Syracuse Recruits DC 2.0, Grant & Nerlens Ball Together in All-Star Victory

Two Syracuse commits and one Orange hopeful put on a show last night as part of the 2nd Annual All-American Championship in New Orleans, as The Fizz live blogged the event (read the blow-by-blow here). With just nine days remaining until “National Nerlens Noel Day” on April 11th, the Tilton (NH) star, along with Dajuan Coleman and Jerami Grant all played on the East team as forty of the top high school basketball stars (Class of ’12 and ’13) on Final Four weekend.

Noel has announced he would make his decision on 4/11, and finished with six points, six rebounds and three blocks. All three impressed as Noel sported his insane athleticism, DC 2.0 nabbed a game-high 12 boards, and Grant notched eight points. And Jim Boeheim may have been smiling as the trio played together in the same lineup the ENTIRE game.

East coach Craig Brownson from Texas made it a priority to keep the three stars in tact throughout the four quarters of action. Coleman, Noel and Grant compromised the most dominating unit of the game, as the East won 84-72. Nerlens didn’t get to play in the McDonald’s All-American game a few days earlier because of his reclassification, so last night was his display.

N2 used his versatility and freakish wingspan to swat away shots, his long reach is what makes him so complete. When you watch Noel, it’s very hard to detect a flaw in his game. He can effortlessly knock down a 20-footer, or slice his way to rim in a few quick steps. The athletic ability is uncanny, which usually comes with being the top recruit in the country. If he can build a bit more muscle and body mass before next fall (he stands at 6’ 10” 215 lbs), there’s no telling how dominant he can be next season.

Coleman and Grant dazzled as well. DC has a knack for the ball. He ripped down nearly every rebound – similar to his McD’s performance – and ran the floor tremendously for a big. All three ran well together, an exciting sign if Nerlens did decide to join the Orange. Coleman looks like a player that could tire quickly, but his raw aggression doesn’t stop. Although 3 inches shorter than Fab, DC 2.0 will definitely become more of an impact down low as a freshman. Coleman has a much higher basketball IQ, and is a better post-up threat at this age. He’s a powerful “finesse” player.

All three benefited from playing with PG Nolan Britt, who’s headed to UNC in 2013. Britt pushed the ball in transition constantly, and they all thrived – making you wonder if Michael Carter-Williams will run the SU offense with the same confidence next season. Grant’s play resembles Kris Joseph’s, but with a much better ability to drive to the rim. He’s not a player who will take over a ballgame, but can score in bunches if he’s alongside a reliable point guard. That playing style fits the Syracuse mold.

As well as the “Orange Trio” played together, we’ll still have to wait for N2’s decision in a week and a half to see if the “Transformers lineup” will be assembled for next season. Melo and Dion Waiters are now officially gone, Scoop Jardine and K-Jo will graduate. There’s a large void to be filled, but last year’s Three Amigos are ready to step up along with DC 2.0 and Grant. Perhaps all it could take is one more massive Calipari collapse this evening to swing Mr. Noel’s decision.

Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald


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  1. orangeskin says:

    Coleman has a knack for rebounding that frankly made me think of Jared Sullinger. He needs to develop his offensive game, but he will be able to do that at SU. He blocked at least one shot too. His physical transformation is ongoing, but no one in that game could move him off the low post, and there were a lot of impressive big men in the game. The guy is strong as a bull, and could lead the Big East in rebounding as soon as next year. If he could develop a short jump shot, that would be huge. I was impressed by Grant too. To me, he looks like a perfect successor to Kris, and his game reminded me of Kris’. He’s a good kid and he’s someone who will be a great addition to the program. His ballhandling is better than Kris’ at this point in his development, and he has some serious hops.
    I wish I was confident about Noel, but I’m not. I think he’d have committed already if he were going to SU. The delay means he wants to see if Davis is going pro (according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Davis has been a pro since last year), and will likely go to Kentucky. If SU and Hop beat UK for a top player twice in one year, Hop is ready to take over the program. Let’s face it, UK is tough to recruit against and getting players they want twice in the same year is almost unheard of. I hope it happens though. Noel is a Davis-like shot blocker, and he can shoot too. That 20 footer was as smooth as butter. He reminded me of Derrick Coleman with his ballhandling. The guy is clearly one and done, just like Shabazz Muhammad. You can see their games are more refined, and their athleticism a bit better than anyone else on the court. Frankly, Muhammad could play in the NBA next year. His game is that good. Nerlens could use one year of college to get stronger and develop his game. Anyone know if Omar Calhoun is really still going to UConn? That kid is a scoring machine, and will be a challenge for SU when they meet in the regular season next year. If the NCAA penalties hold up, that will be the only time they play.

  2. Andy says:

    Coleman is indeed a rebounding machine, but I disagree with Orangeskin on the needs work offensively. Look at some of Colemans youtube videos, he can score from anywhere inside the 3 pt line. He will be a beast at cuse for sure. Noel would just be a gift, one a done for sure, but what a year it would be!

  3. Carlton says:

    Orangeskin- follow along this time line. Last week news broke noel goin to uk. Noel comes out an lets ppl know its not true an isnt sure when hes gonna commit. Yesterday he lets everyone know he has a date set. Same day fab hires an agent. To me he had to know AD is leaveing but I feel like fab wasnt a done deal. I think thats y fab took so long to leave bc he wanted to come back. Anyways u could say the samthing about noel waiting on fab.

  4. CoachDuff says:

    @Carlton – I like your way of thinking. Today, NN did tweet “Did Fab Melo declare for the draft?”. This could be good news for CuseNation or just a day late april fools joke. You be the judge..

  5. AnaheimOrange says:

    Did everyone notice the chemistry between Coleman and Grant? Both on the court and on the bench – they were true teammates. I was a bit surprised that Noel and Coleman, who sat next to each other on the bench, didn’t interact that much. To be fair, Noel didn’t interact with the Kentucky-bound center from the West squad at all – at least from what I could tell from watching the game on ESPNU.

    That said, it must’ve been obvious to Noel what a formible front line he could become a part of (playing with DC) should he choose the Orange. Add the fact that he and MCW are tight – and Noel himself has said he’d love to play with MCW – and it makes the case more clear that the bright lights of the Carrier Dome – packed with 30,000+ – is where Noel would feel most at home. Even for just one year.

    We all look forward to seeing you in Orange, Nerlens!

  6. Fitz says:

    For all to enjoy–a Michael Carter-Williams tweet from a couple hours ago…

    “@NerlensNoel3 all I know is Cuse fans have shown you the most love by far!!!!!”

    Gotta love it. These types are friendships are sooo overlooked. Actually just saw some basketball analyst tweet earlier today (I believe it was someone from CBS Sports) about Nerlens. He said something along the lines of…”if KU wins tonite, what can any coach say to a Top 5 kid that their program can give you that Kentucky can’t? Nothing.” I mean come on. It’s not just about who is the last man standing cutting down the nets in April. Not even close. Noel’s connection w MCW is huge. What was main reason how Cuse was able to nab Wayne Morgan in Feb? Brandon Reddish.

    It’s such a huge factor. And now with Fab unfortunately “out of the picture,” it just adds another twist with just a little over a week to go to N2′s presser on 4/11.

  7. AnaheimOrange says:

    Way to go, MCW!!! Only Cuse fans wear the Noel high top!

  8. Connor says:

    2013 with noel
    starters
    G: Michael Carter-Williams
    G: Brandon Triche
    F: CJ Fair
    F: Rakeem Christmas
    C: Nerlens Noel

    bench
    guard: Trevor Cooney
    forward; James southerland, jerami grant
    center: baye keita, dajuan coleman
    that team would kick ass

  9. Lou R says:

    What a kickass line up for sure. MCW can and will handle the point with confidence. I saw some great passes from him in 11-12′ and he could have contributed more in the NCAA’s but I don’t want tostart any BS.

    Noel is a strange dude and not tipping his hat at all as to where he wants to go.

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