Noreen Visiting Arkansas
University of Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey was once an outstanding baseball player.
But in a state where the people eat, sleep and drink Kentucky basketball, he was destined to play on the court for the Wildcats and not on the diamond.
Still Pelphrey has a chance here in the spring of 2010 to hit a walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
That would happen if the Razorbacks – who really need to add another big player to next year's roster - could land Minnesota prep basketball star Kevin Noreen, who is currently visiting the UA.
Noreen is a 6-10, 225-pound power forward who originally signed with Boston College, but asked for his release after a coaching change.
Ranked as the No. 91 prospect in the 2010 class nationally by Scout.com, Noreen is a skilled big man.
He averaged 38.6 points, 16.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 3.2 blocks per game his senior season while leading Minnesota Transitions Charter to a 30-3 mark and a Class A state title.
He topped 50 points during seven games and over 40 in 14 contests.
"He is probably the most complete player I have ever coached," Minnesota Pump and Run AAU coach Jerry Robertson said. "He is also the hardest-working player – along with Michael Floyd who is playing football for Notre Dame – that I have been around.
"He is in the gym all the time working on his game," Robertson said. "He can score down low, he can shoot outside to the 3-point line, he can handle it, he can pass it. He really is a kid that has played the 2,3,4 and 5 for us. He is that skilled."
The one thing that he needs to work on is something that he is doing so with a former college player.
"He has been working with Jim Peterson – a former Minnesota player – on playing more above the rim and adding that to his game," Robertson said.
Like current Razorback and former Oklahoma prep standout Rotnei Clarke, Noreen is the leading scorer ever in his state.
He scored 4,086 points in his career, also holds the state's all-time record for rebounds 1,899 and fell just 35 assists shy of setting a state record in that category.
Seems almost too good to be true, especially when you add in the fact that he scored 36 on his ACT and has a 4.0 grade point average.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune's Metro player of the year also has a younger brother in Kyle Noreen, a 6-6 junior guard.
"His dad Jerry Noreen has always groomed his two boys for this moment – to be able to play college basketball at a high level and attend a great school," Robertson said. "Not only are they great all-around players, but they are great student-athletes and will be a credit to the school they land at."
Noreen, who has over 20 offers, has visited Northwestern, Marquette, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Providence on either official or unofficial visits.
The end of the spring signing period is next Wednesday, but he does not have to make a decision by that time.
"I'm not sure where he is really going to go, but he does want to go to a place that he could play the first year or at least be ready to really contribute his second season," Robertson said. "He wants to go to a school with great academics and a place that is ready to have success."
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