For 20 minutes, the learning curve seemed too steep for Nerlens Noel Tuesday night. He hunted a blocked shot, but surrendered a layup. He got moved off the block with a mild forearm by Duke’s Miles Plumlee and gave up another 2 points. Several possessions later, his man sprinted ahead and scored in transition.
Two games into his college career, the 18-year-old from Everett, Mass., looked as if he was in that freshman fog. He is Kentucky’s 6-foot-10-inch center and the expectations for 20 minutes looked out of reach.
When will that fog lift? Maybe sooner than you think. Maybe as quick as one half to the next.