Tilton Prep center Nerlens Noel, who will choose between Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse on Wednesday afternoon, tweeted Monday night that he's "Gon shock the world !!" The 6-foot-11 senior could have been talking about what grade he hoped to get on an algebra exam or what shirt he planned to wear to school the next day, but thousands of amateur recruiting experts, of course, interpreted it as a clue regarding his college choice.
Since the favorite in Noel's recruitment has been Kentucky since he reclassified from the Class of 2013 to 2012 this past winter, the obvious (yet baseless) assumption would be that Noel might be leaning more toward long shots Georgetown or Syracuse. Of course, that would also imply that Noel wasn't just having fun at the expense of his fans, no guarantee when you have a high school senior with thousands of people hanging on his every word.
A shot-blocking presence whose offensive game is also rapidly blossoming, Noel would be a program-changing addition for any of the three schools still recruiting him.
At Kentucky, he'd be a ready-made replacement for Anthony Davis who could help the Wildcats remain in the title chase next season. At Georgetown, he'd continue the school's lineage of dominant shot-blocking big men and serve as the perfect complement to promising forward Otto Porter. And at Syracuse, he'd be the shot-blocking presence in the middle of Jim Boeheim's two-three zone with Fab Melo turning pro.
In addition to Noel's announcement, the other top recruit in the Class of 2012, Bishop Gorman wing Shabazz Muhammad, will also make his decision Wednesday. On Monday night, Muhammad tweeted a photo of a blank letter of intent and three written scholarship offers from his top choices: Kentucky, Duke and UCLA.
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That's not as cryptic as Noel, but it maintains the suspense entering a day that will go a long way toward shaping the 2012-13 title picture.
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