Huggins gets a player
West Virginia University Basketball Coach Bob Huggins may have come up with a late recruiting plum last week when he landed 6-10 Kevin Noreen from Minneapolis. Noreen had signed with Boston College last fall, but because the Eagles fired coach Al Skinner, Noreen was released from his obligation to BC and re-opened his recruitment. Some reports have indicated the Noreen was not on Huggins’ radar and the athlete and his father initiated discussion with Huggins and the Mountaineers.
Noreen put up crazy numbers in Minnesota and became that state’s career leading scorer last spring with 4,086 points. He averaged 38.6 points, 16.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists 3.9 steals and 3.2 blocks per game as a senior at Minnesota Transitions Charter School. His team won the Minnesota class A state championship. Noreen was named player of the year in Minnesota. He was also named the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Player of the Year.
“We are really excited about getting a player of Kevin’s caliber this late in the process,” says Huggins. “Kevin is a multi-skilled player who will fit in our system extremely well. With our abundance of physical low post players, Kevin’s skill set should prove very valuable for our team’s future.”
Noreen is smart, too. One report suggested the 4.0 student also scored a perfect 36 on his ACT test. A disclaimer here, that report has not been verified, but suffice to say Noreen must have done exceeding well on that exam.
So, what is the downside here? A quick Google search of Kevin Noreen found that the level of competition Noreen posted the numbers against could be suspect. So much so that the governing body of high school sports in Minnesota is considering not allowing stats from four or five games to count. Noreen would still be the all time scoring leader in the state if that were done.
Another thing that was eye catching was a reference that Noreen played six years of varsity basketball. Guess his school is a little different in that regard. There was plenty of discussion of Noreen in the comment section of the Star-Tribune.
In general, the readers seem to agree that Noreen is deserving of his awards, and that he is probably the best player in the state. The criticisms were focused on the schedule he played against and that his coach allowed him to pad his stats in situations that he shouldn’t have.
Noreen’s team did beef up their schedule for his senior season. They played six games against 3A and 4A schools. His team was 4-2 in those games and Noreen’s numbers were down, but still very solid averaging in the high 20’s.
So, all in all, it would appear Huggins has a pretty solid player who will likely need some work to get up to speed in the Big East. At 6-10, Noreen weighs in at 230 pounds and has not been involved with much weight lifting. That will change under Huggins. If Noreen wants to survive practice against the likes of Deniz Kilicli and Dan Jennings, he will need to get in the weight room.
More upside. Doctors have said Noreen hasn’t finished growing and could reach seven feet when he’s finished.