Nerlens Noel | Senior | Center | Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)
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 of the 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 around early March.
I went to Syracuse on Feb. 10 and I 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 for 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.
I got a chance to talk to Coach Cal a lot during my visit. He talked a lot about how I could come in there and work hard and succeed. He talked a lot about playing at the NBA level and things like that. I thought we had a really good talk.
I did notice that Coach Cal’s and Coach Boeheim’s recruiting styles are very different. Coach Boeheim is way more laid back. He lets you know that he wants you, but he doesn’t press it too much. Coach Cal tells you everything about how he’ll use you, where you’ll fit in, everything.
Both visits were a lot of fun and I took a lot from them.
I’ve had a few schools call me more since the news broke about me reclassifying. I actually talked to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski the day after my first blog. That was pretty cool, just talking to him. I like Coach K a lot. He was telling me about the situation down there for next year.
I talked to him twice after that, but I ended up telling them that I wasn’t interested in Duke. I like Coach K, but I just didn’t have any interest in them.
I’m excited about my next few visits, to Florida, North Carolina and Georgetown, but I don’t know what order those visits will be in and I don’t have any dates on those yet. I’ll definitely let you guys know, though.
I’m gonna visit Providence and UConn too because they’re so close to me. I’ve been hearing from all of the coaches from those schools for the most part.
Other than that, we’ve got the big game against Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) today. We’re all ready for this game, of course. This will be the third time we’ve played them this year and they took the first two. We’ll be a little short-handed with my man Wayne Selden out. He’s got a really bad sprained ankle and we’ll miss him a lot, but I think we’re capable of pulling out the win. We’ve got a good game plan, and as long as we play hard we should be OK.
I do think that we’ll see them again in the championship, though. Either way, I just want to win.
I was happy for all the guys who made the McDonald’s All-American game. I really wished I could’ve made it, but I understand about the rules and all. I probably should’ve tried to reclass a little earlier, but I understand.
Well, that’s it for now, everyone.
Oh, you guys remember: If you don’t read it from me here on my blog, in my own words, then it’s not true.
Thanks again for reading, and I hope you guys come back for my next blog real soon.
Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3