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NBA Scouts Still Consider Nerlens Strong Candidate for #1 Pick

While Jay Bilas might think Nerlens is somewhat overrated (at least for now), plenty of other folks think his current ability, as well as his upside, still make Noel the number one pick.

An NBA scout with a revolving-door list of potential number one prospects told that Nerlens is still very much in consideration for the first overall pick, if not the outright leader.  While his points aren’t as prolific as some of the other candidates (Anthony Bennett is averaging almost nine more points per game), it’s the rest of the stat line that really speaks loudest.  Specifically, 9.3 rebounds, 3,7 blocks, 2.7 steals have a way of convincing people that a player is worth consideration when it comes time to start drafting.

The NBA scout concisely describes Noel’s game as: “Great quickness and effort. Blocks everything, rebounds, steals, improving offensively. Great upside.”  It’s hard to overstate the “effort” aspect, as Nerlens has obviously been setting the example for how Cal wants this team to hustle.  He’s got the tenacity of DeAndre Liggins, and the size and defensive talent of Anthony Davis.  His improving offense is likely what scouts will keep an eye on as the season progresses.  Should it see a good measure of development, there’s no doubt that GMs will fight each other to get the top pick so that they can add Nerlens to their rosters.

Of all places, it’s probably a columnist on BleacherReport that gave the best neutral analysis of what makes Noel so draftable:  “He’s an absolute machine on defense that will make a huge impact no matter what NBA team lands him. The lengthy big man has a bright future and this season should only get better for him and the Wildcats.”

All of these reasons are why Nerlens is still listed at the top of Chad Ford’s Top 100, still in the Top 3 on, and still leading the Wildcats in almost every major defensive category this season.  It’s a bittersweet feeling thinking that Nerlens could go number one, knowing that Cal will almost insist he leave (which is the smart decision).  But for now, the moral of the story is to simply enjoy Nerlens while we can.

Article written by Corey Nichols

25 Comments for NBA Scouts Still Consider Nerlens Strong Candidate for #1 Pick

  1. Dustin
    9:07 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    That kid sure is fun to watch, think if all had that overall tenacity. I was watching Goodwin close on Tuesday and how he is around the team. He does not seem happy and rarely speaks when timeouts were called. He also does not seem to enjoy Cal getting on him like he does everyone. Does anyone else see that as well?

  2. bmt22033
    9:11 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Even more than his on-court performance, I’ve been impressed at how he’s conducted himself off the court (which is certainly something that he doesn’t HAVE to do). It seems like he’s always reaching out to the fans and trying to give back. For that reason alone, he’s one of my favorite players (certainly under Cal) and perhaps in the history of the program.

  3. Rockfield, KY
    9:17 am January 17, 2013 Permalink is showing Nerlens 3rd, Willie 8th, Archie 13th and Alex 17th. Harrow comes in at the 93rd best prospect. UL’s top prospect is Dieng at 37th.

  4. emlang08
    9:18 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    #1 – I think most of his demeanor was described as you see even while we were recruiting him, soft spoken, silent assassin. We as UK fans can not let the Anomaly of last years team’s ability to Gel as quickly as they did raise our expectations for this years team. They are doing what MOST teams of mostly Freshman do, Take time to Bond, know one another, learn where they will be, etc.

  5. BlueDuck
    9:21 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    He’s starting to remind me of Dikembe Mutombo. No offense, but can change a game defensively………. Probably just the flat top talkin’ though.

  6. tyson
    9:22 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Bye bye Lexington Harold Leader. Tried to read a John Clay article just now and it told me I had to sign in using “Press +” which cost as little as 99 cents. Not happening.

  7. wally
    9:33 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Noel pts per game or offense won’t match our other great man in the middle mainly because of the other players willing to get a assist instead getting their ppg average .How many more ally oops for the rest of the team they would have we will never know.Noel is getting better under the basket and should become more of a option instead of a rebouder.

  8. cracka
    9:33 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    ben roberts’ next cats site still works and i thought that was lxh

  9. huh?
    9:43 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    8) Is that English?

  10. just saying
    9:44 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    So 2-3 articles down were told UK is likely a 12-seed and might be in one of the play-in games, and now we talk about our FOUR NBA lottery picks? Anyone else see the problem here?

  11. tyrus
    9:52 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Oh boy another post on a UK player projected draft position. Isn’t this about the 10th post this week on the subject. Honestly I don’t think, at this point of the season, BBN gives a rats ass right now. What’s next another post on UK players in the NBA?

  12. Dustin
    9:56 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    #4- Yes we did get spoiled last year, but it just seems like he is not happy or something. Also, would there be room on the team if Poythress, WCS, Harrow, and/or Goodwin stay? Not saying all of them, just a combo of them.

  13. James K
    10:02 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    He’s a Rodman type in the way he controls the game, but he is very similar to Dikembe Mutombo, actually. Good comparison. The only thing is that Deke was a legitimate 7’2″. Nerlens will play for a long, long time at the next level.

  14. symphonist41169
    10:14 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    11 – Well said.

  15. Say What?
    10:19 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    He certainly is moving along faster than his team mates but still finds himself out of place on plays and his back to the ball instead of watching his man and the ball.

    He becomes more effective once the the other teams big man is out or in foul trouble. It’s a stregth issue but it still needs to develop because the NBA is full of big guys!

    I’ll not doubt his effort though…I wish the rest of the team would put forth his effort! UK would not be the same team if they all did!

  16. mike
    10:31 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Would one of you guys look into the two rapes and the suicide cover up in the Notre Dame football program this year. To cover up a fake girlfriend is easy.

  17. SexnNursinHomes
    10:34 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Glad we got him. My favorite player. Wish we had guards who could get him the ball a bit better. I think his offensive game is better than we see in the games..

  18. CatomicBomb
    11:23 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    It’s just a shame that he is on a team with quite a few underachievers. If they would play to their potential Nerlens would stand out that much more, imo. Maybe that will change soon, let’s hope it does…

  19. yoko
    12:00 pm January 17, 2013 Permalink

    His facial expressions and haircut reminds me too much of Grace Jones!

  20. Indiana Tom
    12:09 pm January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Once Archie and Alex realizes this is a team sport ,especially Archie,and keeping your head up instead of down when going to the basket, we will be a pretty good team.

  21. honestly
    12:10 pm January 17, 2013 Permalink

    I really like the kid, but I just don’t get it. He really dosn’t have much of an offensive skill-set to speak of. Even his “hook shots” are violent heaves at the rim.

  22. eric
    12:13 pm January 17, 2013 Permalink


  23. KWHY?
    12:19 pm January 17, 2013 Permalink


  24. JG
    2:09 pm January 17, 2013 Permalink

    Why does it seem like the only things that hurts draft status is staying another year? Poythress is projected top 10 despite displaying several flaws… If he were to stay another year he would probably slip. It seems like the less the NBA scouts know the more they like a prospect…

  25. Alex
    2:59 pm January 17, 2013 Permalink

    all I need to do is to develop my dribbling skills. Can’t go to the basket with either hand. I can shoot when I’m standing still and just have to catch it. Also, I need to learn how to guard those quicker and smaller guards Cal always puts me on. Also, I picked me up some wax to put in my ears so I don’t have to listen to all the negativity about my game. And, since Cal has chewed my a$$ off I’ve been putting away the bread!!