No. 1 still in play for Noel

Nerlens Noel's college career may have come to an end earlier this week. It would be surprising to just about everyone -- including the guy who shared a bedroom with him through childhood -- if [Noel] returned to Kentucky next season. "I'd be surprised if he comes back," Rodman Noel told me from his apartment in Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon. "Right now people still say he'll be a top-five pick. It would only be smart to take it while you can." Rodman, a starting linebacker at NC State, said that his brother was clearly dejected. ... Noel's draft stock, according to 10 NBA executives I communicated with in the last 48 hours, may drop a spot or two -- but he won't fall out of the top five and could still be taken with the No. 1 overall pick.