Austin Nichols and the Memphis Tigers


I didn’t want to keep tweeting about it and answering all the questions I’ve received so I’ll tell you what I have been told by sources close to the situation. 

1. Austin Nichols hasn’t played nor practiced basketball but twice since his injury back in the spring. He doesn’t want to play basketball anymore. He wants to enjoy college life and hangout with his friends.

2. Austin was dating a girl who is a cheerleader at Memphis and they recently broke up. Apparently it was emotionally rough for him. Austin didn’t want to keep seeing her at games. There were people who were willing to work that out (Let’s face it, this is college basketball. It’s a money game.). However Austin didn’t want that to happen to her so was willing just to stop playing ball (chivalry is not dead).

3. Austin’s parents have invested a lot of time and money over the years to see Austin become successful in basketball. They know he can become an NBA player. He is currently on track to become an NBA player out of Memphis. When Nichols’ parents knew Austin’s desire to play was waning, they offered him the idea to transfer and get away from his distractions. They didn’t want him to squander his (nor their) opportunity for a big payday. 

4. Josh has raised Austin’s NBA stock prior to his injury. Pastner has Austin on track to graduate in 3 years and he would have gone to the NBA after this upcoming season. Austin wasn’t happy with that and just informed Josh this summer that he wanted to enjoy college.

5. Since all of this took place during the summer, all of these events led Austin’s family to talk to Austin and they decided recently as 10 or do days ago to transfer. By transferring his parents said he could get away from his ex and get back to focusing on basketball. Once they informed Josh, he went to work to do everything he could to convince him transferring wasn’t necessary. (Clarification: Austin didn’t tell or ask Josh.)  However, the decision had already been made. Austin’s father is now doing the talking. It really isn’t Pastner’s place to comment on Austin’s personal decisions so he isn’t doing that. Also the Nichols’ family hasn’t been disappointed in Pastner and his relations with them. 

6. When Nichols family requested Austin’s release and transfer the school denied it today. Nichols father is unhappy with that decision, went to media and let everyone know what happened. Clearly his father isn’t going to open up and talk about Austin’s personal business either. Hopefully Austin will open up and talk about this but I doubt that will happen either.

If you think this is about Josh Pastner, you certainly have the right to believe what you want. I would caution you to ask questions and examine why Austin or anyone would transfer right before camp starts, without having any interaction with the team during the offseason, and knowing that he would have to sit out a year before playing ball again. Had there been a big blowup or what have you, that’s understandable, but none of that happened. If there was displeasure with the staff, a player wouldn’t typically wait until summer workouts before transferring, especially since there was nothing happens in the offseason.

That’s all I’ve been told. Just passing it along.

It is unfortunate because most other transfers out have been related to Josh and the jury of public opinion on him is quite troubling. This will not look good for him and already people are on Josh’s case as if he did this. Josh may need a bench coach, but he needs a PR team worse!

This really isn’t anyone’s fault completely. It’s jut a series of unfortunate happenings and a case of reality that has led the situation to Austin’s abrupt departure today.

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29 thoughts on “Austin Nichols and the Memphis Tigers

  1. Do you believe that his projected draft stock had to do something with this as well?

  2. Shawn Cochran says:

    Bad advice from overbearing parents. Happens all day long with non athletes as well. How many kids get pushed into the “family business” because that is what dad wants. Sad really. If the kid lost the heart, then transferring ain’t gonna fix it.

    • I think they all believe transferring out and getting away from Memphis will help him see if he really wants to keep playing or not. Time will tell.

      • Shawn Cochran says:

        I will wish him luck and hope he does well no matter where he goes in life. I don’t know him personally (obviously) but what I have heard/seen/been told he is a really good kid. I hope he stays at the U of M but not if he is going to be depressed or have a shizzz attitude.

      • I think his days at Memphis are over and I do wish him the best. He is a really great guy.

      • ncrdbl1 says:

        One of these days he will learn you cannot run away from your problems. There are men on the front lines in the middle east who have been dumped by their GF or even wives. The buck up and do their jobs.

    • sarah1200 says:

      his ex girlfriend is crazy

  3. Robert Cockerham says:

    From this article it sounds like Austin’s dad was trying to protect his payback. I don’t know how Austin’s parents could in good faith talk their son out of going to Duke or UVA. The coaching and education offered at those schools is without a doubt superior to what we have at Memphis.

    • I have no more knowledge of Austin’s dad wanting money from Austin’s future but I can understand the frustration of Austin just giving up ball after all they’ve done. I’m not sure Mr Nichols wanted Austin to be at Memphis in the first place

      • ncrdbl1 says:

        A parent should want what is best for their child not what is best for them. If AN says he does not want to play ball anymore then why is DADA so pissed that he cannot get a release so he can play elsewhere? Smells 100% like DADA is look at AN as an investment for his own future.

  4. Chris says:

    What do you have to support point 4 that Josh has improved his draft stock?

  5. ncrdbl1 says:

    If Austin had decided to not play basketball anymore then there is no need for a release. And his dad would not be so upset about him not getting a release. So i call BS on the not wanting to play ball anymore.

    • Well if you believe the rest of it, his father wants him to keep playing and is the one doing all the talking and asking for the release. His dad thinks getting away from this apparently crazy ex girlfriend and out of Memphis will help him focus on basketball again and remind him how he can be in the NBA.

  6. Eddie Han says:

    Even if he did transfer to either Duke or Virginia, I don’t see how sitting out a year would help his case. That’s a year w/o real game competition and there’s no way to practice or go to the gym enough to simulate that. I think he would’ve been better off in Memphis, especially w/ the team they have going into this year. I think if he does transfer to another program, he’ll prob. end up either on the bench or playing a lesser role, and sadly that’s what his dad’s going to have to come to terms w/. JMO

  7. JW says:

    Makes sense. Hope he mans up and decides to stay.

  8. jdoggtn says:

    Regardless of what motivated Austin Nichols, or Nick King, or Pookie Powell, I think we have to say at this point, enough is enough. Josh Pastner has to go. That our basketball program has become a shambles with him at the helm may not entirely be Pastner’s fault, but that is what has happened. Pastner may be a great guy, personally. But his ability to recruit was clearly overstated, he has NO ability to retain his recruits, and players clearly feel that they do not develop under his style of coaching. Pastner probably has a future ahead of him as an assistant coach somewhere, but the last few years have shown clearly that he is not head coach material. At some point the University of Memphis must stop the bleeding. How much lower can the program sink?

    • Roy Kaminsky says:

      How about the University of Maryland having 5 players (50% of scoring and 40% of rebounding.) to transfer before the 2014/2015 Season? And this was on top of 4 players transferring when Mark Turgeon took over for the 2011/2012 Season. He had a record of 87-50 in the 4 years, and was on the Hot Seat until the beginning of the 2014/2015 where he was 28-7 and won the Big Ten title (preseason picked to finish 10th) and went to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

      This year they will projected to be in the top 5 in the Nation.

      If no one sees the parallel between Josh Pastner (75-29 in his first 3 years) and Mark Turgeon’s career, (59-43 in his first 3 years.) there is a Lenscrafter’s around the city. Granted the difference between the ACC and the Conference USA is huge,)

      “The 2013-2014 season was supposed to be the start of a new and exciting chapter, but suddenly — after an underwhelming campaign and now a wave of transfers — it feels like the end of a disappointing chapter instead.

      When Nick Faust, Shaq Cleare and Roddy Peters jumped ship a few weeks ago, we fans weren’t thrilled but we weren’t exactly shocked or saddened either. Each, in his own way, was in some stage of underachieving in the eyes of Maryland fans. Faust was supposed to be the program savior and a bridge between the Gary Williams and Mark Turgeon tenures. He never became that.”


  9. Fred H Tims says:

    Sounds to me like Austin may have a substance issue. Not practicing, girlfriend leaving him, Daddy wants him to get away from Memphis.

  10. Dave Jackson says:

    He doesn’t have to go 1-A. He can transfer down and play immediately.

  11. Fred says:

    You write this article like you are one of Austins friends and that you have the inside scoop on everything involved in his basketball and personal life when you have no clue and are an ignorant tiger fan. You are wrong and should quit writing these shitty articles.

  12. Randall Beaman says:

    Austin Nichols, if he didn’t want to play for Memphis, let him go Not really strong, not a banger, played soft. All he was was white and tall. In Memphis, that makes you a favorite..

    Nick King, where was he going to play. Not big enough to play power, not a good enough shooter to play off guard. Not fast or strong. Where was his playing time coming from?

    Pookie, Not smart, did not learn, made bad decisions, could not shoot the 3, not a shut down defender. not a loss.

    Reality is sometime rough of these kids. Josh needs a bench coach that is for sure, but all things considered, Josh is right for Memphis…….get off his back you fair weather fans.

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