NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Every year, coaches flock to the National Prep Showcase. The unofficial kickoff of the high school basketball season, the NPS offers coaches a chance to find players and gives players a chance to elevate their recruitment.
Many players elevating their stock are guys who didn't plan on being here a year ago.
Theoretically, though, that's what prep school is all about and Malik Nichols was just one of several guys looking to elevate his stock on the campus of Albertus Magnus College on Friday.
A native New Yorker, who initially committed to play at Hofstra as a member of the class of 2011, the 6-foot-5 wing is spending a post-graduation year at North Bridgton (Maine) Academy.
Nichols is still considering Hofstra, but he said that the extra year gives him time to look around and make sure he's making the best decision for him.
"Hofstra was the only school that I had seen," Nichols told Rivals.com. "I just had to see my options and what I could do."
If Nichols continues to play the way he did on Friday, things should take care of themselves.
The athletic wing kept his team in the game early with his slashing and tenacity in transition. He's got a quick first step, will rebound and stays active on both ends of the floor.
"I can kind of play everything," Nichols said. "I play hard all the time on offense and defense."
His final stat line only showed 13 points in a 74-71 win over Delafield (Wis.) St. John's Northwest Military, but his impact on the game was noticeable to anybody in the gym.
In addition to Hofstra, Nichols said that he's started to hear a bit from St. John's and USF. But he's open to more schools entering the race for his services and is excited about the opportunity to play in front of bleachers full of coaches.
"Yeah for sure," said Nichols when asked whether he noticed the coaches watching. "You just try to play your best and play hard."