Jimmy Nichols, a 6-foot-7 junior forward from Conway, of made an unofficial visit to USC Wednesday with his parents.
They arrived around 11:30 a.m., and left around 5:00 p.m. During that time, Nichols toured the basket all facilities, the academic side of campus and met with Frank Martin and his coaches. Martin has only been recruiting Nichols for a month and has not yet offered. But Nichols will be returning for an official visit in September and is confident Martin will offer then. And as of now, the Gamecocks lead for him.
"He was just apologizing to my parents about how long it took them to come across me because they were still trying to fill up their 2017 class," Nichols said. "He said he wanted to offer me, but it's like being in a relationship, you don't want to ask the person to marry you on the first date. I kind of understood that. He said he wanted to get to know me since he just started talking to me two weeks ago. He said he's only given out two offers in the 2018 class, and that's Zion (Williamson) and Aaron (Nesmith). He said he just wanted to get to know me a little more."
Nichols said Martin likes him for his versatility and could see him playing the two, three or four spots in his lineup.
"He said that all he needs is a point guard and a solid center and the three players in between are interchangeable," Nichols said. "He liked how I'm versatile and can do a lot of things."
Nichols has offers from Miami, Rice, Rutgers, Coastal Carolina, Nebraska, Georgetown, VCU, Pittsburgh, Georgia and Providence. He said the top of his list right now are USC, Providence, Miami and Georgia. Nichols said he will also take official visits to Providence, Georgia and Miami.
Nichols, who averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks per game last season, said most likely he will sign in November.
Martin on Wednesday offered 6-foot-8 forward Simi Shittu who attends Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vt. He is a native of Canada. Shittu is considered to be one of the nation's elite prospects. His offer list also includes Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Arizona, Connecticut, Oregon Syracuse, Baylor, Arizona State and Georgetown.