Nerlens Noel, the No. 3-ranked prospect by Rivals, has decided to reclassify from the Class of 2013 to '12, reported ESPNU's Dave Telep Wednesday. The move will allow Noel, who currently plays at The Tilton School in Tilton, N.H., to play college basketball next Fall and quicken his recruitment, which features top-hoop schools such as: Syracuse, UConn, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Georgetown, Florida, and hometown Providence.
"I just thought over the season that I thought I was getting a higher level of competition and was working on my game," Noel said. "I reclassified because I was hurt but I feel like I'm ready to play at the next level."
Noel (6-foot-10, 200 pounds) will make his official visit to Syracuse on Feb. 11, the same day the No. 2-ranked Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) host the Connecticut Huskies (1 p.m. on CBS) in a Big East Conference contest at the Carrier Dome. Reportedly, there has already been over 30,000 tickets sold for the event.
However, Noel's reclassification does cause an issue for Syracuse's recruitment for Noel because already verbally committed for next year is local-center prospect DeJuan Coleman, the No. 3-rated center by Rivals, and forward Jerami Grant, a four-star prospect. Add Coleman (6-foot-8, 280 pounds) and Grant (6-foot-8, 200 pounds) to a '12-13 front court that could feature junior centers Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Keita, and sophomore Rakeem Christmas and there will be an odd man out when it comes to playing time if Noel commits to SU.
A spot could open up if Melo decides to test the 2012 NBA Draft waters or one of the other three bigmen are redshirted or decide to transfer -- all scenarios are unlikely.
The signing period for basketball recruits begin in April.
Nerlens Noel ESPN's #2 Player in 2013 - LeBron James Skills Academy 2011 (via CityLeagueHoopsTV)
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