The fears UofL fans have had about basketball recruiting are allayed tonight after Coach Chris Mack picked up a commitment from 2019 4 Star G Josh Nickelberry.
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) June 1, 2018
Nickelberry, a 6’4 175 lbs combo guard out of Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, NC, is a fantastic get for Coach Mack. Nickelberry chose UofL over offers from North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, Florida, and Oklahoma among many others. Coach Mike Pegues was his primary recruiter.
Rivals analyst Corey Evans talked with Nickelberry about his commitment. Nickelberry had this to say about his commitment to UofL to Evans, “It was the best situation, honestly. They have the opportunity to play early and get me to my main goal, which is the NBA. Coach (Chris) Mack is a great coach, as well. They told me I could be their lead guy by running both the one and the two.”
Nickelberry has good quickness, is a strong ball handler, a very good shooter, a good passer, and an excellent finisher at the rim.
Nickelberry is very good at driving and being able to get a shot up at almost any angle and make it. It’s reminiscent of Russ Smith. He’s also very good at finishing through contact.
The shooting stroke Nickelberry possesses is excellent. He has a great mid-range jumper and his range easily extends out well past the 3 point line. His touch and arc are beautiful and allow him to get the shooter’s roll. What’s really awesome is that he can shoot off the bounce or catch it and shoot.
It appears Nickelberry is a score first G, but he can pass. He shows great court awareness of where his teammates will be and then gets them the ball when they are open. He uses his driving ability to draw defenders and kick it out for open shots. His passes are precise and crisp.
Nickelberry is a very good ball handler which enables him to get to the rack with relative ease. He has an array of moves that allow him to get open shots and get by defenders.
The quickness and physicality Nickelberry has allow him to guard either PGs or SGs, but he may even be able to guard some SFs. Obviously defense is where he will need some work, but that is true of nearly every college prospect.
One thing Nickelberry should get better at is rebounding. He has the body type to be a decent rebounding G and Coach Mack likes his Gs to crash the boards. That is something I think he will become proficient at.
This is a huge recruiting coup for UofL as it did not seem likely Nickelberry would leave his home state with NC State and UNC recruiting him. Coach Mack just showed that despite all the toxicity around the program, he is here with a big mop to clean it up.