Feb 5, 2014; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs center Sam Dower (35) fights for the rebound against Portland Pilots forward Ryan Nicholas (32) during the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs beat Pilots 71-66. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Senior Sendoff: Ryan Nicholas


There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about Pilot great Ryan Nicholas. It’s crazy when you think back to almost 5 years ago now when Nicholas committed to Portland. At the time Portland was in the midst of their “60 wins over 3 seasons” run and things were looking bright. Nicholas was seen as a solid addition. A kid who wouldn’t mind doing the dirty work; a kid with a great motor who could rebound, set picks, and add complimentary scoring. Four seasons later he’s been a two time All-WCC honorable mention (I personally think he should have made the All-WCC team but anyway) and 3 time WCC All-Academic team. His name is all over the UP records book. Here’s just a list of where he ranks all time for some key categories:

1238 total points – 12th all time

450 Field Goals Made – 14th all time

Career .464 Field Goal % – 14th all time

Career .378 3-point Field Goal %- 13th all time

270 Free Throws Made – 14th all time

364 Free Throws Attempted – 15th all time

833 total rebounds -5th all time

596 defensive rebounds – 2nd all time

Averaged 5.0 defensive rebounds/game – 2nd all time

237 offensives rebounds – 2nd all time

Played in 119 total games – 9th all time

Started 94 of those games – 6th all time

2996 career minutes – 12th all time

It’s easy to look at the numbers and really see his impact, but I’d argue his impact was much greater than any number can quantify.

Like I said earlier, Nicholas joined a Pilot squad trending up but a few costly transfers and ill-timed injuries led to a disappointing down turn in the middle of Nicholas’ time on the bluff. Rather than letting the weight of the losses affect his game, he emerged as the heart and soul of the Portland team, and with his leadership, Portland started to turn things around his senior season, claiming victories over Gonzaga and BYU.

Like I said, you can look at the numbers and see his impact, but his true legacy will be seen in the success Portland has in the coming years.

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