Player Spotlight: Josh Nickelberry
Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
Josh Nickelberry was the first member of his recruiting class to commit to the Cards. After he did so, he became a pretty big recruiter, himself. He reached out and was very vocal in trying to get the other guys to join him in Louisville. I’d say he was successful. The Cards landed one of the top recruiting classes in the country and it all began with this freshman from North Carolina.
As a high school player, Nickelberry scored 2,904 points in his career, which is good for second all-time in North Carolina high school basketball history. Coby White, who went to the University of North Carolina, is the top scorer with 3,573 points. In his senior season, Nickelberry averaged 26.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game as his team reached the 1A state championship for the first time in school history.
At 6’4, he will bring good size to the guard position. Our current “starters” are good, but they are also 6’2 and under. There will be games, especially in the ACC, when a bigger guard will be needed. Even if it’s only for a couple minutes at a time, that size will help. He is another player that can score in a multitude of ways. He can knock down the three, and then when the defense closes out too hard on him, he can drive by and hammer it down at the rim, which you will see in the highlight video below. A couple of his dunks caught me off guard.
When he got to Louisville over the summer, Nickelberry broke a bone in his pinky finger while playing one-on-one with Samuell Williamson. He didn’t need surgery and was only held out of some workouts.
Against Bellarmine on Tuesday night, he only played five minutes, was 0-1 from the floor, and did not record any other stats. None of the freshmen outside of Williamson played more than eight minutes in the exhibition, so it’s hard to gauge how he will fit into the rotation.
There are a couple of good highlight videos below to give you an idea of his game. It may just be AAU and summer basketball, but I like the fact that he is more than willing to take the big shots when the game is on the line.