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By LARRY VAUGHT
Lafayette College coach Fran O’Hanlon got to see UK recruit Nerlens Noel play in high school and will be facing him again Nov. 16 when Lafayette plays in Rupp Arena. O’Hanlon offered these observations on Noel as well as John Calipari’s recruiting.
Question: Since you have seen UK freshman center Nerlens Noel play, how good is he?
O’Hanlon: “He is terrific. I don’t know that anybody can be a better shot blocker than Anthony Davis, but he is close. If he is not as good, he is right there. He is a little stronger than I think Anthony was at this same point. He is very aggressive. He changes the game. He can block shots on the perimeter, too. I know John has talked about his offensive game needing work, but coaches always say stuff like that. Nerlens is a very good player.”
Question: As a coach, what perspective do you take on Calipari having four straight No. 1 recruiting classes at Kentucky?
O’Hanlon: “People want to be around success. That success attracts success. Look at the careers his players are having. He goes to UMass, and it is not Kentucky, and does a phenomenal job and gets UMass to the Final Four. That is what sells. He can go into any home in the country and tell the player and parent he will help develop them into a NBA player. Sure, his players are all talented, but every school recruits talented players. John can tell kids you are going to win, you will be successful and there’s a real good chance you will be drafted. It’s mind boggling to have the No. 1 class four straight years, but it’s easy to understand why. Success breeds more success and he’s really got it going at Kentucky right now.”