Apr 18, 2012, 9:29 AM EDT
If there’s one thing we ought to credit Nerlens Noel with at this, the earliest point of his Kentucky career, it’s that he knows what he is walking into with the Wildcats.
He’ll be the centerpiece of Volume IV of John Calipari’s experiment in youth, and, along with that, he recognizes the types of questions that will be floated around all season.
The most prominent of those? The length of his college career.
“I definitely won’t go in there thinking about one-and-done,” Noel told the Charlotte Observer. “The only thing I need to do is go in there and think about getting better and doing what I have to do for my team to win games and get to a national championship.”
Noel will have to deflect as many questions like that as he will have to block shots next season for the Wildcats, and the fact that he seems to know how to handle them is promising for the focus and chemistry that Kentucky will want to build in a run to repeat as national champions.
Call it the cynic in me, but it is almost a foregone conclusion that, even before Noel dons the Kentucky blue for the first time, he will be set on heading to the NBA after one season.
But the fact that he understands the way Calipari builds his teams, especially this 2011-12 Wildcats squad, seems to shatter the so-called “me culture” of high-major athletes.
Five Kentucky underclassmen are headed to the 2012 NBA draft, but that national championship team played differently than some rag-tag collection of some of the most talented young players in the country.
It was about “buying in” and playing defense, though of course, it didn’t hurt that they were supremely talented.
It appears Noel is moving in the direction to continue to build on that kind of foundation. Though a small sample size, it looks promising, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Jul 22, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
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Jul 22, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT
The transfer forward will miss the first nine games of the season.
Jul 22, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
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Jul 22, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
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Jul 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
Isaiah Austin is returning to Baylor. Once he gets his degree, he’ll have a job with the NBA.
Jul 22, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT
Imagine 6-foot-8, 235-pound Harrell in a helmet and shoulder pads.
Jul 22, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT
The second installment of our weekly awards.
Jul 22, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
He’ll be out for two months.
Jul 22, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
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Jul 22, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT
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Jul 22, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT
Can you say seven figures?
Jul 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
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Jul 21, 2014, 11:43 PM EDT
DePaul redshirt freshman forward DeJuan Marrero will play his sophomore season at Chipola.
Malik Newman, Ivan Rabb, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk among 33 members battling for USA U17 roster spots this week
Jul 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
The USA U17 tryouts have a lot of big names and it will also be important for the last week of the July live evaluation period.
Jul 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
Isaiah Briscoe helped lead the New Jersey Playaz to a title at Peach Jam.
Jul 21, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT
Bruce Brown was a promising two-sport athlete, but gave up football to focus on basketball.
Jul 21, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT
Walker is the second commitment for the Cardinal this spring.
Jul 21, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
Seven additional thoughts on Nike’s Peach Jam, including Ben Simmons’ one weakness, Malik Monk and how college coaches look at parents
Jul 21, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT
The whole situation regarding Jacksons recruitment is weird.
Jul 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT
Tatum is the best player in the class.
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