Noel Awaits Draft Word

Will former Tar Heel David Noel's path to the NBA be as a second round draft pick or as a free agent rookie in the summer league? He'll find out tonight, at the NBA Draft, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Noel averaged 12.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while shooting 42 percent on three-point attempts last season at North Carolina. Most importantly, the 6-6, 223-pound Durham native led the Tar Heels to a remarkable second place ACC finish.

Earlier this month at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando, Fla., Noel played solidly and unselfishly, not standing out -- but he wowed observers in the athleticism drills.

Noel was rated the No. 1 athlete of the 81 participants. In five "Athleticism Tests" the NBA puts draft prospects through, Noel logged a high-score of 310.7689 that was 21.4667 better than the runner-up. Running, jumping and agility were tested by measuring vertical jumps (no-step and maximum), counting bench presses of 185 pounds and timing of lane agility drills and 3/4-court sprints. Noel jumped 34.5" and 38.5" for fourth and ninth. He bench-pressed 185 pounds 20 times for sixth-best, his lane drill of 10.54 put him in fourth-place and he sprinted in 3.07 seconds to miss first-place by one-hundreth of a second (.01)

"[David's agent] felt the clubs were really impressed with David's athleticism and his ability to play basketball," Roy Williams said last week. "They're not saying that he was the best shooter or the best dribbler or the best jumper, but his athleticism and his all-around ability [have impressed]. And everybody has been talking about what a great, great kid and what great character he has."

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