3 - Nerlens Noel

6-11, 206 Power Forward/Center
Kentucky Freshman
04/10/94 (30.1 yrs)
Everett, MA
High School
Tilton School
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Larry Sanders/Dikembe Mutombo

Strengths: One of the best pure shot blockers to come along in a number of years … He’s a more explosive leaper and has better on ball shot blocking ability than last year’s UK freshman intimidator Anthony Davis. While Davis had a little better lateral speed and ability to get to shots as a weakside defender, Noel’s ability to deny his man any daylight to the rim and be a rim protector makes him even more dominant, and a potential defensive enforcer for the NBA … An elite level athlete with great quickness and explosive leaping ability … Great length, reported 7’4 wingspan … Showed surprising ability to get steals using his quick hands (2.1 per game), though some of those reach ins will draw fouls and not be as sucessful in the NBA … Must get stronger but has the potential to play both post positions: power forward and center … A good kid, with a strong work ethic … Competes. Plays with great energy and effort … His great length, explosiveness and natural timing which makes him such a dominant shot blocker also makes him a great rebounder and ally oop/put back dunker … Strong rebounder. Shows a willingness to bang inside and fight for rebounds. 9.5 rpg … Good hands to snatch rebounds and make one handed put backs in spectacular fashion … As raw as he is, he seems to have a solid feel for the game and understanding of how to play to his strengths … Showed development in his freshman season, learning to get a wide base, call for the ball, keep it away from guards and make plays, though unpolished, towards the basket … Has developed a little baby hook shot with either hand that has shown some success at times … Shows the ability to face up and get by slower defenders using the dribble … Surprisingly good passer for a bigman. His near 1-1 a/to ratio shows that he passes well and also doesn’t turn the ball over a great deal … His impact on UK has been most apparent after his injury, with the team losing their first game w/out him by 30 to Tennessee … While he lacks much muscle tone, he does show very good aggressiveness attacking the basket and is "wiry strong" … While his ACL injury takes some of the luster off of him as a prospect due to the unknowns surrounding him returning to 100%, the fact that he’s so young and today’s technology with athletes such as Adrian Peterson having made such amazing recoveries after surgery helps his cause …

Weaknesses: Offensively, Noel’s game is rudimentary. He has shown some development but the general perception is that he will never be a strong offensive player, instead he impacts games with his defense, rebounding and athleticism … Won’t be able to "out-athleticize" opponents for baskets at the next level the way he has in college … Scores mainly on put backs and dunks when he gets a clear path to the basket, or when teammates are able to create for him. That being said, his great foot speed allows him to get by inferior opponents off the dribble at times … Post game is very weak, as a high school player he focused too much on trying to face the basket and use ball handling instead of embracing the idea of being a post player all the time. His lack of post moves/instincts are a result … Lacks touch even around the rim as he’s had some painful misses from point blank range, missing by 2 feet from 4 feet away, etc. … Shows quick feet and explosiveness to get by slower defenders but struggles to make any real post moves. His foot work needs a good deal of improvement … His shooting ability is a major weakness as his lack of a crisp form is apparent when he shoots from the FT line. Lacks a clean, smooth motion, he slings the ball, pushing it instead of allowing his wrists to have a natural release … Legs are alarmingly thin and there could be some concern that the knee injury came as a result of his lack of leg strength … Narrow shoulders will challenge his ability to bulk up considerably. Though there are plenty of NBA bigmen that have had success in the 230 range (which is likely where he will wind up) … His 53% ft shooting illustrates his lack of shooting fundamentals … Unusual athlete, while on one hand he’s an elite level run jump guy with tremendous reflexes and quickness, he plays extremely upright and is stiff and lacking fluidity in some regards …

Notes: Was a difference maker as a shot blocker / intimidator helping his Boston based BABC AAU team win the Nike Peach Jam in the summer going into his senior year, and it was where insiders began discussing Noel as a potential #1 overall pick … Suffered a season ending ACL injury against Florida on 2/12/2013 … His freshman season averages ended up being 31.9 mpg, 10.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 4.4 bpg, 59% fg, 53% ft, 2.1 spg.

Aran Smith 2/18/13

Strengths: An elite-level shot blocker with an extremely high ceiling … Measured 6’11 in shoes with a 7’4" wingspan, giving him very good length for the center position in the NBA … Explosive athlete with a very quick reaction time … Gets up well on both his first and second jumps, giving him an advantage on the offensive glass … An absolutely intimidating presence in the paint … Blocks an unreal amount of shots due to his length, athleticism, reflexes and timing … Agility allows him to rotate quickly to help teammates defensively … Remarkably fluid runner … Will outrun other bigs down the floor, to set himself up for a number of easy baskets per game … Strong finisher around the rim … Will be an easy alley-oop target at the next level … Uses his physical tools to get a lot of out-of-area rebounds … Defends well on the perimeter … Not beaten easily, even when he switches onto smaller players … Collects a lot of steals for a big man … Isn’t afraid to run the fast break with the ball in his hands …  Very active, plays with a good motor … Unselfish … Has the potential to become a good passer for his position … Confident player that has the stuff to be a dominant defender at Kentucky …
Weaknesses: Needs to add strength to handle the center position in the NBA … Doesn’t get pushed around often at this level and can compensate with his length/athleticism when he does, but that will be a problem in the future if he doesn’t add a significant amount of weight … Prone to biting on pump-fakes, but is often so quick to recover that it doesn’t matter … Can be over-aggressive at times defensively, and get himself in foul trouble … Lacks much of a scoring game. Appears lost offesnively and too often looks to face the basket instead of utilizing his size and athleticism in the post … Needs to polish his post game … Would serve himself well by adding a mid-range jumper and a consistent go-to move in the post to his currently limited offensive repertoire …
Overall: Noel is a top-level defensive player, and a likely one-and-done prospect … He should be able to add the all-around polish he needs to be a very high draft pick at Kentucky next year, and could be considered for the top-overall pick in the 2013 draft …

Tyler Ingle 4/17/12

2012 Nike Hoop Summit Measurements: Hgt w/ shoes:  6’11, Hgt w/o shoes:  6’10, Wt: 216, W-Span:  7-4, Reach*:   9’1.5

Noel is the most instinctive shot blocker in the country. He uses his incredible length (7’3 wingspan), bounce, and timing to either block or alter shots at an alarming rate. He is a game changer on the defensive end of the floor. His offensive game has improved considerably, but it still has a ways to go to be on the same level as his defense. He runs the floor very well for a big and gets a number of buckets by simply beating the defense down the floor. His lack of strength was exposed somewhat at last week’s NBA Top 100 Camp, but by all accounts he was able to adjust by week’s end. Noel’s upside is off the charts. If he can develop his offensive game and eat the weight room, he could be a potential #1 pick based on his presence defensively.

Ian Powers 6/25/11

Notes: Measured 6’11.5 (in shoes) 201 lbs, with a 7’3 wingspan at the 2011 LeBron James Skills Academy.