LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball program has added the nation’s top recruit in Nerlens Noel, head coach John Calipari announced on Thursday.
Noel is a 6-10 forward from Everett, Mass., who suited up for Tilton in Tilton N.H. He averaged 12.6 points, 3.9 blocks and 7.2 rebounds per game as a senior. A member of the Jordan Brand Classic East squad, Noel was one of four finalists for 2012 Naismith High School Boys Player of the Year and was also a member of the USA Junior National Select Team for Nike Hoops Summit.
He is rated as the top player by ESPNU Recruiting and Scout.com and the best center prospect. He’s the top-ranked center and the second-best overall player by Rivals.
“I’ve been blessed three times in my career to have a player that can change the game without really scoring with Marcus Camby, Anthony Davis and now Nerlens Noel,” Calipari said. “I will tell you that Nerlens, just like Anthony, is not a finished product. He’s got a lot of work to do and we have a lot of work to do to get him to where I think he’s capable of being, but he is a special player who I am ecstatic to have an opportunity to work with.”
Noel joins early-signees Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress to comprise the 2012 signing class.
“As we recruit, just like last year, it’s like piecing together a young group that will play off one another,” Calipari said. “The four that we’ve now signed will all play off one another. They’re all great kids who have a desire to win, have terrific talent and who all complement each other.”
The spring signing period continues through May 16.