Now that Nerlens Noel is in the 2012 recruiting class he joins Shabazz Muhammad as the top two recruits in the nation and neither of them have commited to a school yet. Could they join forces? Where will they go?
In the scenario that they do team up there's no where other than Kentucky I see it happening at. I'm guessing Shabazz goes to UK reguardless but Noel I think lands at Providence or Syracuse.
If they do join forces, I agree that Kentucky would be the school. But, while it is no certainty, I think Shabazz goes with Kyle Anderson to UCLA. As much fun as it would be to see Shabazz in a collective with Kentucky's group of talent, he and Kyle Anderson playing together would definitely be a pleasure to watch.
With Nerlens Noel, I just have a feeling that Kentucky looks to be in good position. Nerlens is a different player than Anthony Davis, but they have a similar frame. With Davis' success playing in the middle at Kentucky, despite his lack of bulk, Noel has to have taken notice. Davis has been getting Marcus Camby comparisons, but if anyone is a Camby clone, it is Nerlens.
Chris Fisher, CatsPause.com (247sports)
I'd say Noel will probably end up at Providence, UCONN, Kentucky, or Syracuse.
Providence has Ledo and Chris Dunn coming in, ranked #19 and #24 overall in the nation according to ESPN. By adding Noel, ranked #1, they would hands down have the best recruting class. While Providence should be good in a few years, does Noel really want to go to Providence (13-11 overall, 2-9 in Big East play)? He does live in Massachusettes, so he could go if he wants to stay close to home. They playing time is available, but is the talent there?
Connecticut has a solid team in Lamb, Napier, and Drummond, but are underachieving this year. That doesn't look appealing to a top prospect. Not to mention Lamb is likely leaving, and Drummond / Oriakhi could steal minutes his freshmen year. Plus with Calhoun's health in question, does Noel really want to go there? The history is there, the talent is there, but the playing time and coaching staff could be in question.
I think it's really between Kentucky and Syracuse.
Kentucky will have two seniors coming off the roster, and up to five other players leaving early for the draft. Assuming Anthony Davis leaves, I think Noel would have a wide open spot to start right away. Willie Cauley, Nerlens Noel, and Alex Poythress would be a good front court. The only question is, will the players that return, be enough to make Kentucky a contender. If Davis, MKG, Jones, Lamb, and maybe even Teague leave, will Kentucky be a legitimate contender in 2012-13? They'll definitely be good, but UCONN, and Syracuse could be just as good, if not better. (Plus who knows how much money Calipari has left to give to Noel.)
I'll probably be biased, and of course I'm gonna say he should come to Cuse. He came to Cuse for the Midnight Madness with teammate Goodluck Oknoboh and they both enjoyed it. Now he's coming back for an official visit this Saturday. Syracuse is another school close to home, so his friends and family could catch a few games, instead of having to go half way across the country to Kentucky. Plus, his old teammate, Michael Carter-Williams will likely be recruiting him hard to join the Cuse. Syracuse would have Noel / Melo starting, with Christmas / Coleman coming off the bench. And that's not even to mention Keita, who could play, but would likely redshirt or transfer. Add in Triche, MCW, Cooney, and Fair to the equation and next year's Cuse team could be even better.
I forgot to mention, Nerlens Noel plays a bit of zone defense, so he could be intrigued by the 2-3 where he could get a lot of blocks. I would guess it's between playing time at Kentucky, or depth in Syracuse. Can't go wrong either way. I wish I had trouble falling asleep at night because I didn't know which elite college I wanted to go to.
Shabazz to Duke and Noel to Kentucky maybe?