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In this year's Summer League in Orlando, there was one player that shined for the Magic squad, and that athlete was their first-round draft pick, Andrew Nicholson.
On both sides of the court, Nicholson proved to have real potential, as the 6'9" big man averaged nearly 13 points and seven boards per contest while swatting away numerous shots.
This production named him to the 2012 AirTran Airways All-Summer League first team, along with Utah’s Alec Burks, Detroit’s Austin Daye, and Miles Plumlee and Lance Stephenson from Indiana. Nicholson beat out fellow rookie power forward Jared Sullinger for the honor.
Nicholson's consistency on offense and all-around hustle allowed the big man to thrive in this summer's action. That was to be expected, though, as those said aspects had scouts drooling during his collegiate years at St.Bonaventure.
However, nobody expected the versatility and surprising athleticism present in his polished game. Not only can Nicholson move swiftly down the court, but his long 7'4" wingspan coupled with his superb jumping ability makes him a shot-blocking presence on the block.
With a starting lineup most likely composed of Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Hedo Türkoğlu and Nikola Vučević, it may not be a bad idea for Vaughn to decide to bench the veteran Glen Davis in favor of the spry Andrew Nicholson.
Additionally, Nicholson showed that he can penetrate the defense with ease off the dribble and knock down the open three-point jumper. These skills, along with his solid post-game, will allow him to develop into a go-to big man like he was in college.
St. Bonaventure assistant coach Dave Moore has high praise for the prospect:
"His outside game has come along. We tried to develop him in the lowepost his first year and then move him out to the mid post his second year and step him out to three his third year. He’s kinda of put everything together now, where he’s really impossible to guard one-on-one."