UK's Noel makes it a hat trick

Strong defense by Kentucky's Nerlens Noel has earned him his third straight Southeastern Conference freshman of the week award.

He's the first Wildcat to receive the honor three consecutive weeks since John Wall was picked four straight times in the 2009-2010 season.

Noel led Kentucky (15-6, 6-2 SEC) to wins at then-No. 16 Mississippi and Texas A&M, highlighted by his school-record 12 blocks against the Rebels. He also finished with seven rebounds and two points.

The 6-foot-10 forward followed up that performance with 19 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks in Saturday's overtime win against the Aggies. Noel averaged 10.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and seven blocks in the two wins.

He enters Tuesday's game against South Carolina (12-9, 2-6) averaging 10.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.6 blocks.