Nerlens Noel



Status: UK signee
C | 6-10 | 215
High school: Tilton School (N.H.)
Hometown: Everett, Mass.

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What he brings: Unparalleled defense. Noel is considered by recruiting analysts to be the best shot blocker coming out of high school since Greg Oden in 2006. He’ll be expected to anchor UK’s interior defense from the get-go, and he’s already set his sights on Anthony Davis’ blocked-shot records. It could happen. After Noel committed to the Cats in April, Davis said of the future UK big man, “I think he’s better than me.”

Question mark: Can he score? No one doubts Noel’s ability to change a game with his defense, but there are plenty of questions about his play on the other end. Davis made it through most of last season by scoring on alley-oops and put-backs, then unleashed a nearly unstoppable array of post moves as the tournaments approached. But Davis also came to Lexington with a better offensive reputation than Noel. For the Cats to contend for No. 9, Noel will probably have to become a scoring threat in the paint.

One-and-done? Not only will Noel almost certainly leave after one season, he could wind up being John Calipari’s third No. 1 overall pick in four years at UK. The most recent mock draft for 2013 has Noel going in the top spot, and he’s also the No. 1 player on ESPN’s Top 100 board for next year. If he even comes close to living up to those expectations as a freshman, it’s hard to see him sticking around.

“They play as a unit and are very unselfish. Also the fans were incredible on my visit. They are behind the program 100 percent.”

– Nerlens Noel

Tracking Noel

Date Opponent W/L Stats
Nov. 20 Kiski W 20 pts, 10 rebs, 5 blks
Nov. 24 Trent Int’l W 8 pts, 7 rebs, 6 blks
Nov. 25 Sunrise Christain W 10 pts, 12 rebs, 3 blks
Nov. 26 Huntington Prep W 8 pts, 5 rebs, 3 blks
Dec. 4 South Kent L 8 pts, 8 rebs, 4 blks
Dec. 7 Worcester W 13 pts, 4 rebs, 5 blks
Dec. 9 Notre Dame W 4 pts, 11 rebs
Dec. 10 Brewster Academy L 14 pts
Dec. 16 St. Mark’s School W 5 pts, 6 rebs
Dec. 17 Hotchkiss School W 9 pts, 8 rebs, 5 blks
Dec. 19 Friends Central W 9 pts, 17 rebs
Dec. 21 Wilbraham W 8 pts, 21 rebs, 6 blks
Jan. 6 Proctor W 12 pts
Jan. 7 Cushing W 18 pts, 8 rebs, 6 blks
Jan. 11 Winchendon W 20 pts, 14 rebs, 9 blks
Jan. 14 Notre Dame W 12 pts, 4 rebs, 5 blks
Jan. 15 Brewster Academy W 22 pts, 8 rebs, 7 blks
Jan. 18 Vermont Academy W 11 pts, 9 rebs
Jan. 20 Villa Angela-SJ L 10 blks
Jan. 21 Arlington Country Day W 20 pts, 10 rebs
Jan. 25 Lawrence W No Stats
Jan. 27 Holderness W 13 pts, 13 rebs
Feb. 1 Phillips Academy W 14 pts, 9 rebs
Feb. 5 Christian Faith W 11 blks
Feb. 8 Kimball Union W 15 pts, 12 rebs, 7 asts
Feb. 15 Phillips Exeter W 18 pts, 5 rebs, 3 blks
Feb. 17 Holderness W DNP (UK visit)
Feb. 20 Brewster Academy L 8 pts, 12 rebs, 5 blks
Feb. 22 Proctor W DNP
Feb. 25 New Hampton L No stats
Feb. 29 Vermont Academy W 10 pts, 11 rebs, 4 blks
March 2 Wilbraham and Monson W 13 pts, 5 rebs, 5 blks
March 4 St. Mark’s L No stats