intrigue (in-TREEG): to arouse the curiosity or interest of by unusual, new, or otherwise fascinating or compelling qualities.
Nerlens Noel, amidst the hub-bub garnered by the Hurricane Sandy telethon, was named Pat Forde’s second-most intruiging player in the upcoming basketball season. In first was Cody “Helen” Zeller.
2. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky center: It’s a big burden, being labeled The Next Anthony Davis. The nation’s No. 1 recruit in the class of 2012 doesn’t have Davis’ all-around polish or skill, but he can block shots like a beast and will be key to the Wildcats’ title defense.
Not a lot of new information there, but you almost wonder how Nerlens didn’t get the top spot on this particular list. Being a freshman, logically, should make a player more intriguing to hoops pundits, because there’s so much they don’t know. If it was a list of “Best” players, I could understand putting Zeller first. At least for now. He’s had the opportunity to prove a lot more.
But that’s just the thing; he’s proved a lot more. There are almost zero unknown quantities to Cody Zeller. Nerlens, meanwhile, has a lot of question marks. That’s a double-edged sword, because while there’s tons of potential for improvement and upside, he’s not yet where he needs to be if the team is going to win a championship. And, knock on wood, he might not get there. (Don’t worry, he will.) But how is that not more intriguing than the same old center, surrounded by the same old starting lineup? Plus, hey, flat top, right? Agree to disagree, Forde.
Peyton Siva, Shabazz Muhammed, and C.J. Leslie rounded out the top five. Their most intriguing questions were “How did people think I was as good as John Wall?,” “Will I ever get to play a game?,” and “Why do I look like an moose with no antlers?,” respectively.
The season, and Nerlens’ follow-up campaign for Player of the Year, starts tomorrow night. We’ll see how intriguing he is when he’s averaging 14/11/4. Meanwhile, feel free to resume Petrino Watch 2012.