Kentucky Wildcats Freshman Nerlens Noel Officially Cleared to Play by the NCAA

By Joshua Casey

When news broke that Nerlens Noel was heading to the University of Kentucky many people had deja vu all over again.  It had been nearly a year since a player Noel has been compared to, Anthony Davis, also committed to Kentucky. After winning his first national championship at Kentucky John Calipari was riding high, and fans were excited at yet another promising season, one that would surely bring a shot at repeating as national champions.

But just as soon as fans got excited at the monster news, they were equally disappointed when it was made knownn that Noel had not been cleared to play by the NCAA. The most important piece to the Kentucky repeat puzzle was not in place, and thus fans were worried. But today fans of the Wildcats got great news as it was reported that Noel has officially been cleared to practice, and play, by the NCAA.

Calipari first informed ESPN of the NCAA’s decision, and it was later confirmed by multiple media outlets. Noel was seen by many as the top overall recruit in the 2012-2013 class but has been subjected to numerous investigations delving into his eligibility and the status of his amateur label. Now that Noel is cleared, it should pave the way for Kentucky to once again have a great season under Calipari.

Although Calipari has continuously denied that Noel and Davis are similar types of players, Noel will almost assuredly play the same sort of role that Davis had last season. Noel will not be called upon to save Kentucky on the offensive side of the ball, rather he will be relied upon to anchor a Kentucky defense that looks set to be among the tops in the nation.

As a senior Noel averaged 12.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks per game. The Wildcats will kick off yet another promising season on November 9th at the newly built Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York against the Maryland Terrapins.  After this latest news it is expected that Noel will be in uniform, and presumably in the starting lineup for that game.



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