ESPN’s Top 10 Thursday list this week took a look at the projected Top 10 Instant Impact Freshmen heading into the 2012 men’s basketball season. Nerlens Noel, the top rated high school prospect for the 2012 class, topped the list. The Top 10 list did not include any other Kentucky commitments. In fact, no team was represented more than once on the list.
Kentucky, UCLA, Syracuse, Arizona, Baylor, Michigan State, Memphis, Wisconsin, North Carolina and N.C. State each had one incoming freshmen on the list. ESPN had this to say about Nerlens Noel, their top instant impact freshman:
1. Nerlens Noel (Kentucky, center): I watched the top recruit in the 2012 class compete in the Peach Jam tournament last summer. Wow. With the Wildcats, he’ll fill the defensive void left by Anthony Davis’ departure. He’s an amazing shot blocker and interior defender. He’s raw on offense, but Davis needed time to develop on that end of the floor, too. John Calipari and his staff will turn Noel into a national player of the year candidate. He’s that good.
National Player of the Year Candidate? That has a nice ring to it.
Shabazz Muhammad, who had Kentucky on his final short list, also made the list coming in at #2. One interesting note: the list includes only one point guard (Marcus Paige, a UNC commit at #9). Calipari’s decision to reel in Ryan Harrow when he did appears even more advantageous now. To view the entire list of ESPN’s Myron Medcalf’s Instant Impact Freshmen, go here.