The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

May 28, 2010

Expect a few more assists from Nichols

If you listened closely during the 2009-10 basketball season, you came to realize just how special a player point guard Darris Nichols was during his playing days at WVU.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said on more than one occasion that if his team had Nichols at the point, it would win the national championship.

And that was before March Madness, before the run to the Final Four.

That wasn’t a slam of point guards Darryl “Truck” Bryant or Joe Mazzulla. Maybe a motivator, but not a slam. It was more a compliment to what Nichols accomplished, which included scoring 993 career points and playing from a period that spanned stars Kevin Pittsnogle, Joe Alexander, Frank Young and Da’Sean Butler.

Nichols laughed at the thought.

“Coach said that to me quite a few times,” he said. “I told him maybe if it was two years ago, I could do it. Now, I guess I’m going to take up golf.”

Nichols was in Beckley last week as part of the Mountaineer Athletic Club golf outing at The Resort at Glade Springs.

He said it was his first time playing the game.

“I learned how to grip the golf club from (former teammate) Ted Talkington a couple of weeks ago,” Nichols, a lefty, said. “So if I play lousy, it’s his fault.”

Don’t look now, but Nichols is back. He joined Huggins’ staff as a graduate assistant coach in April and was able to attend the Final Four.

He, of course, was a player for Huggins’ first team that went to the Sweet 16 and also won an NIT title while at WVU under former coach John Beilein, who recruited him out of Radford (Va.) High.

In a way, Nichols was born to coach.

His father William, an All-America at Berea College, was also a coach in high school.

And his brother Shane is an assistant coach at Wofford.

“I always knew that I wanted to coach,” Nichols said. “I just didn’t think it would be this soon.”

After leaving WVU, Nichols played overseas. By all accounts he was doing well, until a knee injury sidelined, and eventually ended, his career.

So he came back to the states and ended up in Morgantown.

It turned out to be good timing. Kevin Schappell was in his final year as a GA at WVU.

“I talked to Huggs a lot, and he said he would give me a chance,” Nichols said. “I can’t think of a better coach to work for than coach Huggins. I learned a lot playing for him and now I am going to learn a lot about how to be a coach.”

A lot of Nichols’ job will be film work, breaking down game tape and opponent tape. As a player, he watched the finished product, a product he will now produce.

If it’s anything like his playing career, Huggins can expect a few more assists from Nichols in the next couple seasons.

— E-mail: demorrison@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Trickett takes uncertainty away from WVU quarterback position

    Since the day Geno Smith was selected with the 39th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, West Virginia’s football team has found itself in a rare position — searching for a starting quarterback.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fred Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 27, 2014

  • Herd featured prominently in website’s preseason honors

    Marshall received several nods in the CollegeSportsMadness.com preseason All-Conference USA awards released Saturday.

    July 27, 2014

  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp