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Insider

Noel set to visit Kentucky this weekend

2/20/2012

Last weekend, Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton School) was courtside for a Syracuse home game, and more than a few students were sporting their own version of Noel’s signature flattop.

“It was good,” said Noel, who is close friends with Orange SF Michael Carter-Williams. “The crowd was packed and mad loud. I enjoyed it a lot.”

You better believe that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is going to try to use the relationship between Noel and Carter-Williams to land the big man.

However, this weekend Kentucky coach John Calipari will make his own unique pitch to Noel, who will be taking a visit to Lexington. Why not take over for Anthony Davis and try to break his shot-blocking record?

The second-most frequent question I’ve gotten in the last week (the first being about Jeremy Lin) links Davis and Noel. People want to know who the better shot-blocker was in high school. If you can believe it, Noel owns the distinction.

As a senior, he has a longer reach and a more-menacing profile as a rejecter than Davis had at the same time. Having said that, Davis’ rookie season at Kentucky is historic, and the improvements he’s made are astronomical. It would be difficult for Noel, or Dwight Howard for that matter, to replicate Davis’ defensive season.

Florida, Georgetown, North Carolina, Providence and Connecticut also remain on Noel's list of schools. Some of them will receive official visits, others may get unofficial visits. With the college season winding down, Noel is tracking for an April decision, provided taking more visits remains the order of the day.