NBA Position: C
Hometown: Everett, MA
High School: The Tilton School
Ceiling: Tyson Chandler
Basement: Jarvis Varnado
NBA Comparison: Taj Gibson
OUT FOR THE YEAR WITH A TORN ACL
- High Motor
- Runs Floor Like A Guard
- Elite Shot-Blocker
- Interior Defense
- Slight Center
- Raw Offensively
02/13/2013 — NERLENS NOEL OUT FOR THE YEAR WITH A TORN ACL
Before Noel went down with an injury that will sideline him until likely late December or early January, he was finding his rhythm on the basketball court.
Through his first 13 games the productivity was there, but Noel was not playing the type of all-around basketball that he was capable of. The transition to the college game varies depending on the athlete and once conference season began he started playing a brand of basketball worthy of being a consensus Top 5 pick.
|First 13 Games||PTS||REBS||BLKS||STLS||FG||FT|
His defensive range has been very impressive and is one aspect of his game that separates him from the other fours and fives in the 2013 Draft Class. Noel has the ability to set in defensive position to see the entire floor to make plays on the ball. His play-making ability is not isolated to simply blocking shots, his length and instincts allow Noel to get into passing lanes creating turnovers in a multitude of ways. He is a better athlete than the player he is frequently compared to, Anthony Davis, there is more fluidity to his movement.
|Last 11 Games||PTS||REBS||BLKS||STLS||FG||FT|
As the season evolved Noel was able to play the brand of defense that made him a high level prospect, but also shot the ball better from the floor becoming a better all-around player.
On the offensive end Noel is still just a finisher at the rim, but has worked to score in transition as well as inside the paint with one or two dribbles. Outside the paint Noel is very limited as an offensive player without a jump-shot to compliment his athletic prowess he has at the rim.
Athletically and defensively Noel is able to play the four and the five at the next level. He needs to add weight and strength to his frame. Looking at his build he should be able to add weight with his broad shoulders and long frame. Doing that without sacrificing his athleticism and explosiveness will be one of his biggest transitions at the NBA Level.
From the 2012 Nike Hoops Summit in Portland ~
The re-classified 2012 high school prospect did not make it out to the first day of team practices for the Nike Hoops Summit as he was making sure his academics were in order. Once Nerlens Noel arrived in Portland for he was clearly behind his teammates.
In practice Noel was sluggish and appeared to have some jetlag as he struggled in sprints as well as general drills. Through the first day of practice it was hard to tell if Noel was distracted, jetlagged, or simply in a room of equals for the first time.
When the team scrimmaged against each other Noel would get lost on the perimeter allowing a lot of easy finishes at the basket. His ability to block shots is not the question or problem. The positioning and court awareness did not seem to be there all week. In one particular drill Noel was not rotating properly and Coach Boyle had to take him to the side. The overall effort was not there in practice to get a firm grasp on his abilities.
Physically Noel has some elite measurements at 6-11 with a 7-1 wingspan, but only weighing in at 216 lbs.
Noel is rail thin and will struggle physically against stronger athletes at the next level. In a scrimmage against other USA teammates Noel was not able to contain Tony Parker. A few plays in a row Noel sold out for the block and allowed the easy finish. Others he got backed so far under the basket he could not contest the shot.
What needs to be remembered (and I think is easily forgotten) is that Noel is a re-classified high school junior. He is physically still a junior in high school playing against a group that was collectively older and more experienced. Comparing him to other juniors he is elite, but against seniors and even college freshman is unfair.
In the actual game Noel was the energy needed to storm back and help his team get back in the game. He did not dominate the offense end of the floor as nobody expected, but his four blocks and four steals were game highs. The entire World Team had four blocks collectively. Noel added five points and four rebounds as well in 24:09 off the bench.
His length and quickness will help make up for his lack of strength and girth at the next level. This experience appeared to be a humbling one for Noel and will in all likelihood make him stronger as a player. The International big men really tested Noel’s patience and ability to defend through the entire possession.