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Noel Says He's Ready For Defensive Challenge At Alabama

Posted: Jan 21, 2013 9:18 PM by Mary Jo Perino

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Alabama plays four guards and one big man, so Tuesday night may be another biggie for Nerlens Noel.

The reigning SEC freshmen of the week believes the defensive side of the ball is where he's improved the most.

"Defensively I am a lot better. Coach Cal has made sure I have stayed busy defensively and staying on my feet, which has helped me. I am not going after every ball like I was earlier in the season and I am blocking the higher shots. Offensively, everything on the block, just working on my touches, and everything like that," said Noel.

Noel says it was so much fun getting up big on Auburn Saturday because Coach Cal didn't yell as much. He didn't have a reason too. Nerlens said it gives his team motivation to get big leads, something they haven't done much of this season.

To do that against Alabama, he'll have to help keep those four guards in check.

"We have been doing that for quite some time this season. I feel comfortable guarding 2, 3, and 4, especially having Alex as a forward starter now helps us a little bit, even though Willie isn't here. Willie did a great job guarding some smaller players himself. Even with Alex in the smaller lineup, I think it will still work to our advantage," said the UK center.

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