MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis 6-foot-9 forward Austin Nichols is looking to transfer.
Mark Nichols said Tuesday that “it doesn’t look like” his son will be back at Memphis, though he added the school has denied his request for a release “at this point.” Mark Nichols said Austin plans to go through an appeals process to seek a release.
CBS Sports first reported Mark Nichols saying his son intends to transfer. Memphis radio station 92.9 FM ESPN reported that Austin Nichols confirmed his intent to transfer by saying that “I think it’s best if I move on from here.”
Memphis coach Josh Pastner issued a statement earlier Tuesday saying Nichols missed a team workout and the matter would be handled internally. Pastner said, “Austin is an important member of our team and we fully expect him to be a leader for the Memphis basketball program moving forward.”
If Nichols does transfer, it would leave Memphis without its top scorer from the team that went 18-14 last season.
Mark Nichols declined to say why his son wants to leave.
“We won’t get into that,” Mark Nichols said. “Right now, all we’re trying to do is get a release. Once we get a release, we’ll go to the next step.”
Nichols, who was born in Memphis, averaged a team-high 13.3 points as well as 6.1 rebounds this past season despite missing five games with two separate injuries to his right ankle. He also had a team-high 3.4 blocks per game.
He would become the third Memphis player to transfer since the end of the season. Memphis announced in March that guard Pookie Powell and guard/forward Nick King were leaving.
“I hate it for Memphis,” Mark Nichols said. “I hate it for the coaching staff. I hate it for the city. It’s late in the year to be doing this. We know that. We’re not happy about it. It’s just something that happened, and we’ve got to move on with it. We’ve just got to move forward.”