I think people are finished comparing Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis. True, he doesn'..."/> I think people are finished comparing Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis. True, he doesn'..."/> I think people are finished comparing Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis. True, he doesn'..."/>

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: It’s time to start recognizing Nerlens Noel for his Greatness

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January 29, 2013; Charlottesville, VA USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried gestures from the bench against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers won 58-55. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We haven’t heard a lot out of Julius Randle lately. He has been battling an injury this season as he closes out his senior year. He hasn’t played since November due to a foot injury. But he recently took an official visit to North Carolina State to watch Mark Gottfried’s Wolfpack defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels for the first time in seven years.

Randle said that the trip to NC State has been his best visit thus far and that he loves the system that Gottfried has in place:

"I got there late Thursday night and overall I think it was my best visit yet so far as official visits go,” Randle told Bossi on Sunday. “I got to hang out with Rodney (Purvis) a lot and he’s one of my best friends. So that was good.” Mark Gottfried has already signed two big men for next year’s class, BeeJay Anya (DeMatha Catholic/Germantown, Md.) and Kyle Washington (Brewster Academy/Champlin, Minn.), however Randle likes how the Wolfpack’s style suits his game. “A lot of schools tell you about how their system fits you or how they will change it to fit you once you get there,” said Randle. “But, their system already fits me without having to change anything and they showed me that on film while I was there."

Ladies and gents, I think he has a front-runner.

Jan 29, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari after the game against the Mississippi Rebels at the Tad Smith Coliseum. Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Mississippi Rebels 87-74. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

Time for some good news in the recruiting world. Dakari Johnson has already committed to Kentucky, but the five-star big man will take his official visit on the weekend of February 23rd. That is the weekend that ESPN College Game Day will be at Kentucky and the Wildcats will face off with the Missouri Tigers at Rupp Arena.

Much has been made about the 2013 recruiting class, much to the dismay of John Calipari, but I don’t think the actual players themselves are getting overwhelmed with the hype. Johnson had some things to say about his class:

"It is a great recruiting class, but we haven’t done anything so we can’t really say we are the best or anything yet,” Johnson said. “But I am excited to play with those guys. They are all great players and it is going to challenge me in practice."

I guess Dakari has been reading CoachCal.com

Jan 19, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA; Ole Miss Rebels guard Marshall Henderson (22) during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Tad Smith Coliseum. Mississippi defeated Arkansas 76-64. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

And finally, the silencing of uber-douche Marshall “I wana be Mathers” Henderson has placed Kentucky firmly on the right side of the bubble for the NCAA tournament.

"Henderson finished just 5-of-19 from the field and 2-of-11 from beyond the arc. He’s just not quite as entertaining when he’s missing contested shots as when he’s making them — and drilling game-winners. Henderson had his moments, but it was actually teammate LaDarius White who kept the Rebels in the game after Kentucky pulled away in the second half. Henderson was actually difficult to watch for much of the contest, forcing poor shots and failing to move the ball to wide-open teammates. This night belonged to Nerlens and the Wildcats — who, believe it or not, needed this victory more than an Ole Miss team that entered the evening as the ranked ballclub. This was the first victory by UK over a team ranked in the top 50 of the RPI. The Wildcats needed this one desperately for the resume because opportunities in the SEC aren’t exactly aplenty these days. John Calipari’s team will have a pair of opportunities — at Florida and one at home against Missouri. The first of those matchups will comes against the Gators on Feb. 12. This was the first time in a while that Kentucky looked like an NCAA tournament team. Maybe even all season."

And to be honest, Henderson did not behave as badly as was anticipated. Sure he threw a little hissy fit on the bench and took himself out of the game, but Andy Kennedy wilted like a dehydrated flower and put his “star” back on the court. Oh yeah, he did throw objects into the stands at his own fan base. And he ran the ball and placed it mid-court for no reason. He was then made to go back and retrieve said ball.

On second thought, he was an ass. Kentucky’s defense and domination is what shut him up. If Ole Miss would have won, there would have been jersey poppin and Crown Royal shots to be had by all.

Kentucky jumped from #62 to #45 in the RPI after the 87-74 win over Ole Miss. 

Go Cats.

P.S. Mark Stoops visited Jason Hatcher last night with about three other coaches. No update on that as of now.