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Year in School Still Helped Nerlens Noel

An interesting perspective today from Chad Ford of He tells the Courier Journal that the year in school helped Nerlens Noel, even despite his injury. According to Ford, whose main job is to cover the NBA Draft for ESPN, Noel would have been picked somewhere between 6 and 14 in last year’s draft out of high school, if he were able to have entered. But, by coming to school and showcasing his energy and shot blocking on the college level, his stock has risen to where he will almost certainly be a Top 5 pick. Ford notes that while it is true Noel might have been the first pick before the injury (and this is unlikely now), he can’t imagine that he drops below the Top 5 now, meaning the year benefitted his stock, even with the injury.

That is an interesting perspective from Ford. In addition to the benefits of being in college (including those illustrated by the above picture), the year may have also helped his status, even with the injury. I hadn’t thought about that rationale, but it does make sense. Because of where he is still projected (top 5), I think it only makes sense for Nerlens to go pro. But we shall see.

Here’s Chad Ford discussing Noel on ESPN earlier today:

Article written by Matt Jones

33 Comments for Year in School Still Helped Nerlens Noel

  1. GYERO
    4:50 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Just hate his wasted his year and legacy playing for this piss poor team and to top it all off he may never be the same player he was before he got here.

  2. Ridge Runner
    4:55 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    1- I don’t think he wasted his year. He was the foundation on 17 University of Kentucky wins and individually second all time in block shots. All, while proving on a competetive level his high school projections were valid and then some.

  3. stillHere
    4:56 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Matt, do know if there is an address at Wildcat Lodge to send him a get well card. I know its much more normal for kids his age to get tweets, but I think there would be something cool about 50,000 cards showing up in the mail…..

  4. Ridge Runner
    4:58 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    3- nice idea.

  5. asdf
    4:58 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    It feels like Senior Day and the day JFK got shot all rolled into one.

  6. Random Goober
    4:59 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Ford goofs up when he says Noel is viewed as “a project especially on the offensive end”. He is wrong. What he should have said, and may have meant but misspoke, is that Noel’s ONLY a project on the offensive end – his D is obviously already NBA ready.

  7. BAC05
    5:06 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #8 Troll somewhere else you ass hat

  8. Bobbum man
    5:12 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink


  9. RealCatsFan
    5:14 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Nerlens is one of the biggest TEAM FIRST players for UK in recent memory. They guy is so much about UK that he carved the school’s initials in his hair cut. And he backed it up on the court with every play. If the guy were to stay four years (yes, I’m aware that he won’t), his jersey would probably be hanging from the rafters of Rupp Arena.

  10. RealCatsFan
    5:14 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #8, drugs were bad to you, weren’t they?

  11. LansingCat
    5:17 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

  12. BulletCounty
    5:23 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    The bbn needs to prey for noel!

  13. beeeyah
    5:27 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Well duh he would have gone later in last year’s draft. That draft included Anthony Davis, MKG, Beal, and so on. Not trying to say Noel isn’t good, but that draft was stacked compared to this year’s.

  14. really
    5:27 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    prey? Really??

  15. oldschool
    5:27 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    First – the year in school probably helped him mature as a person. No doubt, his much-talked-about visits with ill children probably helped him put things in a new perspetive – something most 18-19-year-old kids don’t have.

    Secondly – Let’s hope the best for this young man. I hope he will see the importance of education. His knee is injured, he will likely be back on the court in less than a year and making a lot of money – but this could be a wake-up call that there will be life without basketball. I hope as he sits in class and looks around at other students who aren’t as athletically gifted as he – he will understand that 99 percent of the people are going to have to find other ways to make a living other than putting a ball through a hoop.

    Thirdly – Let’s reign in the use of the word “Tragic” when describing this injury. A few days ago, KSR ran a photo of a U.S.Marine who was missing both legs as he stood at center court. Noel has limited use of one leg for a few months – his young man is missing two legs. Noel got hurt playing a game, the Marine got injured defending his nation. This is NOT at all to take away from what happened to Noel – rather just an attempt to put things in perspective.

    A year from now, Noel is likely to sign a multi-million dollar contract to play basketball. The Marine vet got a medal and pats on the back. I feel for Noel as a kid who suffered a serious injury last night and I litrally lifted him up in prayer last night that God would grant him a quick recovery and grant him a peace about the situation. I’m not trying to belittle his situation – but we must learn to put things in perspective.

  16. Dr.. UK
    5:27 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I am gutwrenched that he blew it out hustling for a loose ball that was a turnover. He was the only person on the team that had any pride–at least that lil white dude (polston) did, but he can’t help. Everyone else just seemed happy to get their @sses handed to them. Seriously, are they going to go to the NBA? If they stick around, will they poison the next year’s crop of kids that actually care?

  17. Prey?
    5:27 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    12) I sure hope you meant pray…

  18. Prey?
    5:28 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    sorry, 14…

  19. catcrawler
    5:32 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    This diluted Makers just isn’t making the pain go away. Nerlens was so much fun to watch.

  20. catcrawler
    5:34 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    and I disagree #18, the crop that stays for next year will probably get schooled by next year’s class. Competition for PT is good anyhow.

  21. CATSfaninTN
    5:37 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink


    318 College View Avenue 40506

  22. David
    5:50 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Let me say that I hope and not in a selfish way that Nerlens returns next season at UK. Here are my reasons.
    1. He will not be drafted in the top 1-3, he might get drafted at 4 or 5 and while that is a nice pay check I think it is probably more realistic to say that he would get drafted somewhere in the top 10 and thats a loss of millions of dollars. Still I know it’s the NBA but losing millions is losing millions.

    2. He wouldn’t have to be pressed to return immediately. He could take his time and rehab it and then maybe be back at 100% by November or December and help a loaded team make that quest for an undefeated season.

    3. Two years in college is two years towards a bachelors degree that is nice to have even with your millions of NBA dollars.

    4. It could set a new precedent and maybe the NBA players association will finally have their eyes opened and see that it’s better to have 2 years of college expereience than to only have one.

  23. Scottie
    5:51 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Not saying this year hasn’t helped him, but say he had gone 6th last year and instead goes 5th this year…is that really a difference? One year of lost salary would come out to what, $4 million? That’s a lot of $$$…

  24. Cats in the NBA
    6:07 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    17.) This is a sports site. You are involved in a sports discussion. Of course the Marine is on another level. But he is a good guy, and I bet that he would tell YOU that there are people all over the world who have suffered more “tragedy” than even he has. So who gets to use the word “tragic”? You need to understand the perspective that you are on a sports site.

  25. Brandon
    6:16 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #24 You do know the chances of that happening are slim to none right? Even if he magically wanted to there is no way Calipari lets him come back.

  26. Rae
    6:19 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    17. His education will always be there. You don’t have to go to school just in that time period of age 18-22. He can leave for the NBA, collect his paycheck, and if he gets hurt again and his career ends, he can use that paycheck to go back to school.

  27. snoopaloop
    7:20 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I know that the NBA draft and drafts in general are a crap shoot, but what GM is going to risk a top 10 pick on damaged goods? We can all speculate about recovery rates and production of players post surgery but to actually draft somebody who is going to cross the stage on crutches seems like the biggest risk ever. I can’t recall any player, let alone a top 10 or lottery pick, getting drafted in the midst of recovering from a major injury like this.

  28. Catlanta31
    7:33 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    No one talking about the hot blonde in the pic? You know she was getting her some

  29. jpo
    7:48 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    27. kenyon martin

  30. SilverLinings
    8:11 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Bet he’s glad to not have to go to class anymore! Not that he probably ever did.

  31. Tucan Sam
    9:51 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    No one gives a crap about what you think Matt. You know it all so well that you didn’t want call here in the first place. Stick to doing what you know best and start back your career as a mediocre lawyer. Middlesboro will be proud.

  32. Linda Taylor
    11:15 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    31 – What does “You know it all so well that you didn’t want call here in the first place” mean? I generally understand everything I read but I have no clue what you are trying to say in that sentence. By the way, you do realize you are putting money in Matt’s pocket when you click onto his website don’t you. Also, if your first sentence were true this website would no longer exist would it.

  33. Valerie McCoy
    11:55 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    As a Kentucky fan, the news today was heartbreaking. I was sick at my stomach. I hope and pray now that Nerlens gets better ASAP. I understand he won’t be playing the rest of year for Kentucky but the games he did give us, I am grateful for. I hope and pray that he can still live out his dreams as professional basketball player. He could have picked any school and chose Kentucky and even wore it on the back of his head to this day. I proudly stand by Nerlens in the picture above on Bourbon Street last year during the Final Four. He didn’t have to stop and or take time to talk with the Kentucky fans down there that were hoping he chose “us” for his freshman year of basketball, but he did. Larry Vaught gave me the opportunity to write about my experience running into Nerlens Noel during the Final Four and I am forever grateful for that. I wish we could all go back to that day on Bourbon Street and do it all over again but somehow magically change what happened during Tuesday nights game against Florida. I sincerely hurt for Nerlens because I know he is an all around great guy and athlete. I am praying for him daily. I want to see him live out his dream. Godspeed on your knee Nerlens Noel.
    Valerie McCoy #BBN

    ps #BBN loves ya and we thank you…Get Well soon #3