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Kentucky's Noel headed to the NBA

Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel has decided to enter the NBA Draft.

Noel's only season at Kentucky was cut short by a torn ACL in his left knee. He played 24 games before suffering the injury in February against Florida.

"I support Nerlens' decision to enter his name in the draft and am excited for him and his future," said Kentucky coach John Calipari on Monday. "The hard work and will to win he showed on the floor this year and the dedication and attitude he has shown in his rehab will only be a reward for him and whatever team drafts him in June."

Noel averaged 10.5 points and led the SEC in rebounding at 9.5 per game while leading the nation in blocked shots at 4.4 per outing.

"I have loved my time at Kentucky, but I feel that I'm ready to take the next step to the NBA," said Noel. "I've learned so much here at UK and am thankful for coach Calipari, the staff and my teammates for all of their support. I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I've received from them during my rehab and decision-making process. I'll always be a Wildcat!"

The 6-foot-10 forward is considered one of the top prospects and could be the No. 1 overall pick in June's draft.

04/15 11:21:46 ET