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.
What’s good, everybody. Like I promised, I’m back to check in with you guys and get a few thoughts out before I make my big decision.
It’s my birthday today, so I’m back home to celebrate with my family but also to sit down with them and talk about these schools and come up with a decision.
Before I get into that, I know everyone was talking about the game we lost the other night against the World Team in the Nike Hoop Summit.
We were all feeling pretty down after the loss. It was tough. I thought we competed a lot better in the second half because coach [Kevin Boyle] made some good adjustments. He wanted us to pick it up defensively and we definitely did.
They missed their first 12 shots and that allowed us to get back in it, but they made some big shots in the end and got the win.
The locker room was a little quiet at first, but we had good leaders that spoke up and made us all feel a little better. Like Mitch [McGary], he just talked about how we were a family and that we were all brothers and that we played our hearts out. It made a lot of us feel better.
OK, so back to the announcement. Like I said, tonight we’re gonna have a group discussion and write things out and see where we’re most comfortable and what the best decision will be. The rumors about me already being committed are just crazy.
Anyone who knows me knows my mom, Dorcina, has to sign off on any decision and that she will play a major part in any decision. So tonight is when I’ll talk to her about it all.
Any “recruiting guy” who says he has some news from a “source” is funny, too, because the source would have to be me or my mom and they’re not talking to her and I don’t talk to anyone. Like I always say, only believe what you read here.
This is such a tough decision, though. I look at Syracuse and I love the way that the coaches say they’ll use me in their offense. I really like the family atmosphere there and I feel really comfortable there. Syracuse has been on me the longest of all three schools and that is big for me.
Then you’ve got Georgetown, and I really just like everything about them. When I went down there with my mom, it really opened my eyes to what they were all about. I have to factor in what a school like that can do for me, even away from being a basketball player. It’s just a great school and they have a history of developing big men. Georgetown is definitely a great option for me.
Then there’s Kentucky.
Of course they’re coming off the national championship, but I’d look more at how I’d be able to fit in and how I’d be used there. I’d factor in what my role would be offensively, like Anthony Davis with a lot of lobs and catching it at the high post and things like that. Defensively, I think it’ll take care of itself.
So as you all can see, this thing won’t be easy. Of course, me and Shabazz (Muhammad) will be deciding at the same time and I talked to him about that at the Hoop Summit, but we didn’t talk about schools at all. We never have.
I read the story where all the players gave predictions on where me and Shabazz would go. That was pretty funny. Man, they were sleeping pretty hard on the other schools, but everyone’s entitled to his own opinion.
Well, I’ve definitely got some celebrating to do and some discussing to do with my family, so I’m gonna head out now, everyone. Definitely check out the decision (7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday on ESPNU) -- and again, I have 100 percent not made any decision yet because I really don’t know.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
I'll holler at y'all later.
Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3