Memphis, TN-The University of Memphis used wins over Rutgers and Temple to move up one spot in this week’s Associated Press rankings to 21st in the nation and two spots in the coaches poll to 22.
Tigers freshman Austin Nichols has been named the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
It is the second time this season Nichols has earned the weekly honor, as he also received it Dec. 2 following his performance in the Old Spice Classic. It is the fifth time this season a Tiger has been honored by the league. In addition to Nichols’ two weekly awards, Shaq Goodwin was twice named The American Player of the Week Dec. 2 and Jan. 13, and Nick King the league’s Rookie of the Week Nov. 25.
Last week, Nichols averaged 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots in helping lead Memphis to victories over Rutgers and Temple.
In the 64-59 win at Rutgers Feb. 20, the 6-foot-8 forward had 10 points and four boards. Nichols then posted his best all-around performance of the season in the Tigers’ 82-79 overtime victory over Temple Feb. 22. The Collierville, Tenn., native recorded his first collegiate double-double with 17 points and a season-best 12 rebounds. Nichols also blocked a season-high seven shots versus the Owls. The seven blocks are tied for the eighth-most overall and second-most by a freshman for a single game in Tigers history.
On the season, Nichols has started all 27 games and is averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. He is second on the team in both blocked shots (34) and field goal percentage (58.5). Nichols is ranked among the American Athletic Conference statistical leaders in field goal percentage (3rd) and blocked shots (11th).