Bring on the flat-top! Nerlens Noel, the top recruit in the 2012 recruiting class, will visit Lexington on Saturday for Kentucky's game against Ole Miss. There's some debate as to whether the visit would be official or unofficial, since Noel reportedly still has to complete NCAA Clearinghouse requirements to reclassify. The difference would be whether Noel gets his expenses paid or not; either way, he should thoroughly enjoy his visit.
Expect Kentucky head coach John Calipari to sell Noel on being the "next Anthony Davis": not only a premier defender who anchors the Wildcat defense next year, but also a high-efficiency offensive weapon that will receive easy-to-score passes from talented guards like Ryan Harrow.
Noel visited Syracuse last weekend, along with two 2013 prospects: Tilton School teammate Goodluck Okonoboh and St. Benedict's Tyler Ennis. Orange fans showed their appreciation for Noel's visit, even sporting his signature flat-top haircut. After Kentucky, Noel still plans to visit Florida, North Carolina and Georgetown. Two local schools, Providence and Connecticut, round out his list.
While getting Noel on campus is an obvious plus, there's still a ways to go before Noel's recruitment is settled. With UConn likely ineligible for postseason play in 2013, the Huskies will probably fall out of the race. Syracuse already has its center position slotted with fellow 2012 recruit DaJuan Coleman, though picturing a Noel-Coleman frontline is a scary thought. Syracuse appeared to be the favorite to land Noel before he reclassified, and Noel had attended Syracuse's Midnight Madness last October. Noel's other finalists all expect to have openings at the "5" position, allowing Noel to slide in easily and fill a big hole in the middle.
Still, Kentucky fans should feel confident that Calipari is doing all he can to get the talented big man onto campus, not just on Saturday, but starting next semester as well.