All season, we’ve tried to avoid comparing Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis, but in recent games, Noel’s ability to completely alter a game defensively makes that pretty difficult. In fact, on today’s SEC coaches’ teleconference, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy called Noel “an incredible, incredible talent at the basket” whose “mind-boggling” play in the SEC so far has him thinking he might be an even more intimidating presence around the basket than Davis:
“Obviously, last year they had a very, very special player at the basket in Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis was probably a little bit bigger, and I’m not sure that he was the presence that Noel is at the basket defensively. He completely changes the game, plays with a lot of confidence, and you can see, a lot like Davis last year, as the season is getting further along, the kid is growing leaps and bounds offensively as well.””
Noel has 83 blocks so far this season, which is only six off Anthony Davis’ record-breaking pace. In SEC play alone, Noel already has 37 blocks. While it’s hard to imagine him breaking Davis’ record of 186 if the Cats don’t go far in March, he’s already tied Melvin Turpin and Andre Riddick’s previous record of 83.
Can we please keep him?