Forwards Nerlens Noel of Kentucky and Otto Porter Jr. of Georgetown plan to leave college to enter the NBA draft. Noel is projected as one of the top two choices.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Forwards Nerlens Noel of Kentucky and Otto Porter Jr. of Georgetown plan to enter the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-10 Noel, who is recovering from a torn knee ligament, played less than a full season of college ball but most projections have him going first or second in the draft.
Noel suffered his season-ending injury Feb. 12. He led the nation with 4.4 blocks per game, and averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Noel also had 50 steals for Kentucky, earning honors as Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year and first-team All-SEC.
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Noel said in statement released by the university he has loved his time with the Wildcats but feels he is “ready to take the next step to the NBA.”
Considered the nation’s top recruit last year, Noel was often compared with Kentucky All-American Anthony Davis, who played for the NBA New Orleans Hornets this season after leading the Wildcats to a national championship as a freshman.
“I support Nerlens’ decision to enter his name in the draft and am excited for him and his future,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement.
All-American Porter is leaving the Hoyas after a sophomore season where he was voted Big East Conference player of the year and finished second in the voting behind Michigan guard Trey Burke as The Associated Press’ national player of the year.
Porter, who is 6-8, had team-high averages of 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds and some observers expect him to be a top-five selection.
“On draft night, we don’t expect him to be sitting around too long,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.
Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Maryland center Alex Len also declared for the draft.
Swoopes is eager to coach
CHICAGO — Sheryl Swoopes, a former WNBA Storm player and three-time Olympic gold medalist, was introduced as women’s coach at Loyola of Chicago.
It will be her first coaching job.
“I have access to so many people that have experience, have been on the good side and the bad side,” the 42-year-old Swoopes said.
“(But) it will definitely be a learning process for me.”
A six-time WNBA All-Star and three-time most valuable player, Swoopes scored 4,875 points during a 12-year WNBA career that wrapped up in 2011.