With Nerlens Noel's announcement looming, I thought I might add as fair and balanced of a perspective as I could on his potential decision. There are quite a few factors that will lead to Nerlen's ultimate decision. I'm not claiming to be able to read into the mind of Mr. Noel, but I want to discuss three major factors. The first two reasons I feel have Syracuse Basketball's best interests at heart, and the last factor being the best for Noel's future/career.
1. The Case of the One-and-Done
I am not big on 1-and-done players (Donte Greene left a sour taste in my mouth) and I don't think they are the best thing for a college program. As a teacher I am a big proponent of a quality education and feel like perennial 1-and-dones are a waste of resources. There are a number of reasons one-and-dones are bad for college sports programs. My biggest issue, atleast for Syracuse, is team chemistry. I feel like in Noel comes he will expect big minutes even if he doesn't deserve them. The recent Boeheim method of starting freshmen big men for a couple minutes then yanking them will not sit well with Nerlens, which could become a very big problem as far as team chemistry is concerned. Another reason is APR, I won't claim to be an APR expert, but as JAB has said teams can get burned for having too many players leave early (a flaw in the system).
2. Unnecessary Baggage
Another reason I won't be devastated in N2 doesn't come is all the baggage that could come along with him. Given the recent article in the New York Times and and the microscope that seems to be focused squarely on Syracuse Basketball, Nerlens Noel seems like a recruiting violation waiting to happen. I'm not saying there's a cloud of illegitimacy following around every highly recruited player, but its something that the coaching staff, players and fans really don't want to and shouldn't have to deal with, especially after this season.
These previous two reasons are purely conjecture with Syracuse Basketball's best interests in mind, now here's the real reason I don't think Nerlens Noel will choose Syracuse...
3. The Unfriendly Big East
Let's take a moment and think about the style of play the SEC and the Big East offer. When I think of the SEC, I think, "Oh, there's cute little Joffrey Baratheon." When I think of the Big East, I think, "Holy Crap! Is that Gregor Clegane" (sorry non Game of Throners). Long story short, the Big East has a tendency to eat freshmen big men alive. Why would Noel want to come to a conference where his flaws will be exploited and magnified by bigger, stronger players, when he could go to a conference like the SEC which isn't really known for powerful big men. His chances of being a dominate freshmen center in the SEC are just higher than if he chooses to come to the Big East.
Now there are plenty of reasons that Nerlens could choose SU over Kentucky and Georgetown but I'm feeling awfully negative tonight (maybe its the lack of Orange in the National Championship). Now I'm going to get back to watching Anthony Davis and Kentucky dominate this game (sheesh 2 years in a row with a boring finals).