-15 season and will be a player head coach Josh Pastner can build around as the program moves forward. Nichols, however, is in dire need of a compliment from the guard position that will relieve him off any potential double teams opposing squads will throw at him. Pastner did an excellent job developing the Collierville, Tennessee native into one of the top forwards in the entire conference.
The injury will keep Nichols out of this week’s American Athletic Conference tournament, the team’s last chance to earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament. The 17-12 Tigers have surprisingly struggled during conference play and had lost their two contests prior to the Nichols injury further crushing the team’s tournament chances. If the team is unable to survive and advance during the AAC tournament, coach Pastner must begin looking ahead to his team’s future where they will rely on Nichols to be an even bigger part of the overall success.
*Section Photo credit to Joe Murphy, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to AP Photo