ESPN's Adam Finkelstein checks in today with Tilton (N.H.) big man Nerlens Noel, who refuted various internet reports that surfaced over the weekend claiming he had come out with any sort of recruiting list.
The sophomore and Everett native, rated the No. 1 center and No. 3 overall player in the Class of 2013 by ESPNU, told Finkelstein he's waiting "until the fall to make my list."
In the meantime, numerous high-major Division 1 coaches have come by the Tilton, N.H. campus to take in the Rams' talented group. Last week, Kentucky head coach John Calipari made a visit, and extended an offer to both Noel and freshman Wayne Selden shortly after leaving.
Most recently, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III was in to visit. Noel told Finkelstein he was told by his head coach Marcus O'Neil that North Carolina, Duke and Syracuse would be among the most notable to visit the next few weeks.
Noel told Finkelstein he's looking for "A coach who cares about his players and can develop them for the next level." As for his own game, his offense seems to be improving. As Finkelstein writes:
In terms of his own development, Noel is best known for his dominance on the defensive end of the floor but his offensive skills have been blossoming at a steady rate as of late with the emergence of a dependable face-up game and signs of a jump hook on the block. Noel is also a good passing big man.
"I'm just working on my all-around game right now and trying to get stronger," Noel said. "Offensively, I'm just trying to establish a go-to move and working on my strength around the basket."
While his offense continues to develop, his defense will always be his claim to fame. Perhaps the best shot blocker in the entire country, Noel's ability to erase mistakes at the rim led his BABC team to the AAU U-16 national championship last year and had them atop virtually every defensive category after Week 1 of this spring's Nike EYBL.
It's not just his length and quick bounce that make him so dominant turning shots away around the rim, it's a combination of other factors that can't be taught with his timing, mobility and instincts that are absolutely off the charts.
Put it all together and Noel is as dominant a defensive big man as there is in the country with a consistently evolving offensive game and a long line of college coaches vying for his services.