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Noel named SEC Freshman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, 1st team All-SEC

Staff report


Nerlens Noel. (Photo by Jon Hale)

Nerlens Noel missed the final seven games of the regular season, but that did not stop him from earning several postseason Southeastern Conference honors Tuesday.


Noel was named the league’s Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He also was named First Team All-SEC.


Noel was joined by guard Archie Goodwin, forward Alex Poythress and forward Willie Cauley-Stein on the SEC All-Freshman Team. Sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer was named SEC Sixth-Man of the Year.


Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in 24 games played. He logged 106 blocked shots and 50 steals to become just the second player in school history to total 100 or more blocked shots in a season. His 50 steals were the fifth-most by a Kentucky freshman in a single season.


The Everett, Mass., native is the fourth consecutive Wildcat to win the Freshman of the Year award and fifth UK player to earn the honor. He joins Anthony Davis (2012), Terrence Jones (2011), DeMarcus Cousins (2010) and Pattrick Patterson (2008) as UK SEC Freshman of the Year winniners.


His is the third Wildcats, joining Davis (2012) and Chuck Hayes (2005), to be named Defensive Player of the Year.


Florida’s Billy Donovan earned SEC Coach of the Year honors while Georgia sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was selected the SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches

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