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Prospect Profile

Nerlens Noel

  • Full Name: Nerlens Noel
  • Position: Center
  • Height/Weight: 6-10 / 228
  • Birthdate: April 10, 1994
  • College: Kentucky
New Orleans Pelicans (Traded to Philadelphia 76ers in post-draft trade) Round 1: Pick 6

- Sixth Pick: Nerlens Noel 
- All Access: Draft Night
- Noel Eyeing Christmas Return

- Scary shot blocker
- Excellent rebounder
- Good all-around defender

- Not a polished offensive player
- Needs to get bigger and stronger
- Poor free-throw shooter

NBA projection
Despite the fact he suffered a torn ACL and was limited to just 24 games, Noel is still projected as the No. 1 pick in the draft. His recovery is progressing ahead of schedule, and in a weak draft, he’s one of the only sure bets, because at worst, he’s a player that can control a game from the defensive end.

2012-13 Season
Noel had a shot to break Anthony Davis’ one-year-old school, SEC and NCAA freshman blocked shot record, but he suffered a torn ACL in a game at Florida and was lost for the season. Despite that, he led the league in blocked shots and still earned first-team All-SEC and league freshman-of-the-year honors.

Key statistics
10.5 ppg | 9.5 rpg | 1.6 apg | 1.8 tpg | 2.1 spg | 31.9 mpg | .590 FG | .529 FT

Cool statistic
Forty-seven percent of Noel’s 106 blocked shots were saved in bounds and recovered by either him or one of his teammates.

Reminds me of...
Larry Sanders

What Insiders Say
Kentucky coach John Calipari
"I've been blessed three times in my career to have a player that can change the game without really scoring with Marcus Camby, Anthony Davis and now Nerlens Noel.”

What Outsiders Say
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy (after Noel blocked a school-record 12 shots against the Rebels)
“He was the difference in the game. We all would agree with that. He is an incredible defensive presence. Our guys found a way to fight back in the game. The way everybody is guarding Marshall (Henderson), it’s no secret that they’re going to switch and defend on all of the screening action. Nerlens (Noel) would not allow the ball to go in the basket. As a result, we ran out of possessions and they capitalized.”

-- Profile by Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Follow him @cdortch