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Kentucky wildcat basketball

BIG SHOCK: Darvin Ham has accepted to a four-year contract proposal from Kentucky fans who are calling for a new head coach

In-state four-star small forward Trent Noah prospect has been granted release from his national letter of intent with South Carolina and will look to play his college basketball closer to home.

Sources tell the Cats’ Pause that Kentucky and Tennessee will be heavily involved in Noah’s recruitment.

The 6-foot-6 Baxter, Kentucky and Harlan County High School standout released a statement Tuesday following his release saying, “To begin, I would like to express my gratitude to the South Carolina basketball staff and fan base for embracing me as a Gamecock. After much thought, prayer, and extensive conversation with my family, I requested and was granted a release from my National Letter of Intent (NLI) with the University of South Carolina. I will be reopening my recruitment with hopes of pursuing basketball opportunities closer to home.

“I sincerely appreciate Coach Paris’ [Lamont Paris] genuine investment in me, both on and off the court, and his compassion and professionalism during this process. Please respect my decision. Thank you.”

Noah is a 247sports composite four-star prospect ranked the 105th best player in the class of 2024, 25th best small forward and second best player from the Commonwealth only behind Kentucky signee Travis Perry of Lyon County.

“Trent Noah is a strong-bodied wing and elite shooter of the basketball,” 247sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein wrote. “His game is based on the three-point line. He’s not only one of the best in the class when it comes to making spot-up shots, and thus providing gravity as a floor-spacer, but also capable of making shots on the move. He’s a heady offensive player and good passer who knows how to play within offensive structure. Noah has a strong and fairly broad frame, which can allow him to defend some bigger players. He is also a solid wing rebounder. He needs to continue to work on his defensive quickness and his ability to create his own offense.”

His historic high school career saw him score 3,707 points, which is the fifth most in KHSAA history.

The All-State selection averaged 29.9 points per game as a high school senior while averaging 10.4 rebounds per game. He led Harlan County to the KHSAA State Championship Game where it fell to Perry and Lyon County.

While Noah was not recruited by former UK head coach John Calipari, new head coach Mark Pope made it clear at his introductory press conference that he would make a stronger effort to secure the top talent in the Commonwealth.

“From Richie Farmer and all of the instate greats that came before him, including Reed [Sheppard] … Travis Perry next year.

“Before Richie and after Travis and everybody in-between that is an instate Kentucky kid, these young men that grow up in Kentucky, they bring a spirit to the team that cannot be fabricated or replaced and it helps us to win,” Pope said. “We will continue to recruit them.”

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