February 12, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) reacts on the ground after hurting his knee against the Florida Gators during the second half at the Stephen C. O

Kentucky Wildcats Without Star Nerlens Noel

February 12, 2013 was a day that all Kentucky Wildcat fans will remember for the rest of their lives. It is not a good memory either. On that night, Wildcat star Nerlens Noel hit the floor doing what he does best blocking a layup on a fast break and everyone in the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida went silent. Noel who is having an incredible freshman season for the Cats was announced the next day that he had torn his ACL and would miss the remainder of the college basketball season and maybe his collegiate career. This is a huge blow to the Wildcats who were just starting to find themselves and had been getting into a rhythm as a team. Without Noel there are only 2 players on the Cats roster who are legitimate Power Forward/Center with Kyle Wiltjer and fellow freshman Willie Cauley-Stein. Cauley-Stein will be asked to fill in for Noel and will have to step up on the defensive end for the Cats if they want to make a run for the NCAA tournament in March. The loss of Nerlens is huge but I think that the Cats as a team will pick up the slack and give Kentucky fans something to cheer about. Nerlens attitude after the injury wasn’t like most as he stated on twitter saying the injury is a “Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback”.  Noel’s draft stock after the injury only dropped him from the 1st pick to the 3rd in many mock drafts. NBA teams know his potential in the league and only time will tell if he will be a Cat next season or take his unbelievable talents to the next level and enter the draft in June.

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