Noel’s coach says comparison to Davis is unfair

Most expect Nerlens Noel to fill the soon-to-be-departed shoes of center Anthony Davis on Kentucky’s 2012-13 defending NCAA championship team.

After all, as Davis was a year ago, Noel is the No. 1 rated prospect in his class. And Noel’s shot-blocking abilities have been compared to those of Davis, who rewrote the freshman record books in that category.

But Noel’s high school coach, Marcus O’Neil, tells the New York Times’ Pete Thamel that it’s unfair to compare the 6-foot-11 newcomer to the reigning Wooden Award winner and national champ.

“It’s not fair,” O’Neil said. “They had Anthony Davis and they won a national championship with three other guys, at least, who are going to work out at the N.B.A. level. What if they don’t have the same amount of talent around him and don’t win?”

Ah, but it appears that UK may have at least a comparable level of talent surrounding Noel. Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin are both considered top 20 recruits. North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow, a highly-regarded recruit two years ago, will be eligible in 2012-13 after sitting out last season.

Plus, Kentucky is still in the mix for top 10 recruit Anthony Bennett and UConn transfer Alex Oriakhi.

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