Nerlens Noel: Newest Kentucky Wildcat Will Rise Above the Pressure

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2012

Photo Credit: ESPN
Photo Credit: ESPN

Nerlens Noel had a difficult choice to make. He chose the school that would easily give him the most national exposure, but along with that comes a great deal of pressure. 

However, this is not a concern for Noel, the nation's most prized recruit.

Ranked No. 1 overall by ESPN and, Noel decided on Wednesday night during an ESPNU special signing show that he will play his college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Needless to say, a congratulations is in order for head coach John Calipari. He consistently recruits at a high level, knowing that most likely the guys he brings in will depart to the NBA after one year. Noel could very well fall into the category, especially after he takes the country by storm in his freshman year. 

Listed at 6'10", 215 pounds, Noel will have no trouble filling the void left by Anthony Davis. While it's not official that Davis will jump ship to the NBA, he's a lock for the No. 1 overall pick and just won the title, so it's a no-brainer that he'll declare. 

Since Davis was so dominant this year, replacing his production is no easy task. Calipari knew he had to have Noel in order to remain a major threat in the college basketball world. He got him, and soon the nation will see just how good the Wildcats will be once again.  

It's definitely possible that Noel will be even better than Davis. Noel saw how much of a force Davis was this past year, and all that's going to do is fuel him to be the best in 2013. 

A physical specimen that owns the paint every time he steps on the court, Noel will waste no time in showing the world his immense skill. He's going to attempt to make everyone forget about Davis and the spectacle he put on all of this past season. That will be hard, but Noel has all the tools to make it happen. 

The heat will be on Noel and the Wildcats throughout the entire year. After all, they're the defending champs (well, sort of...most of the actual champs are likely headed to the NBA), and the program is so rich with history and tradition that the pressure to win will always by sky-high. 

This does not phase Noel, though, as he is fully ready to step in the college basketball world and crush his opponents. 

It's just a shame that we have to wait several months until it all begins. 



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