Jay Bilas: Nerlens Noel one of five most “overrated”

Despite a terrific all-around effort in Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is not where we expected him to be at this point in the season.

Or at least that’s the opinion of ESPN’s Jay Bilas in an insider subscription piece, written with Chad Ford, ranking the nation’s “five most overrated prospects in college basketball.”

Bilas discusses Noel first in the piece, and to be fair, he makes the point that this does not mean Noel will fail to reach his lofty potential. In fact, most of the dissertation on the UK freshman deals with player rankings and how we no longer give players time to justify those rankings.

Bilas writes:

Consider Noel’s numbers and performance so far. Halfway through his freshman season, Noel is averaging 10.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, 2.7 steals and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 58 percent from the floor and 58 percent from the line on 3.9 attempts per contest. Noel is the only player taller than 6-foot-5 who ranks in the top 30 in the nation in steals, and is the only player in the top 30 in the country in both steals and blocks.

Contrast that with the freshman season of Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. In his first season at Georgetown, Ewing averaged 12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, 1.08 steals and 0.6 assists per game while shooting 63 percent from the floor and 62 percent from the line on 4.5 attempts per game.

Does the fact Noel’s numbers are comparable and in some categories superior to Ewing’s numbers indicate that Noel is as good or will be as good as Ewing? Of course not. However, it underscores that this is not a race, and today’s “overrated” player can be tomorrow’s hot prospect.

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  1. Dave / New Mexico says:

    Overrated ? By who ???

    O yeah, the media…the same know-it-alls who had UK in the top 5 before the season started.

  2. Dan Cecil says:

    So Bilas is pointing out that Noel’s numbers are better than Patrick Ewing’s as a freshman, yet somehow claiming Noel is over-rated? How high are the expectations Bilas wants to hold Noel to? I don’t remember anyone comparing him to Shaq or Alcinder. The guy isn’t even on the mid-season Wooden award watch list.

  3. Bill Jarvis says:

    Where is Jon Hood? Have not seen or heard of him for several games. Is he still at UK?

  4. jeffro says:

    Bilas stats @ duke freshman yr????? 1.4 pts per game 2.3 rebounds. How is he an expert?

  5. nerlens is not what i thought he would be and iam one of the biggest uk fans but he is one of the bigest let downs ever that came to uk i dont even think calipari thought that nerlens was going to be this big of a let down i think he was going to be another one of them big players but he was one.this is y they need a two year before going pro i think alot of big time schools think the same now.i mean for calipari it fits good i think in the next two years it will change.go big blue. wildcats lucked out when they got calipari.

  6. Wayne Durbin says:

    So is he a letdown?? If I remember correctly, the player of the year, tourney mvp and 1st pick in the NBA draft only averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 4.7 blocks a game…is Noel, that far off in terms of numbers, NOPE. Leave him alone already and let him play his college ball.

  7. Darrell says:

    A let down your crazy this kid gives everything he has every game and look at his stats!!! He is tuff and going to get better