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Clarkston (MI.) 2020 center Matt Nicholson

Trio of Michigan Seniors off the Board

Inside Prep Sports/TJ Kelley


This past weekend three of Michigan’s Top 10 seniors committed to out of state schools.  Quincy’s (MI.) 6’8” 2020 center/power forward Will Dunn to Youngstown State, Clarkston’s (MI.) 7’ 2020 center Matt Nicholson gave his call to Northwestern, and Holy Cross landed Southfield Christian’s (MI.) 6’4” 2020 wing DaJion Humphrey.

Inside Prep Sports caught up to each for a quick look into their development and recruitment process:

Nicholson was far from a no-brain Big Ten or even Division 1 player as a freshman on JV where he started but the ever-improving big man knew he wanted to get better.  As a sophomore, Clarkston won a state championship but Nicholson was burried on the bench behind Taylor Currie (Mott CC '20 and Akron commit).

“I needed a lot of work to get done so I would go every weekend and work with Reggie Butler which has helped me become who I am as a player now.”

A year ago, the All-State big man held offers from Ferris State and his first came from Lake Superior State where head coach Steve Hettinga coached his older brother Mike (LSSU ’17).  Nicholson rolled off 18 wins in a row before falling in the first round of the state playoffs which sticks with the future Wildcat, “We are coming back better than last year.  (I) haven’t let that (Rochester) Adams’ game leave my mind, neither have my teammates.  We have worked all season and are coming back ready.”

Go back to April in Atlanta with Nicholson joining The Family on the EYBL circuit after previous years with the North Oakland Wolfpack, and Division 1 offers started pouring in from Horizon and MAC schools as well as Butler, Creighton among others and then Northwestern by the end of the summer.

Nicholson has the grades to pick and choose where he wanted to continue his education and Northwestern’s a great fit, “To me, it’s playing in my home state for against two of the teams who didn’t believe in what I would become so now they have to play against what I will become.  Also, playing in one of the best conferences means a lot.  It’s just the start to my long journey.”

Nicholson more than likely won’t burst onto the Big Ten scene as he needs to get stronger and gain weight.  He does a lot of things that aren’t going away as far as talking on defense, rim running, and bringing toughness.  He goes about his work as it has been practiced time and time again.  He emerged as a shot blocker last winter and scoring threat in the post finishing with baby hooks as well as dunks.  Nicholson is Michigan’s #1 center and #5 overall player in the 2020 class. 

Northwestern assistant coach Jon Borovich is a Michigan native who attended Birmingham Seaholm, 25 miles south of Clarkston.


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