Are the dreams of the “Transformer Lineup” dashed for the Orange?
Update: Thursday, 2:13p. Since yesterday’s report by Jon Rothstein, the college hoops world has been abuzz over N2’s decision. Yesterday afternoon Pete Thamel of the New York Times tweeted, “Heard from a few places today that Georgetown is picking up a lot of steam in the @NerlensNoel3 derby.” Thamel wrote the all-encompassing piece on Nerlens a few weeks ago, so one would imagine he has some well-placed sources on this. However, Noel tweeted this morning, “Wassup with all these rumors…?” Are we all jumping the gun? Remember Rothstein’s report allows plenty of leeway. He says those close to the big man believe he will “ultimately wind up in Lexington.” No timeline, and no hard and fast prediction. My guess is there’s no immediate decision imminent, but as we figured all along, Kentucky is the favorite.
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CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein is reporting Syracuse recruit Nerlens Noel will “ultimately wind up in Lexington.” Recently, The Fizz dissected the New York Times’ piece on the shady characters around Noel. It’s not an indictment of the high school big man himself, but instead the questionable “handlers” many high-profile basketball recruits find themselves fending off. Rothstein stops short of saying Noel has made a decision already, only that it appears likely he will choose UK.
Noel to Kentucky would not be a shock. Nerlens had reportedly narrowed his list down to UK, SU and Georgetown. But the Hoyas always seemed a long shot, and according to most insiders the Wildcats held an advantage over the Orange.
The Fizz spoke to Noel on his visit to the Carrier Dome, and he seemed legitimately excited about the prospect of a “Transformers Lineup.” But even the most optimistic SU fans knew it would take an upset to pry N2 from Kentucky. The ‘Cats will lose big man Anthony Davis, who has become a national star, to the NBA Draft. Noel can slide right into his spot. The Wildcats are in the Final Four, and are the odds on favorite to win the title. Calipari has become the Godfather of one-and-done players looking to jump to the NBA Draft lottery.
Nothing is official yet. The Fizz exchanged texts this morning with his head coach Marcus O’Neil, who said he had “no info” on the report. Noel has also confirmed with Scout.com that he has not yet made a decision.
Maybe Rothstein’s more interesting information in the story is the addition of highly-touted Shabazz Muhammad to UK as well.
“Multiple sources say there is more than a legitimate chance of Kentucky landing the top two prospects in the Class of 2012 in 6-foot-10 shot blocker Nerlens Noel and lefty wing Shabazz Muhammad.
Noel would immediately fill the role for the Wildcats vacated once Anthony Davis leaves for the NBA as expected. The Massachusetts native is also considering Syracuse and Georgetown but those close to the situation believe the burgeoning big man will ultimately wind up in Lexington.
Muhammad meanwhile, is a more interesting situation. A terrific scorer at 6-foot-6, Muhammad has the ability to be the best player in the country next season and has been linked to several different potential destinations during his recruiting process.”
Syracuse was not in on Muhammad, but it looked like he might choose UCLA. If Coach Cal lands both, it would be just another case of the rich getting even richer. Good thing SU is heading to the ACC and not the SEC.