Kentucky lands Noel on national TV

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 11, 2012
Top prospect Nerlens Noel announced he's joining Kentucky, bolstering the Wildcats' hopes of defending their recent national championship and finishing with a fourth consecutive No. 1 recruiting class. The 6-foot-10 center from the Tilton School in New Hampshire selected the Wildcats over Syracuse and Georgetown on Wednesday night. ''I'll be taking my talents for college to play at the University of ...'' Noel said on ESPNU before turning around in his chair to show off the ''UK'' shaved in the back of his signature flat top hairstyle. The Wildcats won their eighth title in school history just over a week ago. Kentucky freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague and sophomores Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones have until April 29 to decide whether to enter the NBA draft. But Kentucky coach John Calipari's development of Davis into the nation's best shot blocker with 186 swats clearly appeared to sway Noel, who is considered an even better defender than Davis was coming out of high school. ''I just thought it was the best fit for me personally,'' Noel said. ''I talked to my mom, she liked it as well, she liked all three of the schools, but when it came down to it, she liked Kentucky. She met (Assistant) Coach Orlando (Antigua) and Coach Calipari and they just had a great idea, just watching on TV what they do with Anthony Davis. I mean, she thought it was the best fit for me and I did, too. So, we went with that.'' Noel said he could've played for any of the schools that were among his finalists. ''I thought I could play good at any three of these styles,'' he said. Earlier in the broadcast, Calipari repeated what he's said often during Kentucky's title run that the school isn't for everyone because every opponent views games against the Wildcats as a ''Super Bowl'' and that he hoped that the five underclassmen along with departing senior Darius Miller would all be picked in the first round of June's draft. ''We don't know if all five underclassmen are going to leave, but you know, if you're a betting man, you're probably saying it looks like if they all have an opportunity to be first round picks, they probably will,'' the coach said. Calipari had already landed three highly regarded talents in the fall in guard Archie Goodwin, small forward Alex Poythress and 7-footer Willie Cauley. If all five underclassmen leave, sophomores Ryan Harrow and Kyle Wiltjer likely will join the starting rotation with Noel anchoring the middle. ''We've got Kyle Wiltjer coming back, we've got Ryan Harrow who sat out last year coming back, we've got some other guys in the program, obviously Archie, Willie and Alex are terrific players,'' Calipari said. ''We have the makings of another really good team.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jay Cutler garnering 'zero' interest around NFL

Paul Millsap to opt out of contract, become free agent

Martellus Bennett calls out NFL to do more to build up communities

NBA disciplines Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez for fighting

Jason Day tearfully withdraws from PGA event to be with ailing mother

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Matt Barnes on Derek Fisher chants: ‘I’m sick of that s—’

Brent Musburger admits he once bet on a game he broadcasted

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks will run triangle ‘exclusively’ next season

Reese Witherspoon to speak to women’s gathering at NFL owners meetings

Doug Gottlieb will interview for Oklahoma State job

Aaron Hernandez trial put on hold as jury questioned about Reddit-related comment

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Box Score 3/21: WBC semis are bat-flipping fun

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

NBA Western Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

MLB players most likely to break out in 2017

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Eat, Drink, Watch: A weekend of March Madness and more

The 'Who will ruin your glorious bracket this year?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker