Andrew Nicholson is letting game do the talking

Nicholson is GM Rob Hennigan's first-ever draft pick, and you have to give him and his scouts credit. So far, his selection at No. 19 gives fans hope that Hennigan can find these diamonds in the rough.

How rough was the rough? The unheralded Canadian big man didn't start playing organized ball until his sophomore year of high school.

He missed a senior trip with a premier travel team because of a sprained ankle, keeping him off the radar of the Dukes and Kentuckys. He was injured after running down the stairs at his parent's house and falling, falling right into St. Bonaventure's lap.

An aspiring doctor, Nicholson decided on the Bonnies so he could stay close to his Mississauga, Ontario home and largely because of their academic --- not athletic --- program.

He became the Bonnies' brightest star since Bob Lanier despite all that, and despite a style coach Jacque Vaughn calls "not glamorous, but gets it done."

He shuffles more than he sprints, his gangly body producing no majestic, jaw-dropping moves. He's no quote machine, but Glen Davis calls him a "scoring machine." All Andrew does is put the ball in the basket, configuring the shortest distance between two points being, well, two points.

He's unspectacularly efficient and economic, mirroring his approach with the press. But not everyone wants to be -- or needs to be -- a media darling.

In an age of filibustering athletes, non-stop sports talk and endless, inane laptop chatter, Nicholson is different. The only time he gives less than maximum effort is when he opens his mouth.

Andrew Nicholson is rare, boasting a game that speaks for itself.

bschmitz@tribune.com

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