Sophomore Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney led the way in Wednesday's win over Wake Forest and Sunday's overtime win over Miami to earn Rivals.com national player of the week honors. Delaney had 21 points and eight rebounds in a 78-71 victory over previously undefeated Wake. He added a...[details]
HEADER AHMAD NIVINS Power Forward Saint Joseph's University Hawks #34 6:08.5-242 Jersey City, New Jersey St. Anthony High School Hudson County Prep
OVERVIEW Nivins had a banner senior campaign for the Hawks. He impressed NBA scouts, as it is rare to find a power forward with a combination of defensive presence to go with good scoring ability. He became just the second player in Atlantic Ten Conference history to lead the league in field-goal percentage for three consecutive years. That consistency earned him Atlantic Ten Player of the Year recognition, just the fourth Hawk to capture that award.
An almost certain two points with his strong inside game, Nivins holds the school career field-goal percentage record (.627), ranking second in Atlantic Ten Conference annals, as he became just the fourth player in league history to make more than 60 percent of his field goals. His 561 free throws made set another Hawks all-time record and placed him fifth on the Atlantic Ten all-time record chart.
Nivins also finished third on the school career record list for points scored (1,789), fourth with 166 blocked shots and sixth with 955 rebounds. He produced 33 double-double performances for the Hawks and is one of only three players in school history to amass more than 1,700 points and 800 rebounds in a career.
Playing for national powerhouse St. Anthony High School, Nivins was a two-time All-County after transferring to that school as a junior from Hudson County Prep, where he had earned All-County third-team honors during his sophomore season. He was primarily a baseball player before switching to basketball his first year in high school. In his only season with the hoops squad at Hudson County, he averaged 17.1 points per game.
As a senior, Nivins averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots per game. He helped lead the team to a 30-0 record and the school's ninth Tournament of Champions title in 2003-04, a season which is chronicled in the book, "The Miracle of St. Anthony."
An Atlantic Ten Conference All-Rookie selection in his first season at Saint Joseph's ,Nivins averaged 6.1 points per game, as he shot 61.3 percent from the field in 2005-06. He ranked second on the team with 149 rebounds and blocked 39 shots, as he scored in double figures five times. He missed two of the team's final three games with an ankle sprain.
Nivins started 31 games as a sophomore, as another ankle sprain forced him to the sidelines for the St. Mary's clash. He was named to the Atlantic Ten Conference and All-Big Five first-team, in addition to being chosen to the NABC All-District III squad. He was the recipient of the John P. Hilferty Award as Saint Joseph's MVP, as he was the team's leading scorer (16.6 ppg) and rebounder (7.6 rpg), averaging 17.6 points in conference play. He also set the school's single-season record for field-goal percentage (63.1).
As a junior, Nivins earned All-Atlantic Ten third-team honors, in addition to being named to the NABC All-District second-team. He started 33 games, as an ankle sprain would sideline him vs. Duquesne. The Hawks' leading shot blocker (39) and second leading scorer (14.4 ppg) and rebounder (5.8 rpg), he bettered his SJU record for field-goal percentage in a season with a 64.7 mark.
Nivins has his first injury season as a member of the Hawks, going on to average 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He also blocked 56 shots and handed out 32 assists, all career-highs. He earned All-American honorable mention and also garnered Atlantic Ten Conference Player of the Year recognition.
2008-09 SEASON Earned All-American honorable mention from The NBA Draft Report and Associated Press...All-Atlantic Ten Conference first-team choice, adding league Player of the Year honors, becoming the third Hawk in the last six seasons to receive that recognition (fourth overall)...Member of the conference's All-Defensive Team, as he added All-Big Five honors in addition to being named NABC All-District accolades for the third-straight campaign...Led the conference in rebounding (11.8 rpg, 378 total, sixth-best season total in school history), field-goal percentage (.612, on 205 of 335 attempts) and minutes played (1,259, 39.3 mpg), as he also ranked third in the league with a team-best 19.2 points per game (sixth in school history with 613 points...Made 203 of 258 free throws (78.7 percent) and had one unsuccessful three-point attempt...Handed out a career-high 32 assists to go with 26 steals (0.8 spg)...Led the squad with a career-high 56 blocked shots (1.8 bpg) and led the league with 22 double-double performances...Had 87 turnovers and 70 personal fouls... Earned Atlantic Ten Player of the Week honors five times and Big Five honors four times.
2007-08 SEASON Named to the All-Atlantic Ten third-team...Earned NABC All-District second-team honors while being chosen to the All-Big Five second-team...Was the Hawks' leading shot blocker (39, 1.2 bpg) and second leading scorer (476 points, 14.4 ppg) and rebounder (193 total, 5.8 rpg)...Bettered his SJU record for field-goal percentage in a season with 64.7 (165 of 255)... Earned a spot on the A-10 All-Championship Team...Connected on 146 of 197 free throws (74.1 percent), as he totaled 22 steals (0.7 spg) with 16 assists and added 76 turnovers, 93 personal fouls and four game disqualifications... Scored double figures in all but four games...Posted three double-double performances on the season...During the summer prior to the season opener, Nivins participated in the USA Basketball Pan Am Games Trials.
2006-07 SEASON Named to the All-Atlantic Ten Conference and the All-Big Five first-team...Chosen to the NABC All-District III squad, as he received the John P. Hilferty Award as Saint Joseph's MVP...Led the team in scoring (516 points, 16.6 ppg) and rebounds (235 total, 7.6 rpg)...Set the school single-season record that he would top as a junior, making 63.1 percent of his field goals (176 of 279)...Connected on 164 of 242 free throws (67.8 percent)...Tallied 11 assists with 32 steals, as he also blocked 32 shots...Collected 77 turnovers with three disqualifications and 89 personal fouls...Recorded five double-double performances and scored at least 20 points in eight contests...Named to the All-Tournament Team at both the NABC Classic and the Aeropostale Holiday Festival.
2005-06 SEASON Atlantic Ten Conference All-Rookie selection...Averaged 6.1 points (184 total) and shot 61.3 percent from the field (68 of 111)...Second on the team with 149 rebounds (5.0 rpg), as he scored in double figures five times...Blocked 39 shots (1.3 bpg) to go with 12 steals and eight assists...Charged with 85 personal fouls, four game disqualifications and 41 turnovers...Missed two of the team's final three games with an ankle sprain.
CAREER NOTES Nivins started 106 of 126 games, ranking third in school history in scoring with 1,789 points (14.2 ppg), topped by only Jameer Nelson (2,094 points, 2000-04) and Bernard Blunt (1,985 points, 1990-95)...His 613 points scored as a senior are the sixth-highest season total in school history...Connected on 614 of 980 field goals, as his field-goal percentage of .627 set the school all-time record and ranks second in Atlantic Ten Conference annals behind Will Henderson of Massachusetts (64.6 percent, 1990-92)...His field-goal percentage of .647 in 2007-08 and .631 in 2006-07 hold the top two spots on the Hawks' single-season record chart... Holds the school career record by making 561 of 765 free throws (73.3 percent), ranking fifth in league history...His 955 rebounds (7.6 rpg) placed sixth in school history and his 378 boards as a senior are good for sixth on Saint Joseph's single-season record list...Blocked 166 shots during his career, ranking behind Rodney Blake (419, 1984-88), Dwayne Jones (232, 2002-05) and Tony Costner (212, 1980-85) on SJU"s all-time record chart...Handed out 67 assists, as he also had 92 steals...Charged with 337 personal fouls, 281 turnovers and 11 game disqualifications...Led the conference's active players by producing 33 double-double performances during his career.
HIGH SCHOOL Began his high school career at Hudson County (N.J.) Prep, where he lettered in baseball as a freshman before joining the basketball team as a sophomore, averaging 17.1 points per game that season...Transferred to St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) High as a junior, going on to earn All-County honors in both of his seasons at the school...As a senior, Nivins averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots per game...Helped lead the team to a 30-0 record and the school's ninth Tournament of Champions title in 2003-04, a season which is chronicled in the book, "The Miracle of St. Anthony."
INJURY REPORT 2005-06 Season: Sat out the Temple (3/10), Xavier (3/11) and Rutgers (3/16) games with an ankle sprain.
2006-07 Season: Missed the St. Mary's clash (12/19) with an ankle sprain.
2007-08 Season: Did not play vs. Duquesne (2/06) with a sprained ankle.
PERSONAL Sociology major...Father, Larry, played basketball at Slippery Rock University...Born 2/10/87...Resides in Jersey City, New Jersey.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Nivins dedicated himself during the 2008 off-season to an intense conditioning program, as he had some durability issues (ankle) in each of his first three seasons...He is never going to develop great court quickness, but shows much better mobility and is more coordinated than in the past, showing explosive leaping ability, especially from a static point, increasing his rebounds from a 5.8 pg average as a junior to 11.8 last year (also blocked 56 shots, compared to 39 the previous campaign)...His strength is evident by the way he can box out opponents and establish position in the paint, as the bulk of his field goals came from the offensive boards, converting a school career record 62.7 percent of his attempts...Has developed a nice mid-range jumper and shows good fade-back agility to make uncontested shots from 15-18 feet away from the rim...Elevates well to take the ball to the rim on transition and pick-and-roll plays...Uses his long arms well to get a high release, showing a tight handle to put the ball on the floor for a dribble or two, and has the balance to deliver on running hook shots...With his ability to score facing the basket, he delivers a nice floater and knows how to use his body control to feather the ball in working through a crowd to the basket...Demonstrates strong leg drive and the balance on his drop-step to attack the rim and draw contact (first in school history with 561 free throws made)...Capable of scoring from either hand, as he is equally effective spinning and turning to either shoulder...Facing the basket, he does a nice job of pulling up and sinking the fadeaway jumper, showing good range and a high, quick release...Might lack the quickness to play in an up-tempo attack, but has enough speed to slip past and slash to the basket when matched up vs. a frontcourt opponent...Adequate ball-handler for a player his size, showing the ability to shoot off the dribble...Shows the lateral moves to get under the more physical opponent to complete the play in the low post, but needs to do it more often...Has a good understanding of the game, showing the court vision to pass the ball around, working nicely in unison with his guards...Can surprise a lethargic defender when he sets his feet and uncorks a mid-range jumper...Has the quick first step needed to gain advantage on a slower defender and while he lacks great leaping ability, he uses his long reach and timing to get a fair share of defensive rebounds (needs to fight for position better on the offensive boards, though)...Has room on his frame to add more bulk and shows a solid work ethic...Kicks the ball out quickly to the open perimeter shooter when facing double-team activity inside...Gets his man out of position with his pump fakes and can finish at the basket with either hand...Can draw contact on his way to the rim in attempts to get to the line, where he shows a good release and high arch on his free-throw attempts.
Negatives: Nivins' lack of timed speed is evident when he struggles in the post vs. quicker double teams, as he will hesitate a bit trying to get into position to make the play...Conditioning was a bit of a problem his first three seasons, but showed better dedication in the training room as a senior...Must show better explosion executing his post moves and while he has good strength, he needs to maintain his aggressiveness under the boards, as he will back off at times when pushed around by more physical forwards (this issue was noted when he had problems under the glass at the Portsmouth Tournament)...Has shown better range, but is still not capable of getting the distance and arch when trying to fire off his perimeter shot...Will need to bulk up more in order to be a presence working in the paint at the next level.
Compares To: LEON POWE, Boston -- Nivins' improved conditioning saw him develop his mid-range scoring game, combining that with solid numbers from the offensive glass, as the bulk of his scoring still comes from put-backs. He lacks explosive court speed and needs to get more aggressive under the boards, despite decent rebounding totals. He has problems vs. athletic double teams and handling physical forwards in the post, but late in the second round he could be a nice pickup for the end of the bench.