Though Georgetown's season ended a bit earlier than any of us would have liked, we're rolling out a special edition of our award-winning Sleeping with the Enemy feature while at this very moment the greatest high school player on the planet is deciding whether he wants to play at the next level for Georgetown, Syracuse or Kentucky. Special thanks to our Kentucky chum A Sea of Blue and the ever so evil Syracuse jerkface (in the nice meaning of the word jerkface) Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for providing answers to my one question:
Why should Nerlens Noel go to your school?
The Kentucky, Syracuse and Georgetown Arguments after The Jump:
Hey, A Sea of Blue, why should Nerlens Noel go to Kentucky?
Let me count the ways:First, there is going to be an opening at the PF/C position at Kentucky with Anthony Davis, one of the best shot-blockers in NCAA history, leaving after this year. What better way to measure yourself against the best?
Second, Kentucky always plays a short rotation, which will give Noel plenty of time to develop his skills.
Third, Kentucky plays a great, but now brutal schedule, which gives players a chance to shine, develop, and test themselves while still maximizing their chance to play as a high seed in the post season.
Fourth, Kentucky always draws some of the best talent in the nation. Noel will be playing with future NBA players like himself rather than having to be the focus of the team, taking off a ton of performance pressure and allowing him to learn how to play in a team environment similar to the next level.
Fifth, Noel will be playing for a coach that has put nine players in the NBA in only two years at Kentucky, and after this year it will certainly be at least 11 or 12. Finally, John Calipari is a "players first" coach, and if he can develop Josh Harrellson into an NBA player, just imagine what he can do with a talent like Noel.
Hey, Nunes Magician, why should Nerlens Noel go to Syracuse?
Pros for Syracuse:
Nerlens, I hear you like to block shots. Perhaps you've heard, a Syracuse center won the last two Big East Defensive Player of the Year Awards for just such a thing. In the 2-3 zone, no one, and I mean no one, is more important than the man in the middle. That would be you, my friend.
Sure, you can go to Kentucky. You might win a National Title. You'll be set up to go to the NBA the following season. But you'll always just be a cog in the machine. Another guy who won another title in Kentucky blue. At Syracuse you get all of those same opportunities except that if you win a title here, you'll become a living God (See: Anthony, Carmelo).
You want state-of-the-art facilities? Let us show you the Melo Center. If you play well enough, it might be come the Noel Center in a few years.
You want to play in the NBA. Totally cool. So not only will you need to play well (which we know you will) but you need national exposure. Check out Syracuse's TV schedule from this past season. Every Big East game save for two were nationally-televised and we played non-conference games on TV against the likes of Florida, NC State, Stanford and Virginia Tech. You will not want for national coverage.
Fab Melo is probably leaving, so, no awkward double-block attempts or double-goaltend attempts, as the case may be.
Speaking of Fab, did you see how terrible he was freshman year? And did you see how much improved he was as a sophomore? If our coaches can do that with a project like Melo, think of what they can do with a sculpted talent such as yourself?
People love to talk about how Syracuse can't win in the tournament, Noel. We'll guess what? Georgetown's even worse than us. If there were 17-seeds, the Hoyas would find a way to lose to them. Truth is we've made it to the 2nd weekend three of the last four years and been a No. 1 seed two of the last three. Maybe the only thing keeping us from going further is...you.
Cons for Syracuse:
There's a lot of, um, stuff going on around the program. And while the team itself is insulated from the madness, the Syracuse brand has taken a bit of a hit.
We do have a rapidly-developing Rakeem Christmas on the roster and you'll be joined by fellow super-recruit DaJuan Coleman, not to mention junior Baye Moussa Keita. Not gonna lie, you're probably not gonna see 35 minutes/night.
Kentucky's track record for getting top draft picks speaks for itself and Syracuse has a history of not producing NBA talent. It's true. Georgetown...whatever.
Have you heard that a lot of people don't like the 2-3 zone? Well, you will. And some folks will jump to the conclusion that it's bad for your development.
It's not going to be a rebuilding year by any means, but chances are the Orange will not only lose seniors Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine but also Dion Waiters and Fab Melo. That's a lot of talent. We've got a lot of quality players to replace them, but, you know.
Hey Casual Hoya, Why should Nerlens Noel go to Georgetown?
The reasons why Noel should #BringtheFlattoptotheHilltop are numerous, and since I am 100% positive that he'll read this before making his decision, here are just a few:
Put simply, Georgetown University is Big Man U. Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutumbo, Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe are the names often mentioned in conjunction with great Georgetown bigs, but other centers/forwards like Othella Harrington, Jahidi White, and Don Reid went on to have lengthy NBA careers using the skills they learned while at Georgetown. All of these former players still remain close to the school, as Harrington is now an assistant coach with Georgetown who helped Henry Sims develop into a potential NBA draft pick, and many of the above players routinely come back to Georgetown to give advice and practice with the current team.
Unlike Kentucky or Syracuse, Georgetown's offense will provide Noel with the skills to make him a bigger force at the next level. John Calipari has transformed Kentucky into "One and Done U", but what have his players have done in the NBA after leaving Kentucky? Though undoubtedly extremely talented, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton, Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Josh Harrellson, and DeAndre Liggins haven't merited anything remotely close to All-Star team consideration. The bigs especially, have done very little to impress thus far given their talent coming out of high school.
Any questions as to whether John Thompson's offense can hinder performance at the next level have been silenced, as former Hoya big men Roy Hibbert made the All-Star team this season and Greg Monroe has become one of the best center/power forwards in the league, averaging close to 17 points and 10 rebounds this season.
Though Georgetown's on-campus facilities are lacking, Nerlens Noel will be playing all of his homes games at the Verizon Center, an NBA arena.
Unlike Kentucky or Syracuse, Georgetown offers Noel a casually vibrant city with numerous dining and entertainment options - options which for the majority of the year aren't covered in snow (Syracuse) or involve horses (Lexington)...and I personally really like horses.
The bottom line with Noel is that he's likely to be the #1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft regardless of where he goes, so the choice shouldn't be about where he can be a one and done. At the end of the day, what is the downside with Georgetown? It's the best school of the three, it's in the best location of the three, the team with Noel will be one of the favorites to win the Big East and moreover, there isn't any noise surrounding the program involving molestation charges, drug use among the players, or eligibility issues that may result in NCAA sanctions.
Noel should choose the school where he will learn the most, both on the court and off. Noel should choose the school where he will develop the skills that will make him a better player at the next level. Noel should choose the school where he can be part of a family that includes some of the greatest big men to ever play in the NBA.
Nerlens Noel should choose Georgetown.