I know that in recent weeks, everyone has been cognizant to not try and put Anthony Davis expectations onto Nerlens Noel but in a recent article at CoachCal.com. Nerlens seems more than ready to make a name for himself and even yes, go after what Anthony Davis built at UK:
“I’m going after that shot-blocking record,” Noel said confidently. “That’s just something to motivate myself to keep playing hard on defense. You’ve always got to set a goal of what you want to accomplish, and I definitely want to go after that.”
You have to love that attitude of Noel, but in all reality, Noel is pretty reverent of what Davis did at UKL and recognizes it will be a lot of work:
“Those are big expectations,” Noel admitted, seemingly comfortable with the Jolly Green Giant shoes some hope he can step into. “Right now, through these two months (before the season), I think I’ve got a lot of hard work to put in. Like (head athletic trainer) Chris Simmons told me, Rome wasn’t built in one day. I’ve just got to stay focused, work hard and I’ll get there.”
It’s not a monumental cut but as of this morning, you can count the number of teams on Julius Randle’s list on two hands. Randle “cut” his list of suitors to ten and here there are in no particular order: Texas, Kansas, Baylor, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Florida, N.C. State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. With a list that large and only about two months till the signing period, you would expect a spring announcement from Randle and he pretty much seems to indicate that. He does not completely rule out a Fall announcement but says that second signing period has its advantages:
“Pretty much the players and you can see the head coaches,” he said. “It will give me another chance to study their systems. I haven’t really studied systems since I’ve been recruited, but it gives me a chance to really look at the coaches.”
We know that football is right around the corner, but Kentucky basketball talk never ends. Jon Rothstein recently asked five questions about SEC basketball and it’s not big shock that the first two questions involved out Wildcats:
1. WILL A LACK OF EXPERIENCE AFFECT KENTUCKY?
Maybe in the first month of the season, but it shouldn’t be a real factor in February and March. Unlike last year when the Wildcats had three grizzled veterans in Darius Miller, Terrence Jones, and Doron Lamb, this year’s Kentucky team doesn’t have one single player that logged significant time during last year’s run to the national championship. With that said, Kyle Wiltjer did play spot minutes for John Calipari’s team a season ago and NC State transfer Ryan Harrow started for the Wolfpack two years ago. Another key piece is Wright State transfer Julius Mays, who averaged 14.1 points per game last season in the Horizon League. With Wiltjer, Harrow, and Mays, Kentucky has three players from different backgrounds that now they come together in Lexington with the same goal — getting the Wildcats back to the Final Four.
When you finish the rest of the Morning Five, you can go back to Rothstein’s piece and read the second question