Originally posted on College Spun  |  Last updated 5/21/13
With the NBA Draft lottery taking place tonight, fans will soon begin to speculate on which teams will be drafting their favorite college basketball stars. And while Kentucky center Nerlens Noel was considered to be the most likely player to be drafted No. 1 overall before the season began, his gruesome knee injury in February has certainly called that into question.  While his recovery is said to be on-schedule, many NBA teams at the combine expressed their concern with Noel’s weight – which is 206 pounds. With most of the elite centers in the pros weighing between 250 and 300 pounds, many think he will have a hard time with the physicality. Coach Cal, however, does not agree: I heard @nerlensnoel3 was 206 pounds at the Combine. Two things: One, sounds like a smart kid since he’s coming back from a knee injury. — John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 21, 2013 Two, @nerlensnoel3 may not win a World’s Strongest Man competition, but if I’m picking a basketball team, he’s my No. 1 pick. — John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 21, 2013 Calipari, of course, is going to stand up for his guy. But he also may have a point concerning the weight. It’s definitely easier to come back from a knee injury if you’re lighter – the less stress you put on it, the better. The real question is whether Noel will be able to bulk up once he’s completely healed. If so, he could enjoy a long career in the league. If not, he could be a journeyman role player.
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