Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Projected Draft Number: #2 NBADraft.net/#1 Draftexpress.com
College Stats 2012-13: 31.9min 10.5pts (.590FG% .000TPt% 529FT%) 9.5reb 1.6ast 2.1stl 4.4blk 1.9TO
Gilles's Review: Freshman. Is 6'11.5" with 7'4" wingspan and 9'2" standing reach. Is very thin at 206 pounds(4.2%), but was weighed at 216 pounds last year at one of HS AS games, so low weight is probably to facilitate rehab. Elite versatile defender, probably have the quicks to lock some SFs, his advanced stats doesn't look that different from Anthony Davis' outside of problems with TOs (17.3 TOV% vs. 8.6 for Davis). Looking at his skillset though you can see that he's behind his predecessor offensively: much worse handle and no outside shooting (.529 vs. .751 in FT% is very good indicator if you refuse to believe the eyetest). His offense will come from put-backs, alley-oops and drop-offs. Finally the elephant in the room is 3 injuries on both legs by the age of 19. Two previous had little impact on his game and ACLs are considered non-problematic at this point but the trend is there. Doesn't have great frame so will probably slot in at PF with possibly sliding to C against small-ball teams.
Baja's Review: In his one injury shortened year at Kentucky, Noel averaged 31.9 MPG, 10.5 PPG, while averaging 59.0% overall. Unfortunately his freethrow percentage is lower than his overall percentage at 52.9%, which is sometimes an indicator of how well a player will shoot the ball away from the basket. He also averaged 9.5 RPG, an incredible 2.1 steals a game, and 4.4 Blocked shots a game. Its not often that you see 6'11" players averaging over 2 steals a game. Noel is an exceptional athlete blessed with outstanding leaping ability as well as terrific court speed and lateral quickness. Offensively, due to his outstanding quickness and jumping ability, he is a very good finisher at the basket, and was particularly great at finishing on the pick and roll. Unfortunately, thats about where his offensive ability ends. Fundamentaly, he's a very poor post player, and I'm being kind when I say that. His footwork in the post is terrible, and at best he just throws up ugly looking hookshots and hopes they find the basket. He has no game away from the basket, something he really needs to develop if he's going to project to PF, which is where I think his future lies. At the moment, there is no way that Noel, at 206 pounds, will be able to get in the post and bang with the centers in the NBA. Defensively its another story. Noel has a chance, if he can remain healthy, to be a defensive force in the NBA. He still has a lot to learn about playing man defense, especially in the post, but he has the ability to block shots from just about anywhere on the court. I've seen him in iso on the perimeter against a guard, and still get back to the basket to block a shot from behind. He has the overall physical ability to be an excellent pick and roll defender. Its possible that he could develop into a center in the future with added muscle and strength, but its going to take a while. In many ways he's a project, and you shouldn't expect much, if any offense from him. But he can immediately impact a team with his defense. He's been compared to Anthony Davis, but he doesn't have the ballhandling skills or shooting skills of Davis. I don't see him as a star, but I do see him as an impact player.
Capt.'s Review: Rail-thin and springy shotblocking big man. Noel is quick for his size and has a very good second jump. He projects as an elite-level shotblocker, but following an ACL tear during the college season there are at least some questions about his health status which might drop his stock a bit. The biggest problem with Noel is that he's not particularly good at anything but shotblocking. He is too thin too effectively contest for rebounds with stronger players and often concedes them, and I feel he has questionable rebounding hands at that. On offense he showed essentially no game outside of three feet from the basket in college, though word is that during his down time from injury he is developing a mid-range jumper. If so, that will boost his value tremendously, though I don't know if he'll have any option outside of the jumper if he receives the ball outside the dunk zone - I have severe doubts about his ability to put the ball on the floor and take his man to the hoop, having never seen it. Noel is kind of expected to be the #1 overall pick and certainly expected to go in the top three, but he's a one-skill player rather than a complete player and that puts me off a bit.
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