Before we get to Wednesday night’s game against Eastern Michigan, a few items to go over from the Internet in case you’ve missed them:
- Using numbers to determine the best players of the month, Kentucky freshman forward Nerlens Noel was named ESPN’s defensive player of December. Noel finished in the top 10 in both blocks (4.0 blocks per game) and steals (2.8), while also finishing in the top 25 among rebounders (9.7). According to ESPN, Noel is on pace to become the first player since Houston’s Bo Outlaw in 1992-93 to average 3.5 blocks and 2.5 steals in a season.
- Noel was also named to Jason King’s All-X-Factor team, a group of players who could make the difference in how far their teams go between now and the end of the season. Noel made the list along with Baylor’s Brady Heslip, North Carolina State’s Lorenzo Brown, UNLV’s Mike Moser, Minnesota’s Trevor Mbake and Syracuse’s James Southerland. Here is an excerpt on Noel:
- Answering questions on his weekly live chat on ESPN.com, NBA Draft expert Chad Ford is still under the impression that UK freshmen Noel, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin are locks for the upcoming NBA lottery.
- Despite an 8-4 nonconference record, many believe Kentucky still has a very good shot at winning its third regular-season Southeastern Conference crown in the last four seasons. Using his offensive and defensive rankings, Ken Pomeroy used a formula that gives the Cats a 19.55 percent chance of winning the league. The results are based off 10,000 simulations. Florida has the best chance at 72.23 percent.