Cat Scratches
Interactive Twitter Facebook

From the Pressbox: DeCourcy impressed by Noel's offense

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
It was Dirty Harry who said, "A man's got to know his limitations." It was a cool line in the movie but when you're talking about a college basketball player, it's much better to have a player that doesn't know the limits of his potential. And veteran college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy sees that as a strength for UK freshman big man Nerlens Noel.

"He's not really polished in terms of finishing shots but he doesn't seem to care and that's what helps him," DeCourcy explained in an appearance on "The Leach Report" radio show on Monday. "He knows you're not as fast as he is and he's comfortable with the ball in his hands and he's going to get it up on the rim and hopes it goes in. And if he doesn't, he knows he's got a teammate that may get there before your guy does."

The book on Noel as a high school player was that he excelled at blocking shots - many said he's better at it than Anthony Davis - but that he might struggle with his offensive game. Through the five games we've seen Noel thus far, Noel is showing that may be able to bring more of an offensive game to the court than expected.

Noel's hands are soft and he catches most everything thrown his way. He's shown nifty passing skills and a willingness to share the ball as well. And he's just as comfortable going to his left hand as he is to the right. His field-goal percentage is under 50 right now, but that figures to change as he gets more comfortable in the post. And for now, DeCourcy says Noel can rely on his natural instincts.

"That confidence is what makes him dangerous. If he thought about it, he would struggle in the way that people worried that he would. (But) he just attacks and he figures you're going to have to clean up the mess," DeCourcy said.

"They (the UK coaches) did such great work over time with Anthony last year and he had so much skill and they were just bringing out different things. He was just a natural and was just learning how to apply that natural ability," DeCourcy continued.  "As long as he (Noel) continues to attack, he's so big and so fast that's it really hard for defenses to keep him off the rim. That leads to fouls and he looks very comfortable at the free-throw line and he's going to get fouled a lot."

As for a judgment on the UK team as a whole, DeCourcy says he can't do that right now, because of the absence of projected starting point guard Ryan Harrow.

"You have players playing out of position right now. If you play Archie Goodwin at point guard, you have a guy at shooting guard that's probably - if you're going to be a top-level team - best at 18 minutes a game, maybe 20, in Julius Mays," DeCourcy said, adding he needs to see how good Harrow can be and how good Goodwin can be at his natural spot.

"I think the biggest problem with Archie at the point guard is that there's no Archie at the 2-guard," he added. "I saw Ryan practice with them and he looked really good. He finished plays, he made good decisions, he was very fast. I think there's a lot he can add to this team, if he plays."

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment

Recent Comments