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Nerlens could use a little ‘Help’

Nerlens certainly knows how to bang inside, but he can’t do it all by himself.

Nerlens certainly knows how to bang inside, but he can’t do it all by himself.


Nerlens Noel had a game yesterday very similar to his previous performances in SEC play: 10 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks and 1 steal. He combines for more steals and blocks than any other person in the NCAA. To put it plainly, Nerlens is the best defensive big man in the country (stick to volleyball Jeff Withey). He has been a force on the inside that can only be compared to the almighty Anthony Davis. That all sounds great, but would you believe me if I told you the players Nerlens’ has primarily guarded in the past 3 games, have combined for 49 points (16.3 per game)? It doesn’t make much sense that the nation’s best defensive big man statistically, is giving up all of these points.


How is this happening?

As the enforcer of the paint, it is Nerlens’ responsibility to step up when his teammates get beat off the dribble. Most times it leads to a nasty shot block; other times it gives the opponent an easy scoring opportunity. If the shot isn’t made, the man Nerlens is defending is usually sitting on the opposite side of the rim, waiting for an easy tip-in. Nick Jacobs of Alabama is a scrub to put it lightly, yet he got 14 points by scrapping when Nerlens had to step up.


Why now?

When you lose a 7-footer, it greatly affects the style of how your team plays. Even though Willie Cauley-Stein’s absence has seemed to have a minor affect on the team’s performance, there is an obvious lack of defensive ‘help’ in the interior. Yesterday Mike Pratt pointed out that teams have noticed this and are starting to take advantage of the situation. Now whenever Nerlens steps up, the man he is guarding flies to the rim looking for either a lob or quick put back.



The good news is that Cauley-Stein should be back in uniform sooner rather than later. The Ole Miss game on the road would be an opportune moment to have a full, healthy roster. The best way to fix it is for Nerlens’ teammates to step and ‘get movin’. It may have taken 38 minutes, but they finally proved that they can rotate to make the easy steal/rebound. With 1:57 left LSU’s Charles Carmouche penetrated the right side of the lane, drawing Nerlens away from his man in the post. Carmouche looked to dump it off, but Alex Poythress stepped in front of the pass and made the easy steal, giving the Cats the ball with a 6-point lead and time dwindling. The steal proved to me that they can learn to adjust on the fly. Their ability to consistently rotate is still in question, but now they have no excuses.



Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

18 Comments for Nerlens could use a little ‘Help’

  1. jmfatz47
    5:19 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Rondo torn acl

  2. The Bank is Open
    5:21 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    1- We know.

  3. Horsepower
    5:49 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Ole Miss player Marshall Henderson making a name for himself against BYU 3 years ago. At 43 seconds smacks opposing player and gets kicked out,

  4. brain
    5:54 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    It’s not a lack of defensive help. It’s no rotation to block out NN’s man.

  5. JBR
    6:34 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah, yeah…we are not getting any better in basketball…where is all the football recruiting info from this weekend????

  6. jmfatz47
    6:39 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    4) Cauley will help w that!

  7. UK Freshmen
    7:25 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Maybe he’s just a little over rated. It takes more to play defense than just swatting away shots.

  8. Comeon
    7:31 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Lets get one thing straight. Jason hatcher will not be a cat unfortunately

  9. Voice of Reason
    7:45 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    1. Nerlens is the real deal and will go #1…. Feel sorry for him that this team is taking so long to gel.
    2. The UK fans that complain are idiots and have zero common sense or any knowledge of our history.
    3. This team will make a run this year in the tourney….and the dumb side of our fanbase will claim they called it all along.
    4. Next year will be awesome and we’ll make a run at perfection
    5. Louisville doesn’t exist!

  10. ThatsAShame
    7:49 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    9: Thank you. Well said. Goodnight.

  11. SSDD
    8:04 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Noel ‘certainly’ had command of that rebound.


  12. SSDD
    8:06 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink


    and you also defended O.J. Simpson,


    Along with Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc.

  13. nuts to you
    8:12 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    I’m tired of all the posts saying that if you complain about this team, you’re not a true fan. For me, it’s because I’m a true fan that this team is especially frustrating. I know all the history and last year’s outcome, so spare me. This team is still hard to watch and hard to like.

  14. nuts to you
    8:29 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    I am a sad little troll that lives under the bridge and my team lost 3 in a row.

  15. Bottom Line
    8:30 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Nerlens is the only winner on this team and is surounded by losers.

  16. mudcreekmark
    8:37 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    When Noel leaves his man to help because one of our guards got beat, he is no longer the primary defender on his man. So your numbers are skewed. Noel is doing his job, its the others that aren’t. These players have no basketball I.Q. Instead of them seeing a play developing and anticipating, they stand there and watch until it is too late to react. Once Goodwin or Harrow or whoever gets beat they should be able to figure out that Noel is going to go stop the ball and thus should get themselves into position to stop Noels man from having a wide open layup or tip in.

  17. Uk addict
    8:51 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    #7 Maybe, you’re an idiot?

  18. UK Freshmen
    11:21 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    No. I’m a genius. Noel is only ranked 2nd in the nation in blocks, 15th in steals and 18th in defensive rebounds. He still trails Anthony Davis in blocks and Rondo in steals as a freshman. Overrated.