Despite a season-ending knee injury that cost him the final nine games of the season, Kentucky's Nerlens Noel has been named a Freshman All-America by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
The Wildcats' 6-foot-10 center was joined by UNLV's Anthony Bennett, UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart and Ben McLemore of Kansas on the Freshman All-America team. He was the fifth UK player under coach John Calipari to earn the honor from the USBWA, including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
"It's a great honor to receive all of these awards," Noel said in a statement released via UK. "I want to thank all of my coaches and teammates for pushing me to be better each and every day, to make all of this possible."
He was also a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by The Associated Press.
Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The Everett, Mass., native led the nation in blocked shots per game, averaging 4.4 this season for the Wildcats. His 106 rejections rank second for a single season at UK behind only the 186 recorded by Davis last season. Noel was also the only player taller than 6-5 to rank in the top 30 nationally in steals (50).
Noel named USBWA Frosh All-America
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