The Kentucky Wildcats were able to pull out another one on the road Saturday night against the Texas A&M Aggies, mostly thanks to the dominant play by freshman center Nerlens Noel. But most viewers might have missed Noel’s best defensive play of the night.
Half way through the first-half Kentucky’s Willie Cauler-Stein missed a free-throw. Noel attempted to get good position for the rebound, but the Aggies’ Ray Turner comes up with it and pushed it up court. While Noel was strolling back to play defense, he tripped Texas A&M’s Alex Caruso.
As you can see in the video, Caruso tried to bring this to the ref’s attention, but received no sympathy.
Now the question is did Noel trip him on purpose? Each fan base will have different opinions after watching the video.
More than likely Texas A&M fans will say that he stutter stepped on purpose to wait for Caruso’s feet to come close enough for a trip and pretended not to hit anything so he didn’t get caught. Kentucky fans would say that he has big feet and stuttered so he didn’t bump into Caruso.
We will never know if Noel did trip him on purpose, one would hope that he wouldn’t. He isn’t known for wearing his emotions on his sleeves like some ex-Kentucky players and has never been in trouble for something like this before, at least not this season.
Noel ended the game with an impressive 19 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks. He also only had one personal foul, so even if he was called for the trip it wouldn’t really change the score.
Texas A&M fans may walk away from this game with a bad taste of Mr. Noel in their mouths, which will make for a fun game if the two meet again in the conference championship.
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