#3 Nerlens Noel | C

Hometown: Everett, MA

Height: 6'10"

Weight: 228

Position: Center

Team: Kentucky

Class: Freshman

Right-handed… Noel stands out amongst all prospects due to his tremendous size, length and superior athleticism. He is such an explosive leaper than he springs off the floor in an instant to corral a rebound, throw down a put back or what he does best, swat away his opponents' shot attempt. He is a high-flyer and can control his body in an exceptional manner to refrain from making contact from the offensive player while his long arms gain control of the ball. He has such amazing length to challenge every shot… Noel has a good sense about him in the post. He can read the defense well in determining which way to pivot or kick the ball back out. He loves to finish strong with a powerful slam. But he is working on his perimeter game which shows promise now as well. He can knock down that 12-15 foot jumper or put the ball on the floor to take his man into an isolation situation. Noel shows superb footwork and quickness relative to similar sized players that he can take most off the dribble or utilize a quick spin move and baby hook to score the bucket. His touch is impressive and keeps the ball high away from guards… He can finish with either hand inside and is comfortable posting up on either side of the lane… Noel reads the flow of the offense well, moving without the ball and making himself available with a wide target for the post-up or dump-off pass.

Offensively, Noel is a work in progress. He doesn't settle his body when he goes into the paint, leading to too many off-balance shots and potential charging fouls if the defense steps in… His has this confidence about him, which is great and mentioned above, but it also must be listed here because he feels that he can block every shot and too often he will let his man get position on him just to tally up another on the box score. Overall, we'd like to see him take fewer risks going for the block or steal even… There will be times where Noel will not even make the effort to challenge a shot, overall, just lacking mental focus. He makes it out to his man, but keeps his arms down…. Noel's lack of focus also brings way to his focus on the ball-handler and not keeping contact with his man. By the time he realizes where his man is, the point guard has already delivered the pass and Noel must resort to fouling or giving up the bucket… Noel is prone to falling for ball and head fakes, mostly in an attempt to swat the potential shot, but in the end, putting him out of position to make a play.
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