June 28, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. – Former St. Bonaventure star Andrew Nicholson was selected by the Orlando Magic with the 19th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft Thursday night at the Prudential Center.
With his selection, Nicholson becomes the 33rd Bonaventure player to be drafted into the NBA, and the first since Barry Mungar was selected in the Fourth Round in 1986. He also becomes the fourth Bona First-Round pick, and first since Bob Lanier was selected with the first overall pick by the Detroit Pistons in 1970.
Nicholson will likely be the first Bona basketball player to appear for an NBA team since J.R. Bremer (undrafted free agent) took the court for the Golden State Warriors during the 2003-04 season.
In this shortened season, the Orlando Magic finished 37-29, which was good for 6th in the Eastern Conference. Orlando was eliminated from the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers in five games. Nicholson is the first St. Bonaventure player ever to be selected by Orlando. Nicholson will join forces with former Atlantic 10 player of the year and National Player of the Year Jameer Nelson formerly of Saint Joseph's. He joins former Richmond standout Justin Harper and most notably Nicholson will team up with NBA superstar Dwight Howard.
The Mississauga, Ontario native becomes the seventh player coached by Mark Schmidt to be drafted into the NBA. He joins a list that includes former 18th overall pick, NBA All-Rookie Second Team selection and two-time NBA champion James Posey, as well as former Oscar Robertson Trophy recipient, 18th overall pick and two-time NBA All-Star David West. Both were coached by Schmidt at Xavier.
He also becomes the sixth player drafted out of the A-10 since 2009. That list includes: Justin Harper of Richmond (2011 Round 2, Pick 32), Lavoy Allen of Temple (2011 Round 2, Pick 50), Jordan Crawford of Xavier (2010 Round 1, Pick 27), Derrick Brown of Xavier (2009 Round 2, Pick 40) and Ahmad Nivins of Saint Joseph's (2009 Round 2, Pick 56).
On July 1, Butler and VCU will join the A-10. Those two schools have had a combined four players drafted since 2009. That list includes: Shelvin Mack of Butler (2011 Round 2, Pick 34), Gordon Hayward of Butler (2010 Round 1, Pick 9), Larry Sanders of VCU (2010 Round 1, Pick 15) and Eric Maynor of VCU (2009 Round 1, Pick 20).
"Nicholson brought St. Bonaventure back" said Rece Davis of ESPN. "He is the best big man out of St. Bonaventure since Caswell Cyrus." said Jay Bilas. Mike Francesa said earlier in the evening that "Andrew Nicholson is a legitimate player."
Nicholson stormed through the final month of the 2012 regular season to garner A-10 Player of the Year and Associated Press All-American honors. He powered St. Bonaventure to its first A-10 Championship title – earning a nod for Most Outstanding Player along the way – after posting 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks in a title-game win over Xavier that sent SBU to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.
Nicholson ended one of the all-time great careers in Bona basketball ranked second in program history in points (2,103), field-goal percentage (57.5) and blocked shots (244), while sitting fourth in total rebounds (887) in 123 games and 75 straight starts to end his career. He ranks as the only player in the history of the league to earn four straight Player of the Week awards, averaging 25.3 points and 11.5 rebounds over the final eight league games of the season.