UK Men's Basketball

UK basketball notes: Kentucky's Noel on Tisdale Award watch list

Kentucky's Nerlens Noel (3) blocked a shot by Ole Miss' Jarvis Summers (32) in the first half of the Kentucky at Ole Miss men's basketball game at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss.,, on Jan. 29, 2013.  Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff
Kentucky's Nerlens Noel (3) blocked a shot by Ole Miss' Jarvis Summers (32) in the first half of the Kentucky at Ole Miss men's basketball game at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Miss.,, on Jan. 29, 2013. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel was among 12 players named Thursday as mid-season candidates for the Wayman Tisdale Award honoring the nation's top freshman.

Noel leads the country in blocks per game at 4.8. He ranks 14th in the nation in steals (2.4) and 33rd in rebounding (9.3), leading the Wildcats in all three categories. The 6-foot-10 freshman is also averaging 10.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Others named to the list were Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas of Michigan, Isaiah Austin of Baylor, Anthony Bennett of UNLV, Jahii Carson of Arizona State, Yogi Ferrell of Indiana, Ben McLemore of Kansas and Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State.

The United States Basketball Writers Association has chosen a national Freshman of the Year since the 1988-89 season. This is the second year it is named for the late Wayman Tisdale, who was a three-time USBWA All-American at Oklahoma.

Last season, Anthony Davis became the first Wildcat to win the award.

Gillispie to attend game

Former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie will be in the stands when the Wildcats visit Texas A&M on Saturday, the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.

Gillispie accepted an invitation from Aggies Coach Billy Kennedy to check out his former team against his other former team. Gillispie coached Texas A&M before leaving to become UK's head coach.

"It's two coaches that I have a great deal of respect for, and I want to watch their teams play," Gillispie told Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.

Gillispie, who was forced out as coach at Texas Tech last fall, also told the paper, "Things couldn't be going any better."

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