Former Kentucky Wildcat Nerlens Noel Named to NBA All-Rookie Team


The 2012-2013 season is the only blemish on John Calipari’s track record since becoming the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats in 2009. That season was the only season the John Calipari failed to reach the Elite 8, which is utterly impressive in a seven year span. Unfortunately, that season was much worse than the ‘norm’ for Calipari, as that team only mustered up 21 wins and failed to make the NCAA Tournament. Adding insult to injury, they lost their first round NIT game to Robert Morris, a small school that was under-the-radar until then. Fortunately for Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats, there was one saving grace on that team, and his name was Nerlens Noel. Had it not been for an ACL injury late in the season, the Wildcats probably would have made the NCAA Tournament and everything could have been different. But that injury was what brought us to the end of that season and where we are today.

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Because of that injury, Nerlens Noel’s draft stock fell. Once projected as the number one overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Nerlens Noel fell all the way to sixth pick, as he was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans. While that might not seem like a far drop, it changed the trajectory of his career, which began this past season. After being drafted by the Pelicans, Nerlens Noel was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. That trade allowed him to rehab the entirety of the 2013-2014 season and begin his true rookie campaign in the 2014-2015 season. Earlier today, he was named to the First Team NBA All-Rookie. Check out the blurb below on his rookie campaign from

"Former Kentucky star Nerlens Noel was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team Monday.Noel, who sat out the 2013-14 season while recovering from a torn ACL suffered during his freshman campaign at Kentucky, was a defensive dynamo for the Philadelphia 76ers in his first season, and received the third most votes for first team.As a rookie with the 76ers, Noel averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. His block total was the eighth most in the NBA, and the most among all rookies. Noel started 71 of the 75 games he played.As a freshman at Kentucky in 2012-13, Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the 24 games he played before going down with his season-ending knee injury. Despite the shortened schedule, Noel still blocked 106 shots, which is tied for the second most blocks in a single season in program history, and his 12 blocks in a win at Ole Miss broke the single-game record at Kentucky.Noel was joined on the first team by Andrew Wiggins, Nikola Mirotic, Elfrid Payton and Jordan Clarkson."

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