Posted by KAlmekinder on October 17th, 2012
Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel has been cleared by the NCAA to compete athletically in college basketball. The heralded Massachusetts big man enrolled in Lexington earlier this fall without any problems, but an ongoing investigation by the NCAA about payments for unofficial visits to other universities during the recruitment process has kept Noel, Kentucky, and Wildcat fans anxious about the investigation result leading up to the team’s first regular season matchup with Maryland on November 9. Earlier today, Kentucky head coach John Calipari visited the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut, to promote the Kentucky All-Access series that debuted tonight on ESPN. Calipari was asked about Noel’s eligibility and stated quite clearly, “He’s been cleared to practice and cleared to play games. Everything’s good to go.”
John Calipari Announced Nerlens Noel is “Good to Go” Today (credit: USA Today)
Wildcat fans can breathe easy now knowing that the next-in-line UK shot-blocker will officially don the blue and white this season. The high accolades set by Anthony Davis last season will make many fans across the country expect Noel to become a carbon-copy of last year’s NPOY, but both players are drastically different: Davis quickly learned his rejection technique in a few years only because of his growth spurt in high school, while Noel has mastered this craft throughout his many years manning the post in the sport. Davis was a much more polished offensive player facing the rim, and conversely, Noel needs to quickly improve on his game away from the basket. Regardless of their differences, Noel will be a truly amazing player to watch as the season progresses as well as a great asset to this year’s Kentucky squad along with some other high caliber freshmen such as Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Archie Goodwin.
Read the rest of this entry »