action:article | category:SPORTS22 | adString:SPORTS22 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » College Sports

January 22. 2013 10:11PM

Ex-Tilton star Noel keeps feet on ground at Kentucky


Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) takes a shot against the Auburn Tigers during the first half at Auburn Arena. (John Reed-USA TODAY Sports)
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Just what Kentucky opponents didn't need: An improved Nerlens Noel.

After Kentucky beat Auburn 75-53 Saturday night, Coach John Calipari mentioned how Noel is doing a better job of staying on his feet and not jumping too early to try to block shots.

"Every day we do drills to stay down," Calipari said of Kentucky's efforts to get improved play from Noel, a former Tilton School star. "So much stuff you have to teach when they're so young."

Calipari likened the problem-solving associated with a freshman-oriented team to sticking fingers in a leaky dike. One problem solved, then another issue arises.

Fans will recall how opponents early this season took advantage of Kentucky's eagerness to block shots. When Noel and company leaped to block the same shot, opponents came from the weak side and feasted on offensive rebounds.

"Part of buying in," Calipari said of Noel's growing savvy as a shot blocker. "Don't leave your feet. We do the drills. Now, go in the game and concentrate. Have some discipline. And he has. And he's still blocking shots."

At Auburn, Noel blocked seven shots, which equaled a season high. That gave him 20 blocks in Kentucky's last three games.

"He's blocking more (shots) than before when he was leaving his feet," Calipari said.

Despite Noel limited to 25 minutes because of foul trouble, Kentucky outrebounded Auburn, 43-30. Not that Noel did not have significant impact. With Noel on the bench, Auburn used more scoring chances around the basket to rally briefly in the second half.

"He helps everybody," Calipari said of Noel, "because you can't just drive, now. Because he's back there, and he will block it."

Noel's presence (his 25 minutes were fewer than he's played in all but one game this season) helped make Auburn dependent on perimeter shooting.

The Tigers missed all 15 of their three-point shots, thus becoming the first UK opponent since 2001 to miss all its shots from beyond the arc. Mississippi State missed all 19 of its three-point shots against Kentucky on Feb. 10, 2001.



 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin

Flyers Notes: Flyers sign speedy New Hampshire forward

Tom Duvall of Durham to compete for Navy in NCAA swimming events

Positive thoughts motivate more exercise says UNH study

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!