Found February 02, 2013 on Fox Sports South:
Even the darkest storms have silver linings. Granted Kentuckys lackluster 15-6 record isnt the equivalent of a hurricane or a tornado or even a nasty noreaster. But for Wildcat basketball fans less a year from their national championship celebration, third place in the SEC and needing a rally to even earn an invitation to the tournament is just as gray, damp, cold and miserable. So beating Texas A&M at home 7268 in overtime after the Aggies handed the Wildcats their biggest home loss in four years was a moral victory, some sweet revenge on a program that, by all rights, shouldnt be in Kentuckys league. Unfortunately for John Calipari and company, the win still wasnt pretty. The Aggies arent bad. At 13-8 and 3-5 in the SEC, they are a very respectable NIT contender. But this should have been a double-digit win for the Wildcats. Instead the game went to overtime even though the home team never led. Ever. Kentucky just couldnt put the Aggies away. Leading by four with only 25 seconds left the Wildcats gave up an easy jump shot to Fabyon Harris, and then turned the ball over on a tie-up. With two seconds remaining, Elston Turner, who led all scorers with 21 points, knocked down an eight-footer to send the game into overtime. From there Big Blue stiffened, opening up a six-point lead halfway through the extra period. But Turner hit one 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game, and had a second three rattle deep inside the rim before cruelly bounding out with only five seconds remaining. It was exciting, but not particularly well-played. Coach Cal has to be going nuts over the blown defensive assignments and costly late turnovers. He is a stickler when it comes to hustle and brains, two things this Wildcat squad has shown only in fits and starts. If there is a bright spot for Kentucky, it is the maturation of 6-foot-10 freshman Nerlens Noel, who has gone from an early underachiever to the most valuable asset in the Kentucky lineup and one of the best freshmen in the country. Noel ended the night in College Station with 19 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots, but his contribution and influence were much larger. His presence on the floor is beginning to dictate what kind of offense opposing teams can run, and he is forcing them to take shots they didnt really want. Averaging 4.7 blocked shots per game, Noel has come on strong in the last month. In his last five conference outings that average has jumped to 6.8 rejections, and his offensive numbers continue to climb as well. No one is comparing Noel to Anthony Davis, just as anyone who compares this Kentucky team to last years national champions will be sorely disappointed. But the development of Noel and the trajectory of the team as a whole are both positive. It could be too little too late, but those are the silver linings. For Kentucky fans at this stage, that will have to be enough.

Block parties have been common for Kentucky's Noel

Nerlens Noel isn't getting many RSVP's to his block parties. In fact, opponents prefer to avoid the Kentucky freshman whenever making a trip to the basket. Noel has been dominating defensively since Southeastern Conference play began, blocking 49 shots in seven league games. His 12 rejections in Tuesday night's 87-74 victory over No. 16 Mississippi set a school record...

Kentucky outlasts A&M for 72-68 overtime win

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Freshman Nerlens Noel had a season-high 19 points and Julius Mays also scored 19, including five in overtime, to lead Kentucky to a 72-68 win over Texas A&M on Saturday. The Wildcats (15-6, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) led by one point before Mays made two free throws with 15 seconds left. Texas A&M (13-8, 3-5) had a chance to tie it after...

Kentucky survives OT at A&M

Kentucky hit 10 of its last 12 free throws on Saturday to survive an overtime scare at Texas A&M. Julius Mays and Nerlens Noel each posted 19 points to lead the Wildcats to a 72-68 win.

SEC Football: Kentucky and Mark Stoops Already Aiming for Big Returns

I don’t know how many of you actually watched the Super Bowl in its power-delayed entirety but, if you did, you might have seen miss this advertisement for Kentucky’s football program: When you consider one 30-second spot for the Super Bowl cost a whopping $4 million, you have to wonder what the Wildcats were thinking? I mean, I know they are trying to change the culture around...

Aggies Welcome Kentucky to Town

Fresh off a tough road win against MSU, the Aggies return home to host the Kentucky Wildcats who are looking for revenge after Texas A&M left Rupp Arena with a 12-point victory three weeks ago. Here's a preview of today's game that tops at 5:00 PM central.

Noel on watch list for Tisdale Award

Kentucky's Nerlens Noel is among 12 players announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as a mid-season candidate for the Wayman Tisdale Award honoring the nation's top freshman player of the 2012-13 season.

Noel makes it three in a row

Kentucky's Nerlens Noel made it three consecutive SEC Freshman of the Week awards on Monday when the league honored him for his performances at Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
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