Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quick Learner Sandro Noel On The Rise

When Sandro Noel first started playing basketball, just four years ago to be exact, he was extremely raw.

It's hard to imagine he'd be where he is today. Now one of the nation's quickest rising mid-major recruits, the wide-open Noel is sifting through a growing list of potential suitors.

Lacking the fundamentals and initially failing to grasp the intricacies of the game, Noel embodied a "work-in-progress."

He barely knew how to set a pick.

Shit, he was out there posting up with his hands in his pockets.

That's truly what makes Noel's rapid ascension so unique.

With innate athleticism as well as a chiseled football-basketball body, Noel oozed of potent promise.

 While Noel was firing up jumpers at a bandbox gym at Potential Church in Florida, an AAU coach stumbled upon a big kid who displayed flashes of strength and rarified athleticism.

 He didn't make the best decisions with the rock or have a great understanding of the game, but the build and the hops were there.

The coach implored Noel to pursue the game with a serious approach.

An unassuming and inexperienced kid soon made hoops his livelihood.

Fast forward a few years.

Noel has grown into a well-bodied guard capable of knifing to the rim with ease and knocking back that 15-18 foot jumper with consistency.

The issue Noel creates for foes is his ability to guard multiple positions and knife through traffic, barreling to the rim over the long draping arms of defenders.

Noel, who averaged 14 points and eight boards at McArther High School last season, is currently sifting through a variety of offers across the country.

Georgia Southern, Rider, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Hostra, Cleveland State, Arkansas State, Tennessee Tech, and Central Arkansas have all offered.

Arkansas has recently expressed interest, having witnessed Noel's fluid shooting stroke and man-child body at Elev8 Prep in Delray Beach, Fla.

Call him a late bloomer, call him a quick learner.

On the surface, Noel's just a freakishly athletic guard/forward who could dictate a game with or without the rock in his hands.

"I think my best attribute is getting to the rim and shooting," Noel said.

"I figure my position in college to be either shooting guard or small forward."

Under Greg Tejada and Lance Tejada, a pair of NY-bred AAU coaches in Miami, Noel's understanding of the game improved immensely.

Both coaches preached constant on-the-ball pressure with an iron fist.

Witnessing this pipe-bursting defense limit high scoring teams and splinter ball movement, Noel took great pride in manipulating shots and taking big, hard charges.

Beyond basketball, the Tejada brothers ingrained life lessons in Noel.

"The principles of their system was basically to man up at all times and never be soft during any moment," Noel recalls.

 "They taught me to seek every opportunity you get. They reinforced the fact that nobody can survive in this world by being soft or scared."

Noel rattled off Western Kentucky, Rider, Tennessee Tech, Georgia Southern, Southern, and Stetson as programs which have been in persistent pursuit since the very beginning.