Fitzgerald Cecilio

Lexington, KY

Potential overall number one pick Nerlens Noel will forego up his sophomore season to join this year's NBA draft.

The Kentucky freshman averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals per game.

His 106 blocks in 24 games is number one in the nation and second in Kentucky single-season history, while his 50 steals ranked as the fifth most in a single season by a freshman.

On January 29, 2013, Noel set the UK single-game record with 12 blocks in a 87-74 team victory over No.16 Ole Miss. 5 of the blocks happened while Noel had 4 personal fouls, and two of them were slam dunk attempts.

He was named Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year and first-team All-SEC.

According to reports, Noel is one of the best pure shot blockers to come along in a number of years.

"He's a more explosive leaper and has better on ball shot blocking ability than last year's UK freshman intimidator Anthony Davis. While Davis had a little better lateral speed and ability to get to shots as a weakside defender, Noel's ability to deny his man any daylight to the rim and be a rim protector makes him even more dominant, and a potential defensive enforcer for the NBA," says the about Noel.

However, the Everett, Massachusetts native had his freshman campaign cut short by a torn ACL in mid-February.

Despite the injury, Noel is projected to be one of the first players taken and maybe the first overall.

"I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I've received from them during my rehab and decision-making process," said Noel.

The NBA draft lottery is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, and the 2013 NBA draft will take place Thursday, June 27.

The Charlotte Bobcats and the Orlando Magic have the best chances in the May 21 draft lottery of landing this year's top pick.








Kentucky's Nerlens Noel Joins 2013 NBA Draft