Nerlens' Notebook: Visits to Syracuse, UK

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
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Editor's Note: After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100. Now heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, are scrambling to get Noel on campus next season. That makes him the most sought-after player in the country. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.

What’s up, world!

This is Boston’s own Nerlens Noel and I’m back with my next blog entry. Things have definitely picked up since I reclassified, but it hasn’t been too bad. I don’t let it get too crazy.

I’ve taken two visits since I reclassified, first to Syracuse, and I’m actually just getting back from Kentucky now. Both visits had to be unofficial, because I have to get a lot of paperwork processed at my school before everything’s final, so until that happens all of my visits have to be unofficial. I think everything will be final by about early March.

I went to Syracuse on Feb. 10 and had a really good time there. Their fans were great, and I spent a lot of time with the coaches and the players. When I first got there I met up with coach Jim Boeheim in the Carmelo Anthony center, and we had a good talk. He talked to me about how he would use me in their system and things like that.

After that we went to their game against UConn. It was crazy. They had 30,000 fans in there screaming, so it was really loud. It was a really good game, too. Syracuse won, so the fans were obviously happy.

I looked in the crowd and I saw that one of the fans had a Fathead of me. That was crazy. I couldn’t believe that they had that, but it just goes to show how dedicated the fans are there. That night I hung out with the players and had a good time. The next morning I went to their practice before they headed off to Louisville.

This past weekend I went to Kentucky.

I got there Friday morning and went to their practice for about an hour. I really liked the way they practice there. I just like the momentum they have in their practice. The practices are short, but they get everything done that they need to get in. It’s really productive.

I went to the game the next day and the fans most definitely lived up to the hype. They were just real live, and they chanted my name about eight times. It was so loud in there.

One of the fans came up to me and said “SEC girls love flattops!” I thought that was pretty funny. I really liked watching them play, and sitting behind the bench I got a real feel about how they do it. Coach John Calipari really gets on them when they make mistakes so they won’t make them again. I was impressed. ...

For more on what Noel thought of his visit to UK and about his phone conversation with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, along with where else he plans to visit, read the complete article at ESPNHS.com

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