Nerlens Noel Watch may be in its last week. As you probably already know, Noel is the top recruit remaining in the 2012 class, a game-changing center with incredible shot-blocking instincts and an even better haircut. He recently cut his list to Georgetown, Kentucky, and Syracuse, all three of which he already visited (Kentucky and Syracuse, unofficially, before reclassifying from the class of 2013; Georgetown officially, on Selection Sunday). This week, there are in-home visits, with Kentucky coach John Calipari swooping in Monday night and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim arriving tonight (or was it last night?). [Fill in requisite Syracuse joke here.] There's no word that I've seen concerning an in-home from Georgetown, though Noel's mother accompanied him on his visit to the Hilltop. Georgetown fans treated the big man well during his visit, chanting his name during the selection special while putting up signs around campus.
More Noel intrigue after the jump.
Noel has suggested that he wants to decide on a college by the time of the McDonald's All-American Game, which takes place just a week from tonight. His approaching decision has drawn ever-increasing media coverage. The attention has been as brief as a probably improper tweet and as extended as Pete Thamel's feature in the Sunday Times that's long on speculation and insinuation but short on facts, especially about Noel himself or, of course, about Syracuse, a Noel suitor and Thamel's alma mater.
Each of Noel's three finalists has a lot to offer the young big man. Georgetown can provide unparalleled big man development; an offense that prominently features its posts; a returning, a hungry core of young but battle-tested underclassmen to flank Noel; a network of current and future NBA centers of which Noel would be a member for life; an excellent education; and cupcakes, lots of cupcakes. Kentucky has established itself as a cushy layover en route to the NBA, and under coach Calipari Noel might win some games that won't be vacated for at least a year. And Syracuse can roll out a log-jammed front-court with scarce playing time; NCAA and criminal investigations; a dubious track-record of actually turning highly regarded big men into NBA centers; and most likely some brand new scandals, which arrive at Syracuse seasonally at least. Plus, according to chatter over at HoyaTalk (and as corroborated by this mildly intriguing facebook page) the Orange may have an in with someone whom Thamel reported to be a Noel family "advisor" and whom Noel himself calls a "mentor[ who] has helped me the most in the recruiting process...." So really, the young man can't go wrong.
So where will Noel end up? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Weigh in, and drop a comment or more below.