- Noel mania has surpassed the 24-hour mark now and it rages on at a fever pitch. In case you were distracted by your favorite football team’s signing of a future fourth string tight end and missed it… late Wednesday night news broke that star prep center Nerlens Noel will reclassify to 2012 and plans to sign with one of seven finalists — Syracuse, Connecticut, Providence, Kentucky, Florida, Georgetown and North Carolina — in the April signing period. The frenzy seemingly resonated nationwide but perhaps nowhere more than in Providence when a GoLocalProv.com story anonymously quoted a coach in Noel’s prep school league as saying Noel, “is leaning towards picking PC.” The news sent Friar fans into a delirious state of social networking madness (see #Nerlens4PC on Twitter). In the great timing for Providence coach Ed Cooley department, Noel and his Tilton School teammates will be playing in Providence College’s back yard on Sunday as part of the National Prep School Invitational which is being held at the city’s Rhode Island College. CLICK HERE to vote in our poll and log your opinion on Noel’s destination!
- Surprised about the possibility of Nerlens Noel heading to Providence? Do not be. Noel’s relationship with and courtship by Providence is nothing new. Being from nearby Everett, Massachusetts, Noel has attended several Friar home games and has reportedly developed a respect for head coach Ed Cooley and the Providence staff. Furthermore, Noel has been very thoughtful and deliberate about his recruitment, and it appears the idea of teaming up with fellow top tier recruits Ricardo Ledo and Kris Dunn and being part of an upstart program in a community where college basketball is the only game in town appeals to him. Noel participated in an online chat last August where Providence represented a prominent part of the discussion. In fact, Noel revealed at the time (which was also before Ledo committed to PC) that he and Ledo had spoken about attending Providence together.
- Speaking of the National Prep School Invitational, which started yesterday and runs through Sunday, fans do not have to be present at Rhode Island College to get a glimpse of some of the best high school talent in the country, including a couple of Big East signees (Steven Adams, Pittsburgh and Ricardo Ledo, Providence) and a host of Big East recruiting targets. Cox Sports will be streaming a number of the contests live, and via replay, for free. A full schedule can be viewed at coxsportsonline.com.
- In keeping with the recruiting theme this morning, the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic rosters were announced yesterday. Not surprisingly the Big East was well represented with three selections: Jerami Grant, who will attend Syracuse, along with the aforementioned pair of Providence signees, Ricardo Ledo and Kris Dunn. The trio will fittingly team up on the East squad. Also featured on the East’s roster is undecided center Tony Parker who is being pursued by Georgetown and Connecticut, among others. The game will take place on April 14 at 7 PM in Charlotte and will be televised on ESPN.
- As conveyed here on Wednesday a report surfaced that Louisville is pursuing an exit from the Big East in favor of a spot in the Big 12 (think Fresca). Since Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced their intentions to jump ship for the ACC, Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino has been a vocal supporter of staying the course and preserving the future of the Big East. Fittingly, Pitino downplayed the possibility of a move by his school saying, “I doubt it. I think that there was a chance last year but from what I understand some of the members of the [Big 12] conference don’t want to split the revenue and they want to stick at 11, so at least personally I’m hoping we stay put.” Stay tuned on this.
Rick Pitino is Not Swayed by the Power of Fresca (Photo: Fresca.com)