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Freshman Nerlens Noel became the fourth Kentucky freshman to earn a Southeastern Conference weekly award when he was tabbed the league’s top performing freshman it was announced on Monday morning. With Noel’s honor today, all four of UK’s freshmen have been tabbed the league’s freshman of the week recipient at least once this season.
Noel averaged 11 points, nine rebounds, 6.5 blocks and two steals in a pair of wins for the Wildcats this week. Against Tennessee, the Everett, Mass., native posted 12 points, nine boards six blocks and four steals. He followed that performance with a 10-point, nine rebound and seven-block performance at Auburn on Saturday.
The 6-10 freshman has registered at least six rebounds in every game this season and has reached double-figure scoring in all four Southeastern Conference games. Over his last three games, Noel has swatted 20 opponent attempts including matching a career-high of seven rejections against the Tigers.
Noel has recorded 69 blocks on the year which ranks as the fifth-most in a single-season for a freshman in school history. He’s one shy of cracking the single-season top-10 chart in UK’s record books. Furthermore, he’s the only player in the country to rank among the top-30 nationally in rebounds, blocks and steals.
The SEC honor is the first of Noel’s career. He joins teammates Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress as other Freshman of the Week honorees. Sophomore Kyle Wiltjer has also earned SEC Player of the Week accolades this season.
Kentucky returns to the floor when it concludes its two-game road swing through the state of Alabama with a matchup against the Crimson Tide on Tuesday. Tipoff is slated for 9 p.m. ET with the game set to air on ESPN.