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. Since then, heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, have scrambled to get him on campus next season. He recently narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.
Hey, what’s up, everybody. Of course it’s me, Nerlens. Sorry I haven’t written in my blog in a couple weeks. Things have been pretty crazy.
I just got back from New Orleans playing in the All-American Championships and had a ball. The game was fun, of course, just playing with all my boys, but we had even more fun hanging out in the city.
I checked out Bourbon Street and, man, that was just crazy! No other word for that.
I’ve never taken that many pictures in my life. Ever.
I literally got stopped hundreds of times and took dozens and dozens of pictures. The fans were showing me so much love out there, and I definitely have to say that most of the fans were from Kentucky.
Now, of course that had a lot to do with the fact that they were playing there, but I’m always just shocked at how dedicated Kentucky fans are. One man asked me if I wanted to take his wife home with me, ha ha. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “Nah, I’m good,” but that’s just how insane the fans were down there. Great atmosphere.
OK, so by now I assume most of you guys know that I cut my list to Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse a few weeks back. I just thought it was time to get it down to the schools that I was really looking at the hardest.
Kentucky had the big win Monday night and I had a good time watching that game. I was really liking how Anthony Davis continued to be effective even without scoring the ball. I know how it feels to not be able to get it going on the offensive end at times, and that makes you just want to go even harder defensively. I loved that he got Most Outstanding Player, too.
Just seeing him have all the success that he’s had this year definitely makes me think a lot about what I could be doing there. That’s really appealing to me.
His IQ on the court is crazy. I talked to him a lot while I was down there and he told me all about how much better he’d gotten since he got there. He told me that I’d have to be ready when I got there because it was going to be a lot of hard work.
I’d definitely say it makes me think about Kentucky more, and with them winning with all of those freshmen was very attractive. Just seeing that it doesn’t matter how young you are, you can win a national title.
I talked to (Kentucky assistant) coach Orlando (Antigua) after they won and he was really happy, of course. He said that all he could think about was me being a part of something like that next season.
I wouldn’t say that all of that stuff gives Kentucky an advantage, though. It’s just something I think about a lot.
With Syracuse, they’ve been on me the longest of the three schools on my list. That factors in heavy with me. That’s big for me. With Georgetown, I would've been crazy not to really give them a look with all the history they’ve had with big men and the development that I could get there.
This is going to be a hard decision, y’all.
I’ve decided to announce my decision a week from today on ESPN, so I’ve got a lot of thinking to do between now and then. And I’ve heard the rumors about me making a decision already. That’s not true. Rumors are rumors, what can you do, but just know that I'm far from a decision no matter what you hear.
Like I always say, don’t believe things you don’t read from me right here in my blog. I definitely haven’t made up my mind yet.
Me and Shabazz Muhammad are deciding at the same time on ESPN, so that should be pretty cool. It’s definitely just a coincidence, because me and Shabazz have never even talked about schools or anything like that.
I would love to play with him in college, though, but we’ve never talked about that and he’s got to do what’s best for him like I’ve got to do what’s best for me.
I will say that one of the biggest factors in my decision will be who will be there on the team when I get there because my No. 1 goal is to win a national title.
OK, everybody, I’ve got to run off to class now, but I’m planning to do another blog next week before I decide so check back for that. And I’m going to have something cool planned for how I announce on TV so definitely check that out, too.
Now if only I could figure out which school that’s going to be …
OK, thanks again for reading, everyone. I’m out.
Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3