Distance was deciding factor for Nichols 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
1:27
PM ET
There was a seminal moment last summer that didn’t receive much fanfare, but it may have impacted the decision of power forward Austin Nichols (Memphis, Tenn./Briarcrest) in a big way.

[+] EnlargeAustin Nichols
Scott Kurtz for ESPN.comAustin Nichols decided to stay close to home and pledge to Memphis.
Nichols, ranked No. 12 in the ESPN 100, was poised to make the USA U-18 National Team. Not only was he going to make the squad that was to play in the world championships in Brazil, he was going to play heavy minutes. Nichols tried out for the team but took himself out of contention for a final roster spot because he wasn’t ready to be that far from home yet.

Nichols had a final list of Tennessee, Memphis, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Duke and Virginia. Prior to tidying up his list, at least one major program opted to stop recruiting Nichols because it feared he wasn’t going far from home. They took notice of the decision regarding USA Basketball and surmised while they may get Nichols, the risk of losing valuable time didn't outweigh the reward. They figured he would remain close to home. At that point, staying close to home meant Tennessee or Vanderbilt.

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