Kentucky's Noel to enter NBA draft

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel announced Monday that he will enter the NBA draft.
Noel, an All-American, is considered the top prospect in June's draft.
The 6-foot-10 center missed the last month of the season after having knee surgery for a torn left ACL. He averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and led the nation with 4.42 blocks per game. SEC coaches voted him freshman of the year and top defensive player.
"I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I've received from them during my rehab and decision-making process," Noel said in a statement. "I'll always be a Wildcat!"
He also thanked the school and coach John Calipari in the statement.
"I support Nerlens' decision to enter his name in the draft and am excited for him and his future," Calipari said in the same statement, which was released by the school. "The hard work and will to win he showed on the floor this year and the dedication and attitude he has shown in his rehab will only be a reward for him and whatever team drafts him in June."
Noel was injured during the Wildcats' loss at Florida on Feb. 12. Kentucky missed the NCAA Tournament and finished the season 21-12 after falling to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT Tournament. Kentucky went 4-5 down the stretch without Noel.
Noel is projected by several draft experts to go No. 1, even though he needs six to eight months to recover from the surgery, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews.

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