St. Andrew's head coach Mike Hart told us that his star player, Demetris Nichols, has vastly improved his game over the past year. "His weakness used to be getting his shot off with his dribble," said Hart. "Now everything he is doing is off the dribble. What an improvement!"
Nichols, 6-8 in sneakers, has also added several pounds to his frame. "He is above 200 pounds now," Hart said. "I expect him to have a great year for us. I hope people look at him and think of him as a McDonald's All American candidate. He has gotten that good."
Nichols, who gave a verbal commitment to Syracuse over Villanova last Spring, has the ability to be a major impact player for several reasons. 1. He has become such a better shooter over the past year. 2. He always has been a good defensive player.
"He has those long arms," Hart said. "He deflects a lot of balls and gets his hands on the ball a lot."
Nichols' stock climbed sky high after he had a terrific tournament at the Charlie Weber tournament on the campus of Villanova last Spring. It was shortly after this tournament that Nichols made a verbal commitment to Syracuse. "He is going to be a great player for Syracuse," Hart said. "He will fit in great with their system."
Nichols has also recently qualified academically. This puts the Orangemen in good shape if Carmelo Anthony has a big year and thinks about jumping to the NBA after his freshman season at Syracuse.