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Remember when Nerlens Noel single-handedly won this game last year?

Nerlens Noel played one of the single greatest defensive games you’ll ever see last season in Oxford when Kentucky upset 16th-ranked Ole Miss. Playing with four fouls and Kentucky barely hanging on to a four-point lead — courtesy of a Ryan Harrow three-pointer, might I add — Noel swatted a Murphy Holloway dunk attempt that would’ve blown the roof off the Tad and likely changed the outcome of the game. He followed that up with another blocked Ole Miss dunk attempt on the Rebels’ very next possession and the rest was history.

Noel finished the game with a school-record 12 blocks, leading Holloway to call him the best shot blocker he’d ever played against, including Anthony Davis. Most of Noel’s blocks came in the second half when he was one foul away from leaving the game for good.


They don’t make many like Nerlens…

Chris Reynolds |

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

35 responses to “Remember when Nerlens Noel single-handedly won this game last year?”

  1. Thomas

    Single-Handedly….I think this was also a game where Wiltjer really was an offensive threat.

    1. catsrus

      Nerlins we barely got to know ye. So how much better is this team over last year? Maybe we’ll find out tonight.

  2. Big Blue Jesus

    That’s nice. Someone give me one reason to hope….one reason to think this season isn’t basically over?

    1. stupid sexy flanders

      Come off the ledge, man. Anything can happen. This team could figure it out any time and make a run. They may not, but they could – and if they do, the talent is there.

    2. JHK

      I can’t understand why for the life of me people think a team could figure it out at one point like there is a magical moment…

      It’s a long process and you have to see progress along the road. Or you are damn good right off the bat.

      There is no “point”. It won’t magically happen all at once.

      We can still hope a miracle run happens, but that’s all it would be.

    3. Jughead

      There still is hope for this bunch.

      I doubt they can handle Cuse/Gators/Arizona on any floor, but ya never know.

    4. AnthonyBBN

      Arizona is not the same team they were at the beginning of the season. Still good, but not the dominating team. UK could beat FL on a neutral court, and Syracuse would be the toughest matchup if we can hit outside shots or attack the post better than we have.

  3. GReer

    Man that team was frustrating.

  4. GReer

    Big Blue Jesus, 2010-2011 season is a reason for hope. Another is that there are Zero dominant teams this year. Cuse has needed two bailouts to stay undefeated.

    1. Big Blue Jesus

      I tried that reason already. This isn’t 2010. We’re doomed.

  5. The Truth

    The truth is that team with a healthy Nerlens was a top 25 team, maybe sweet 16 type of team. Our season looks so bad last year because we didn’t have much depth (especially inside) and lost our heart and soul of the team. This season is not over, everyone needs to stop thinking that. The same was said about the Knight team and they were losing to everyone on the road! There is still time left.

  6. JP

    Wait last years team made over 8 3s in the game last year??? Geez would be nice to come even close to that tonight.

  7. Old SKool

    “They don’t make many like Nerlens…”…….you have to be kidding…you mean when you say “they dont make many like nerlens” do you mean that most people don’t have chicken legs that snap in half and ruin someones season ?

    1. Big Blue Jesus


    2. AnthonyBBN

      Way to rag on an 18 year old kid still growing into man’s body who got hurt hustling his ass off for this team. You make me sick.

    3. Jughead

      He worked hard and is a good kid.

      Your life is pathetic if his injury ruined anything for you.

  8. Big Blue Woody

    The best defensive performance I’ve ever witnessed, on any level. I’ve never seen anyone dominant a game at the rim like Nerlens did that night.

  9. Brow

    Nerlens was awesome, but the refs swallowed the whistle late in the game. He could have easily been called for a few fouls.

  10. UKBigDaddy

    Can you imagine if Nerlens had not reclassified and he was on this team? As much as our perimeter players get beat off the dribble, he would be there waiting for ‘um! WCS was doing that for a 7 game stretch earlier this season, but has dropped off since….

    1. JD

      Exactly! People seem to forget that our perimeter defenders on the Championship team did get beat off the dribble a lot, but we had such a better interior presence with Jones and Davis that it was covered up much better than with the defense of WCS and Randle.

  11. NotSatire

    Thanks for that Drew. Loved that performance by Nerlens.

  12. Kyle Wiltjer

    Noel may have blocked 12 shots but I scored 26 that night.

    1. AnthonyBBN

      I missed you after that game, you completely disappeared.

  13. Janofski

    Kyle was a beast in that game give him credit. He was a focal point of the offense and battled all night

  14. mlvei

    Nerlens is a great defensive player. But the best thing about him is his integrity. Making unselfish decisions when no one is looking. Nerlens will eventually lose his basketball skills (I’ve lost mine!), but I think he will never lose his integrity. Quite a gift.

  15. Big Blue Jesus

    It’s time to let go of this “statement game” fantasy. There will be no statement game. There will be no turning point. We are who we are and we have to ride it out and try to win as much as we can. This isn’t about needing a confidence boost or breaking out of a funk. We are the funk. I think some of us are holding on to a bit much hope and kidding ourselves with this stuff about how the team just needs to get over the hump or get a big win. No. Our problems are deeply rooted in our defense, game intensity, and the ability of our players to be a team of facilitators. If those things aren’t built into your make up already they take a long time to learn. A long time has passed and we have made very little progress. It’s sad. I want them to do well. But it’s too late.

  16. jcatron

    UK has the greatest fans in the world…i hear it over and over again. LIES!

    UK has the greatest fans in the world when they are winning…otherwise all we do is complain. This team is still a top 25 teams, they still are 2nd in the conference, they still will make the tournament, they still have a TON of talent that can get better and make a run in March/April, they still have several great guys that WILL be back next year to go along with another top recruiting class. Why are we so spoiled? Why do we fuss so much about being in a position 98% of the teams in the country would LOVE to be in?

    I love my UK Basketball…but the fans make me sick!

    1. Big Blue Jesus

      Because we aren’t 98% of the teams? Expectations are higher. Being disappointed is part of being a fan. There’s nothing wrong with complaining. It doesn’t make someone a bad fan. On the contrary it shows how much a fanbase actually cares.

    2. JHK

      Because we are the 2%. Or rather we should be. We should even be the 1% and the 0.5%. Because we were preseason number 1 and it only went down from there.

      It’s not about the results, it’s about how it is trending and it is trending down. It has been all season long.

      We both know our team is just not that good. We do not have an edge against the LSUs and Ole Miss of this world. This is not the John Wall team, nor the Davis team.

      We have trouble accepting that but it is what it is. This team has 0 chance of winning the title IMO. It it what it is. But let’s just keep cheering them on, that’s all we can do.

    3. stupid sexy flanders

      Just a guess, but I don’t think that posters on here (which are often predominantly negative) represent a cross-section of the fan base in general. Many (most) fans, while wanting them to win every game, enjoy watching and will root for them win or lose. Doesn’t mean they’re any less of a fan than someone that complains on a website.

    4. M

      Thank you stupid sexy flanders. If jcatron thinks that a few posters (many that can be trolls) represent the entire fan base he’s crazy. Hitler probably went on a Jewish blog, got angry at a few Jews, and tried to banish all Jews from society,

  17. LynchMobJr

    Funny how noone in the GIF is still on the team right now. Whether it be NBA, Transfer or Graduation…..

  18. bda6115

    That game amazed me…or I should say Nerlens amazed me. He was all over the place and getting all those blocks at the end with 4 fouls was just awesome!!

  19. 2mites

    Maybe the most likable player, all around good guy I have ever seen at UK. A genuine ambassador for UK who deserved a better team to be on and certainly a longer UK career.

  20. Cayts

    That sweet block definitely would have been called a foul this year.