It's time for the third matchup in the first round for the Pacers 26th pick tournament. Our next matchup pits two top forwards going against each other, Royce White vs. Andrew Nicholson. Check out after the jump the analysis of both prospects.
Who do you want to advance on to the second round?
This could be the best matchup of the whole tournament right here. White and Nicholson both could fill needs for us right way and down the road. We are in need of a backup forward and an eventual starter once Danny or David leave. These two prospects are very versatile and can score in bunches. Either one could give us an instant jolt to the second unit's offense.
Here's the tale of the tape White vs. Nicholson:
Royce White: Very bouncy player who can jump out of the gym. He can explode to the rim with some flash. White can handle the ball like a point guard too. He's really a true point-forward. White could slip to the Pacers at 26 with his red flags. He has anxiety issues that includes a fear of flying, but if he slips this far the Pacers might have to take the risk.
White needs to improve his mid-range jumper and has to develop a three-point shot. He gets a lot of his shots blocked near the rim. Royce will need to have more air on his shot to avoid that. White also turns the ball over a lot. He turned it over four times per game at Iowa State, but it could be just because he had to be the team's main ball handler.
Also, Royce is a very average defender. He lets a lot of players drive past him with ease. White seems to put all of his efforts in on the offensive end.
The Cyclone product use to play at Minnesota, but had to transfer due to his criminal history. He said he's a changed man, but you never know. We don't want another incident like Stephen Jackson at the club.
If Royce slips to 26 he could be a big risk, but if his red flag history has vanished, he could be a great player.
Here are a few videos of White's strength (athleticism) and weakness (defense) :
Royce is an explosive scorer and could become a 20 plus per game scorer. He would be a nice fit backing up Danny for a few years and eventually replacing him down the road.
If Royce could improve his defense he could be a spectacular player in the NBA. If he puts all of his effort into defense as well, we could be looking at an all-star.
White fits well if he's picked by the Pacers. His leaping ability and scoring would be fun to watch at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. I don't think Royce would take Danny's job, but he would be one good apprentice.
Now, we get to Andrew Nicholson. He's a great shooting forward who could be the best in the class. He can stretch out teams well and open it up for other players.
Does that sound familiar? Yeah, he's compared a lot to David West.
He can make the three-point shot and make a mid-range shot with consistency. Nicholson can also bang down low and out-muscle his opponents. He made 51% of his shots, pretty impressive right there. Andrew is a wonderful offensive rebounder. He averaged three offensive rebounds a game for the Bonnies.
Nicholson can turn the ball over a lot like White, but it might be due to him being the main man for St. Bonaventure. Also, on defense he tends to get pushed back due to his 220 pound frame. Andrew tends to not move well either, he stands very upright in his stance most of the time.
Andrew is soft spoken and that could benefit him. He's not a cocky player in any sense. That shows another comparison to West.
Here's a few highlights from Nicholson's game from this year's A-10 conference tournament and the NCAA tournament:
Nicholson would be a great fit here in Indiana. Why not have the man he's compared to most in West groom him?
He could stretch the floor better than Tyler in the second unit and once in a while drive to the basket with force. Andrew could be a nice sixth man for the Pacers next season and the eventual replacement for David West.
This makes Tyler Hansbrough expendable. No need to keep him if he's just going to get 10-15 minutes again for us next season. It kind of makes sense too. Hansbrough was disappointing for us this season and I thought he would improved. He underwhelmed me greatly. I think with the Pacers looking at a lot of forwards, it's a sign that Tyler will be shopped around this off-season.
Now, after all the analysis who do you want to advance on in the tournament? Will it be Royce White or Andrew Nicholson advancing on?