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By LARRY VAUGHT
Don’t count ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi as one who is worried about what kind of impact Nerlens Noel will have at Kentucky his freshman season.
Noel spent most of his summer completing two classes he had needed to complete his freshman eligibility requirements and then was criticized by some for his “lacklustre” play at a California camp last week.
“When you don’t play or practice as much as you normally do, it will show but it won’t hamper him long term. He has to do more come fall to catch back up, but it is all part of the learning curve when you are playing catch up,” said Biancardi. “He is battle tested. He has played AAU at the highest level. He went o a high level prep school. He has done everything you can in the high school ranks.
“It will be different at Kentucky, but I think he will work and get better over time. It may not come as quickly as everybody wants. A lot of what you do during the year is based on what you do during the offseason. I am sure he has been working on his game, but he had to spend some time doing other things. That might make his progress a little slower. But once he gets to practicing at UK and doing weight training, it should all come together pretty quick.
“He has great instincts for what he does, which is block shots and protect the rim. I still think he was a huge get for John Calipari and will make a huge difference in this year’s team.”