Which school is the best fit for Nerlens Noel? Wednesday the top recruit in the nation will choose between Syracuse, Kentucky and Georgetown, and there’s still very few clues as to where he’s leaning. CBS Sports’ John Rothsten reported last week The Flat Top would likely wind up in Lexington to replace The Brow. (Of course, Rothstein also told The Fizz last year the odds of Dion Waiters transferring were 80-85%).
Rumors have now surfaced saying the Hoyas have picked up steam in the final leg of the race and are legit contenders. However, SU hasn’t been getting a lot of N2 love lately. Are his chances of landing on the Hill diminishing? Rothstein tweeted yesterday:
“From everything I’m hearing, Nerlens Noel will likely wind up at Kentucky or Georgetown. Would be shocked if he goes to Syracuse.”
But who knows what the people in his camp must be whispering as “sources.” All of the schools left are appealing to any top-flight recruit. N2 has not scratched any of the three off his list, so theoretically they all have an equal chance to land jim. The Fizz explains why each would be a good fit for Nerlens.
Kentucky: The reputation.
Noel would be playing for a coach that has already put nine players in the NBA, and after June’s draft at least another two or three. Nerlens is close to NBA ready, and the best man to sell his name and make sure he’s the top pick in 2013 is John Calipari. Despite his unpopularity, Cal is a very good coach and has developed recent big men into stars (DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis). Much of the Wildcats roster is flocking to the Association, so Nerlens will start immediately and fill a void left by Davis. Also, never underestimate the draw of joining a national champion.
Georgetown: The tradition.
The Hoyas are Big Man U. G’Town claims a long lineage of dominant shot blockers: Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutumbo, Roy Hibbert. Georgetown’s offensive system will provide Noel with the skills to make him a bigger force at the next level. Greg Monroe developed into one of the best big men in the country under John Thompson III. Finally, it appears his high school coaches originally reached out to the Hoyas and tried to steer him there.
Syracuse: The atmosphere.
The best selling point the Orange may have is the dynamic surrounding Noel when he gets to campus. Unlike Kentucky, he’ll be joining a team with both veterans and young pups like himself. He wouldn’t have the pressure of being “the Next Anthony Davis.” Noel also said SU feels “like family” when he visited this winter. He also has a buddy in fellow New Englander Michael Carter-Williams. MCW has been pushing hard to get the big man to the Dome, and N2 has indicated he would love to play along side his pal. Carter-Williams will be starting next year, so both would see ample time on the court together. Nerlens would also get to position himself as the best shot blocker in college hoops by manning the middle of the 2-3 zone. He also seemed genuinely excited at joining a potential “Transformers Frontcourt” – which would easily be the best in the country.
Some peg SU’s chances as low because the Orange is already bringing in big man Dajuan Coleman, and there are two other centers on the roster in Baye Keita and Rak Christmas. Wherever Noel ends up, that team will be a heavy favorite to make a deep Mach run.
Posted: Dave Van Moffaert