Former Memphis Tigers forward Austin Nichols will transfer to the University of Virginia. Memphis’ 92.9 FM reported Nichols’ decision, as well as released the following statement from him.
“After visiting Virginia this weekend, I’ve decided to commit. It was my second choice coming out of high school and the comfort level was built in. I look forward to helping them build on their success. I’d also like to thank the University of Memphis, my teammates, coaches, and the fans for the last two years I’ve been here.”
“I take leaving Memphis very seriously and I wish I could have decided sooner because I realize the timing was not ideal. I have thought long and hard and labored over this decision but in my heart I felt it was best to move on. I appreciate the support from everyone during my time here and I wish the team nothing but the best.”
Per NCAA transfer rules, Nichols will sit out the 2015-16 season. Last year, his sophomore season, he led Memphis in scoring and rebounding.
After much legal wrangling that led to his family hiring a lawyer so that Memphis would lift the conditions surrounding his release, Nichols now heads to a Virginia team that has done nothing but excellent work in the ACC under head coach Tony Bennett, going 136-64 (64-37 ACC) with one conference title and two trips to the NCAA Tournament in six seasons. Given how the Cavaliers will lose frontcourt staple Anthony Gill at the close of the upcoming season, the timing could not be more perfect regarding Nichols’ arrival.
Though he won’t suit up for a year, his presence practically guarantees that Virginia will continue contending.
*Feature Photo Credit (above) to Fox Sports