It has always been a goal of Nerlens Noel to lead his team defensively

Nerlens Noel - photo by Walter Cornett |
Nerlens Noel – photo by Walter Cornett |

was doomed the second he signed with last spring, doomed to inevitable comparisons to Anthony Davis, who put together one of the greatest seasons in history in leading the Wildcats to the 2012 national championship.

But those comparisons are neither fair nor justified. is no Anthony Davis, and chances are he never will be.

Recall the unique circumstances under which Davis acquired his remarkable skill set. A 6-foot-2 shooting guard as a sophomore in high school, good enough to perhaps earn a mid-major level scholarship, Davis grew eight inches the summer before his junior season. He retained his mobility, the ability to make 3-pointers, pass, and put the ball on the floor to elude defenders, and he gained, along with that added height, a 7-3 wingspan. That made him a commodity coveted by every power conference school in the country, a true inside-outside player who could score in a variety of ways and became a fearsome shot blocker.

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