Yes, Noel has very high expectations, but the only problem with that little word right there–expectations–is that they do no guarantee success. Sure, Noel is probably the best defender in the draft and he is probably the best big man with the most upside.
Still, players like Cody Zeller and Kelly Olynyk had much better seasons. They also finished the season. Noel is coming off of a torn ACL, so really anything could happen. He could come back better than ever and he could come back and not be the same player as he was before.
We are so obsessed at what someone could be instead of what people actually are. As I say that, it is important to note that Noel did average 10.5 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game, 4.4 blocks per game and 2.1 steals per game. Those numbers are great for a freshman to say the least and for a player that played on a team that was completely stacked.
We can analyze Noel’s game all we want and say what he needs to improve on and what not, but who really knows how he will do at the next level. He was a great player when he was on the court for Kentucky, people were just shocked that the Wildcats weren’t as good as they were supposed to be, instead of listening to John Calipari when he said his team was not that good.
Many people thought that Greg Oden would be one of the best centers to ever play the game of basketball, but look what happened to him–injuries. It’s pointless to play the what if game, but still, life happens. Noel is an unpolished player and he needs to work on his game just like anyone else to succeed at the next level. He still has to be picked up by the right team and have the right players around him. Dwight Howard couldn’t win a national championship by himself (still hasn’t won one) and either could LeBron James. This will more than likely be the case with Noel.
I think Noel definitely has the potential to be great, but who knows if that potential will pan out. I don’t, you don’t and guess what? No one else does either.
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