Nerlens Noel

By: Chase Fitzgerald (@ByChase)
Nerlens Noel
Position: Center
College: Kentucky
Birthday: 4/10/94 (18 years old)
Height: 6’11
Weight: 216
Wingspan: 7’4
Standing Reach: 9’1.5
Despite Noel’s season coming to a drastic end with an ACL tear, he is still one of the best prospects in this year’s draft. The injury probably shouldn’t affect his draft stock but it does give a chance for other players to shine in his absence which could hurt his stock. Even with that, Noel has still put together a solid 24 college games that have shown what he can do. If you want a more in depth look at any of those games, check out the game breakdowns we have done. After watching a lot of tape on Noel, here are my findings:
Pros:
Length
Nerlens Noel has one of the biggest wingspans in this year’s draft and he has shown that he knows how to use every bit of his 7’4 wingspan. His incredible length paired with his lightning quick reactions gives him a very dynamic presence in the paint. You can in these two plays (http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noel-catches-attempted-alley-oop.html and http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noel-gets-block-without-jumping.html), where his length alone forces the turnover and any team would love to have that on their defense.
Presence in the paint
Nerlens Noel’s presence alone affects the way every opposing player plays. Even if he isn’t blocking the shots, he still forces guards to second guess their shot attempt and when they don’t, well, this happens (http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noels-clutch-block-party.html). He forces very high floaters that are sometimes even funny as they go off the top of the backboard.
Great Hands
Even though Noel has a slight problem holding onto the ball, Noel’s hands are still one of the best in college basketball as they are lighting quick for a big man. He constantly pokes the ball out of opposing players hands which can be seen in example A: http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noels-nonchalant-steal.html and example B: http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noel-picks-pocket-of-guard.html.
His overall ability to get steals
Along with his hands, Nerlens Noel shows great reaction time and actually led the SEC in steals before his injury. He has great anticipation and picks off passes like it is second nature. He averaged over 2 steals per game which is just unheard of for a big man and it just adds another tool to his arsenal.
Ability to take games over
It is very rare to find a player that has the ability to take a game over and there are very few in the NBA that have this ability. Noel is part of an even rarer club. He has the ability to take over games on defense. This is best displayed in the Ole Miss game where in the final minutes ( http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noels-clutch-block-party.html ), Noel blocked over 5 shots including three dunks that would have shifted the momentum away from Kentucky. He is the best defender in this draft and that cannot be overlooked.
Developing some post moves
In his final few games, you could see his offensive improvement and starting to develop some post moves. Kentucky started to give him the ball more and more and showed trust for Noel. He has a lot of length like I mentioned before which helped him with a quick jump hook that showed promise. With the right coaching staff, he could become a solid offensive option.
High Motor
With big men, you rarely see one that plays his hardest every single play and Noel is one of those rare cases. He goes after every loose ball, dives out of bounds to save balls, and plays hard until the final whistle. A good example of this can be seen at the end of the Texas A&M game (http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noel-vs-texas-second-half.html) starting at 2:51 where even though his team is way out of the game, Noel is still fighting for offensive rebounds and playing his heart out. After getting a block or a put back dunk, Noel never show-boats and always hustles back on defense. A high motor is one of my most important qualities for a player to have and Noel sure fits the bill.
Great passer
Noel’s passing ability and court vision doesn’t get talked about close to enough. His passing was so good that Kentucky could still run their offense through him despite having a go to move. He found every cutter and always made a picture perfect pass. If you want to see an example of this, you could literally watch any of my game breakdowns but, two good ones are at the beginning of this video: http://www.thefansgm.com/2013/03/nerlens-noel-vs-south-carolina-second.html where he makes perfect passes but both shots are missed. Being a great passer will make his offensive transition to the NBA much smoother and it is a great asset to have for a big man.
Quick
Nerlens Noel is very fast for a man his size. That can be shown in all of his games where he gets right past his slower defender for the easy shot attempt. His quickness and great passing are just two reasons why is see hope in his offensive game. His ability to get up in the air is insane and even though he leaves after most players, he still gets the block. One thing that I noticed throughout Noel’s game is that because of his quickness, Kentucky doesn’t have a defensive problem when he gets switched to a guard on the perimeter. He is quick enough to stay with the guard and can get back to the paint to contest shots in time.
Has Fundamentals
I absolutely can’t stand it when I see a player not box out on a rebound or don’t go straight up to contest a shot. Let’s just say, Noel makes me happy. He always makes sure to find man and box him out when every shot goes up and it usually gets him more rebounds. The other I noticed is Noel always keeps his arms straight up when contesting a shot under the rim and always jumps straight up instead of slapping his man for the dumb foul. Just doing the little stuff can make big differences.
Cons:
Raw offensively
Even though he showed improvement, Noel’s offense is not ready for the NBA and is going to have a rough rookie season offensively. He needs a lot of work to become an all star and fit the bill for a number 1 draft pick. He definitely has the potential but he has to put in the work and from the kind of player Noel is, it seems like he will. His offense reminds me a lot of Tristan Thompson who after having a very rough rookie campaign, really turned it on in his second season and has proved himself worth being picked number 4. I can see Noel’s transition offensively being similar to Thompson’s.
Gets ball stripped a lot
It’s such a little thing but it bothers me so much. Just like Tristan Thompson, a lot of times when he goes up for a shot, he gets the ball stripped or when he is trying to get the rebound the ball just squirts out. It causes the other team to get extra possessions which can hurt Noel’s team late in games. He improved as the season went on but it still remains a problem and with bigger and stronger players in the NBA, it is only going to become a bigger problem. It can be corrected so I wouldn’t worry about it too much but it is something that you notice when watching his games.
Skinny
By just looking at Noel you can see that he needs to put on weight. This will help him develop a post game and play at the NBA level. With his build it will be harder for him to gain weight than some players but it can be done. He has been bullied at times by stronger opponents but with a player that is as hard working as Noel, I expect him to take the time and effort to put on some muscle.
Free throws
Just like many other big men, Noel can’t shoot free throws. This was one of the many reasons why Kentucky was hesistant to run their offense through Noel because he can’t take advantage of the charity stripe. His free throw percentage is awful and unless Noel wants to play “Hack-a-Noel”, he needs to work on them.
To conclude, Nerlens Noel is very good prospect and most likely will be picked in the top 5. I really like Noel’s potential and could see him as a future NBA All-Defensive First Team type player. He has a very high ceiling and there will be plenty of teams lining up to take a chance on him. 

Nerlens Noel vs. South Carolina Second Half
By: Chase Fitzgerald
0:00: Nerlens Noel starts off the game with an excellent pass from the top of the key to his teammate for what should have been an easy layup.
0:10: Nerlens Noel once again gets robbed of an assist as he makes the nice pass in mid air to his wide open teammate instead of forcing up a shot. The player then goes on to miss the wide open dunk, robbing Noel of an assist.
0:18: I have been praising Noel through all my game breakdowns for not leaving his feet but he does that just on this play as he falls for the pump fake and gives up the easy basket. A huge rarity for Noel.
0:26: Noel shows off his athleticism by throwing down the alley oop despite the bad pass and while getting fouled. The instead of show boating, he hustles back on defense.
0:33: Noel makes a nice drive to the basket even though he loses the ball out of bounds, but he was clearly fouled on his right arm which forced that.
0:39: Noel makes a nice, quick move to get a wide open shot then proceeds to sink the left handed jump hook. Just a little taste of his potential.
0:50: Noel goes back to the jump hook but this time it was contested and bounces off the back of the rim.
1:01: This is just a spectacular play by Noel. The South Carolina player goes up but Noel goes up right with him forcing the South Carolina player to shift his body and put up a crazy shot which Noel still blocks. Noel then hustles back down the court and finishes the nice sequence off with a little jump hook.
1:18: Noel is the only one there for the rebound but the ball somehow slips out of his hands and is almost a turnover but luckily a Kentucky player gets there before any harm is done. Noel’s butter fingers are sometimes a real problem.
1:29: Noel has absolutely no business getting this rebounding as he was getting boxed out and didn’t have any position. He then reaches over the South Carolina player, without going over the back, and fights for the rebound. This is the side of Noel that I want to see more of.
1:37: Noel once again has no business getting that ball but he fights for it and snatches the ball out of everyone’s hands and then dribbles out of trouble finding a guard.
1:44: Noel doesn’t try to get fancy and force an alley oop and instead goes down with the alley oop pass and proceeds to make the wide open layup.
1:52: Noel gets fooled by the same player as before and gets completely taken out of the play.
1:59: Noel almost falls as the man he was supposed to box out pretty much runs away from him. He manages to regain his balance and get the rebound.
2:03: The South Carolina player is fouled on the play but if he wasn’t, Noel was right there and would have got the block.
2:10: Noel doesn’t put up the ball when he is supposed to shying away from contact and instead gets caught under the basketball then going up getting bailed out with a foul call. 


Nerlens Noel vs. South Carolina First Half

0:00: Noel uses his length to tip the ball up and then snags it for the nice rebound.
0:08: Noel misses the jump hook, which he has been going to more and more, and gets his own rebound. He then makes a very nice move using his quickness to get around the defender for the easy layup.
0:16: Even with him being in trouble, Noel gets the hockey assist by showing off his court vision and making the perfect pass to the cutter who then makes the pass to his wide open teammate for the dunk.
0:25: Not seeing anyone to box out, Noel shields off the left side of the hoop making sure no one but him will get the rebound if the ball comes that way. He then proceeds to out-jump the two players behind him for the rebound.
0:33: Noel once again makes the beautiful pass to the cutter getting the hockey assist.
0:42: Noel gets the block but his man then gathers himself and scores. I’ve noticed this a lot throughout Noel’s games where he makes a nice play getting the block, just to have his man get the rebound and score right after. Might not mean much but I found it interesting.
0:51: Noel goes for the steal and doesn’t get it. He then fails to get in front of his man, giving up the open shot. On the rebound though, Noel times the ball perfectly and jumps at just the right time to get the board.
1:03: Noel fails to overpower his defender and doesn’t get the shot off resulting in a jump ball and South Carolina getting the ball.
1:15: Noel gets in front of his man and gets into perfect position for the offensive rebound but, the shot goes in.
1:20: Now back to Noel blocking shots, he is insanely good at doing this.
1:26: Noel gets called for the kick ball but, he achieves in the one thing you are supposed to on defense; causing havoc and disrupting the offenses play.
1:32: Noel goes back to the jump hook and misses but he may have been fouled.
1:41: The much less athletic and smaller South Carolina player tries to post up on Noel and the result is what you expect; Noel swatting the ball away.
1:49: His man gets around him but Noel makes the beautiful recovery to smack the ball off the backboard. 


Nerlens Noel's Clutch Block Party

Nerlens Noel's Nonchalant Steal

Nerlens Noel picks the pocket of a guard

Nerlens Noel's beautiful sequence
video
Nerlens Noel catches the attempted Alley oop
video
Nerlens Noel makes the nice pass

Nerlens Noel gets the block without jumping
Nerlens Noel vs. Texas A&M Second Half


0:00: This is one of the extremely rare times where Nerlens Noel is scored on in the post. Noel seemed surprised by the quick shot and didn’t have time to contest.
0:06: Noel made a great play by not biting on the fake and staying on the ground. Once he passed the ball off, Noel was perfect position to block the dunk.
0:13: Noel shows off his court vision and makes an excellent pass to the cutter for the layup.
0:21: Noel gets a hand on the ball which causes the Texas A&M player to lose control and have the ball go out of bounds.
0:32: Despite having one armed tangled up, Noel gets a hand on the rebound and throws it off the Texas A&M player to gain another possession for his team.
0:41: Noel plays perfect defense and gets the block but is once again scored on in the post by a quick shot.
0:52: Noel once again doesn’t leave his feet and stays in perfect position for the block.
0:59: As his defender goes for the steal, Noel fights for the ball which leads to him having a perfect lane to the basket for a dunk.
1:07: Noel boxes out his man and gets the strong rebound. Unlike the past games of his I’ve broken down, he doesn’t get the ball poked out once this half and is getting the strong rebounds instead of his tipping them.
1:13: Noel forces the extremely high floater which he still almost gets a hand on.
1:24: Noel once again shows off his hands as he hits the ball off the Texas A&M player for the turnover.
1:30: Noel expected his teammate to cut a little sooner than he did and he makes the pass which is almost a turnover but is tipped out by a Texas A&M player.
1:38: Noel fails to box out and his man gets around him. The rebound goes to the other side though so there isn’t any harm.
1:48: Noel makes an excellent play as his man tries to post up on him once again. First, Noel goes for the steal and tries to poke the ball out but his man has already went into his move. Noel quickly reacts and swats the ball away as his hand gets about a foot above the rim.
1:56: Noel goes out to the top of the key to contest the shot but still is able to run to the rim and snag the loose ball.
2:07: Noel goes back to his hook shot which misses but he hustles and gets his own rebound.
2:16: On the same possession, Noel once again gets a hand on the rebound and tips it out to his teammate. Two straight extra possessions created by Noel.
2:22: Noel makes a beautiful defensive play as he refuses to give the guard the baseline and starts to force him out of bounds but he kicks the ball out. Noel then boxes out a man and gets the rebound.
2:31: Noel pokes the ball out for the steal once again.
2:38: Noel once again pokes the ball out but it is recovered before a Kentucky player gets there.
2:44: Noel finds a body and gets the board.
2:51: Despite the game being over, Noel still hustles and fights for the offensive rebound which is tipped to his teammate for the shot. The kind of motor Noel has is just incredible and for a player to be interested in the game under these circumstances is pretty incredible.
2:56: Noel once again hustles for the offensive rebound but this time he gets it and gets fouled going up for the shot. 


The Fan's GM Round Table: Nerlens Noel
Our writers Chase Fitzgerald (@Cfitzwrites) and Chris Rose (@Chrisrose48) sat down and answered some questions about Noel.
What is the highest and lowest you could see Nerlens Noel going in the draft?
Chase: Well, it all depends on who wins the lottery. Many teams will choose Noel number 1, but some teams are not in need of a big man plus may be scared off because of his recent injury. I can’t fathom a situation though where Noel falls out of the top 3. Noel is a very rare defensive talent and there aren’t three teams in the draft that will pass up on that.
Chris: It is really too early to say for certain. It depends a lot on who wins the draft lottery as to how high he would go. There are a handful of teams including the Cavaliers that would probably take him number one even with the injury. I don't see him falling outside the top five because the only reason he would is if his rehab isn't progressing well. In that scenario he would probably return to Kentucky if his stock begins to fall.
What game of his has stood out the most?
Chase: Easily the Ole Miss game for me. In a game where he actually touched the ball more defensively than offensively, Noel may have had the greatest defensive performance ever. In the final 4 minutes, he single handedly stopped any Ole Miss rally by blocking a dunk in three straight possessions. This game showed the defensive potential of Noel and it stood out the most.
Chris: The Ole Miss game was incredible, but I am going to go with the first game against Texas A&M. Kentucky lost due to an incredible performance by an opposing player, but Noel's stat line was unbelievable with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 7 blocks, 6 assists, and 4 steals.
What’s Noel’s biggest strength?
Chase: It is by far his presence in the paint. He makes guards try some absolutely crazy shots which 95% of the time don’t go in. The fear he puts into the minds of the opposing team is absolutely incredible and he has the rare ability to take over a game defensively. His defense is easily the best in the draft and it is what makes him a top 3 pick.
Chris: His biggest strength his no doubt his shot blocking. He led the nation in blocks, but that doesn't even tell the whole story. The amount of shots he changes and the amount of shots that aren't even attempted because players no he is waiting has to be factored in to realize how dominant of an impact he makes on the defensive end.
What is Noel’s biggest weakness?
Chase: In my opinion, it is how much he gets stripped. In every game he has played, he has gotten the ball poked out or couldn’t hold on to a rebound countless many times. It really bothers me but it is something that could be easily improved. Take a look at Tristan Thompson of the Cavaliers. For his first season in a half in the NBA, Thompson had the same problem but he has really improved and it rarely happens anymore. It may seem like such a little thing, but it takes away a couple possessions from his team that could decide the game.
Chris: His biggest weakness is no doubt his post game. He doesn't have very much touch around the basket. His offense was mostly put back dunks and layups before his injury. His post game progressed throughout the season, but it still has a long way to go if he is going to be a dominant NBA player.
Does Noel have All Star potential?
Chase: Absolutely. Like Chris said, many players have made the All Star team on mostly defense alone and Noel is 100% capable of going that route. He will improve offensively and he will become a huge problem for teams because of his athleticism and length. I could also easily see him make a couple All-Defensive teams in the future as well.
Chris: There is no doubt that Noel has a lot of all star potential. Even if he doesn't improve a lot offensively we have seen players in the past like Ben Wallace make all star games solely because they dominate on the defensive end. I believe he will develop into a more well rounded player and likely make a few all star games in his career.
How will his game translate to the NBA?
Chase: Before the injury, Noel could have walked onto an NBA court and made an immediate impact. His offense isn’t NBA ready but his defense could right off the bat be one of the best in the game. He will make his presence defensively and could improve pretty much any NBA defense. He makes the opposing team’s coach plan around him much like Dwight Howard and he will be a successful NBA player.
Chris: I think if healthy Noel could make an immediate impact in the NBA. Any team that is weak on the inside defensively would put up with his offensive short comings to stop interior scoring. I think he may have to play the four in the NBA until he puts on some weight so he doesn't get pushed around, but he can still be a defensive presence from that position. He obviously as I mentioned before has to make strides offensively, but a dominant defensive guy can make a huge impact right away in the league.


Nerlens Noel vs. Texas A&M First Half

0:00: Noel starts the game off with a block on the first play declaring his presence down low.
0:07: Noel, once again comes strong with an absolutely insane block over the Texas A&M player. His ability to get up in the air so quick is shown here and he uses every bit of his length to get the block.
0:15: Noel boxes out his man and gets the strong rebound while getting fouled.
0:20: With Noel being at the top of the key and having no one to box out, Noel goes straight toward the basket and even though he leaves early, he is still able to get the put back dunk. Noel doesn’t get many put backs like that because he is focused on finding a man and making sure he doesn’t get the rebound which is a great quality for a big man.
0:29: Noel forces a very high floater but unlike the ones in previous games, this one falls.
0:33: Noel shows off his excellent court vision and passing ability has he hits a wide open man across the court for a three.
0:41: Unlike the other games I’ve broken down, Kentucky actually gives the ball to Noel in the post. Noel uses a very quick jump hook that has been Noel’s go to move.
0:50: Noel shows off his extremely quick hands and picks the pocket of the Texas A&M guard. He then passes off to the guard ahead of him making sure they get the bucket instead of him getting fouled. An all around great play by Noel.
0:59: Again Noel uses the jump hook which looks very good this game. It is the perfect move for Noel because it uses his quickness and his length.
1:05: Noel forces a circus shot which is air-balled.
1:12: Noel fights and gets the rebound but gets it poked out while on the floor.
1:38: Noel sprints to the basket off the pick and then stops on a dime losing his defender and getting a lot of space. He then goes back to his hook shot which does miss but good to see him using that more.
1:49: Noel once again shows off his court vision by hitting his teammate in the paint for the layup.
1:58: Noel shows his lighting quick reactions which are just unheard of for a man of his size and picks off the pass. He gets fouled going to the hoop and after staying on the ground for a little, he eventually dusts himself off and goes to the free throw line where he knocks them both down.
2:06: Noel gets the strong rebound and finds a guard as quickly as possible to make sure he doesn’t hold the ball longer than he needs to. 


Nerlens Noel vs. Ole Miss Second Half

0:00: Noel does not get credited for the block even though he may have tipped it but he definitely altered the shot which he has done so well this game.
0:05: Noel stands his ground and draws the charge. There was a similar play like this against Louisville but he was called for the blocking foul instead of the charge but this time he gets the call.
0:11: Like the announcer said, Jones got a great shot but missed over Noel and even though it didn’t go in, it doesn’t take away the bad defense by Noel. He didn’t have any fouls then so that couldn’t be his excuse but either way Noel has to go up.
0:19: Noel wasn’t sure whether he wanted to draw the charge or go for the block so he did something in between which obviously, didn’t work out.
0:27: Noel forces a very high shot which is missed and after Ole Miss getting the offense rebound, Noel goes right back up and swats the ball away.
0:40: Noel grabs the arm of the Ole Miss player and gets called for the easy foul. Noel gets called for a lot of fouls because of his aggressive defense and stupid fouls like that just can’t happen and will get Noel in foul trouble which is what happens in this game.
0:46: Noel gets called for the cheap foul but it was a bad call. Noel uses his incredible length to great hands to knock the ball away and it should have been a turnover.
0:54: Noel plays absolutely perfect defense going up and somehow barely touches the Ole Miss player. It doesn’t seem like much but it is one of my favorite plays from Noel.
1:02: Noel once again finds a man and boxes him out.
1:10: This isn’t really a notable play I just thought it was awesome. Noel is conflicted which man to box out so, he tries to box out both. I really wish the shot was missed just to see what would have happened.
1:16: I give Noel a lot of criticism for not being able to hold onto the ball so to be fair, here is a play where Noel manages to retrieve the loose ball and hold onto it.
1:24: Noel plays prefect defense by not leaving his feet and keeping his hands straight up so he couldn’t be called for the foul.
1:31: Noel finds a man and boxes out and even though he falls down, he still makes sure his man will not get the rebound.
1:37: Noel forces the bad shot and then gets another foul on a bad call by the officials. To my count, 2 of the 4 fouls called against him weren’t actually fouls.
1:51: Noel doesn’t go up or attempt to draw the charge in fear that he will pick up his fifth foul. He does though, go after and get the defensive board.
1:59: You cannot play better defense than Noel did on that play but the Ole Miss player just made an outstanding shot.
2:07: Noel once again fearful he will get called for the fifth foul and stays lets the Ole Miss player drive right at him and score.
2:12: Nerlens Noel gets fouled going for the rebound but it isn’t called and it leads to an Ole miss and-1.
Side Note: after Noel gets called for his 4th foul and starts playing a little more conservative, Ole Miss goes on a 16-0 run which just shows how much of a presence is down low.
2:19: This block begins the start of a blocking parade for Nerlens Noel so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the remarkable defense.
2:28: Noel finds a man and was in great position for the offensive rebound if the shot was missed.
2:33: Now back to the blocking parade. This block was the turning point in the entire game. If the Ole Miss player would have made that dunk over Noel, Noel would be out of the game with his fifth foul and Kentucky’s lead may have been down to only one with Ole Miss having all the momentum. Even with 4 fouls, Noel rises up and meets the player at the rim for the gorgeous block.
2:37: Noel once again stops a crazy dunk from happening getting another block.
2:47: And another block of a dunk.
2:55: And another block to seal the game.
3:01: Noel forces a very high shot since the Ole Miss player was terrified of getting blocked but, who could blame him?
3:10: Noel adds one more block just for fun. 


Nerlens Noel's defense in one play

This play pretty much sums up Nerlens Noel's defense. He forces a bad shot, gets a block, gets the rebound, then gets the rebound stripped. 

Nerlens Noel vs. Ole Miss First Half
:00: Noel fights for the ball after it being deflected on inbounds pass and proceeds to make a nice pass to his teammate for the dunk. Noel is a very underrated passer which is also a nice tool to have for big men.
:09: Noel finds body and boxes him out getting into perfect position for the rebound and drawing a foul.
:16: Noel makes a very lazy pass which gets stolen and would have been a fast break dunk if not for the foul.
:24: Noel gets into perfect position and gets the block. Noel has very quick reactions and can get up so high so fast that he has to wait for the man to commit to the shot before he jumps.
:31: Noel forces an awful extremely high floater which goes off the top of the backboard. His precence in the paint scares opposing players forcing many bad shots when he isn’t getting blocks.
:38: Noel forces a pass and then rotates perfectly while keeping his hands straight up playing perfect defense.
:48: Noel uses his length to get up and fight for the rebound despite being in bad position.
:58: Noel uses his quickness to get in good position for a shot but misses. He then follows his own shot almost getting the offensive board.
1:09: Noel once again gets into perfect position and gets the block.
1:15: Noel fails to get into position for the rebound yet still is able to reach over his man boxing him out to get the rebound.
1:22: Noel goes over to help but his man sneaks away and gets in good position for a shot drawing a foul. Noel though, somehow makes up the ground and would have had a block if not for the foul.
1:28: Noel boxes out his man and should have had the rebound but it slips in between his legs.
1:38: This play confuses me. Noel just stands there and watches the guard go right by him and makes no effort to block the shot or even contest it.
1:44: Noel gets into perfect position for the block and would have had one if not for the player losing the ball.
1:52: Noel, despite being in awful position, somehow gets the rebound but loses the ball once again.
2:04: Noel gets the steal and is fouled.
2:11: This play perfectly sums up the defense of Nerlens Noel. Noel forces a bad floater, then gets a block, gets the rebound, and loses the ball.
2:36: Noel finds a man and once again boxes him out. One of the reasons I love Noel as a prospect is because he has fundamentals. He always makes sure to find a man to box out which you don’t as much anymore.
2:47: Noel once again plays absolutely perfect defense stopping ball, then trying to get right back to his man and getting the block. Most big men that I have seen stay with their man and gives the other team a wide open three pointer but Noel wisely stops the shot from happening then waits for help before going back to his man.
2:57: Even though Ole Miss makes the shot, you can see that once again Noel finds a man to box out. 


Nerlens Noel vs. Louisville Second Half
:00: Not aware of shot clock and gives ball off to a teammate in almost same position as him. Noel seems afraid to take any type of jumper or any contested shot that isn’t a layup. Not knowing how much time is on the shot clock is a simple mistake and it happens to the best of NBA players, not something to be worried about.
:15: Noel can’t get a hold on the pass and lets it be stolen by defender. He does hustle back though and breaks up another alley oop.
:25: Noel plays great defense the entire possession and does everything perfectly. They do score but it wasn’t Noel’s fault.
:39: Noel gets perfect position and should have got the charge call but he is called for blocking instead.
:47: Noel leaves his feet which allows the guard to make an easy pass to a wide open man. That basket was on Noel.
:58: Another bad call against Noel where he displays great hands by poking the ball loose but is called for reaching.
1:02: Noel makes a nice move using all of his length to make the hook shot. This should give you hope for Noel’s offensive game and that he will develop one.
1:09: Noel shows great reaction and once again uses his length breaking up the pass.
1:15: Noel once again displays great hands by knocking the ball loose and after Louisville got possession again, he plays great defense and gets the defensive board.
1:31: Noel stays with the quick guard and blocks his shot without even jumping.
1:38 Off the ensuing inbounds, Noel bats the ball away preventing the easy layup.
1:44: Noel loses his man who goes in for the easy layup. This seems like an unlucky play as Noel was supposed to help and stop ball and he was probably expecting someone to help him on his name.
1:53: Noel hustles and gets the defensive rebound showing off some strength.
2:00: Noel can’t get a hold on the easy offensive board which goes out of bounds off Noel. 

Nerlens Noel vs. Louisville First Half


First Half:
:06: Instead of forcing shot with 3 people on him, Noel smartly kicks out to guard who then swings to open man for shot.
:12: Noel finds a man and boxes out.
:18 Noel dives out of bounds and gives Kentucky an extra possession with his hustle.
:24: Noel shows off his quickness and length as he gets by defender for basket.
:33: After missing rebound, Noel goes back up, gets the block, and goes after the ball and forces a jump ball.
:58: Noel rotates perfect and gets into position for block. His teammate gets the block before Noel can though.
1:08: Noel doesn’t commit to help to keep an eye on man in the corner. Without the foul though, Noel would have given up the easy basket.
1:31: Noel gets rebound knocked away by guard.
1:36: Noel’s quickness gets him a good shot but he misses.
1:47: Noel was in great position for the block and would have gotten one if not for the reach in foul called on his teammate.
1:56: Beautiful sequence of play for Noel getting the block then hustling down floor and making nice move for dunk.
2:11: Noel doesn’t go up to block guard in fear he would get called for a foul. If he would have gone up, it probably would have been an and-1 but still have to go up with him.
2:18: Noel make sure to keep hands straight up and perfectly defends first shot.
2:29: Noel gets called for traveling.
2:37: Noel partially gets the block.
2:43: Noel draws two people to box him out leaving his teammate wide open for the putback.
2:50: Noel goes for steal, doesn’t get it, then gets back up to defend the shot perfectly.
2:58: Noel somehow catches alley oop from free throw line barely jumping while showing off his athleticism and length.
3:02: Noel fights for offensive rebound, gets it, then dunks to finish the play off.
3:07: Noel with great rotations and great D all around.
3:35: Noel once again kicks the ball out which eventually gets his teammate an open shot.
3:44: Noel finds a body and uses length to almost get offensive rebound. With a little more muscle, that’s probably a rebound and dunk for Noel.
3: 54: Noel with a beautiful pass but assist is ruined by nice block. Noel is a very underrated passer which will transalate well to NBA.
4:01: Noel then hustles back down court to get steal.
4:09: Noel shows no fear meeting his man at the rim to stop alley oop. Is called for the foul though.
5:10: Noel had offensive rebound but is fouled going down.

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