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Cinema Room: Trent Noah – On3

This didn’t take long to come to fruition. On Tuesday afternoon, Trent Noah announced that he has been released from his National Letter of Intent to South Carolina. Then, a little more than 24 hours later, coach Cody Fueger called out “boom tweet» signaling that good news was on the horizon. A little after, Noah announced he would stay in state and suit up for the University of Kentucky.

The three-star Top 150 prospect from Harlan County High School brings coach Mark Pope’s scholarship count to 10 players. Noah finished his high school career ranked fifth in KHSAA history, scoring 3,707 points. Of course, fellow Kentucky signee Travis Perry is the state’s all-time leading scorer with 5,481 points. The 6’6″ guard averaged 32.3 points and 9.8 rebounds in the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena while leading Harlan County to the state championship game before ultimately falling to the Perry’s Lyon County team. He shot an incredible 19-34 from three-point range during that four-game series that included a 48-point performance against Campbell County.

As always, we’ve been hard at work in the KSR movie theater to check out the Wildcats’ latest addition. Coach Pope added an incredibly talented offensive player who was one of the best pure three-point shooters in the 2024 class. Trent Noah is likely a developmental piece who will do his best for Kentucky in the years to come, but that’s not to discredit what he could do sooner rather than later. Skill and shooting are valuable under the regime. Don’t be surprised if Noah plays the role of high-level threat. However, no matter what he brings to the table this season, locking down an in-state star to develop in Lexington is important for this team as they reset the culture. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at what Kentucky is getting in Trent Noah.

Elite Shot Ability

If you want to have an elite skill, it pays to shoot. After producing shooting ratios of 56%/43%/88.9% throughout his senior season, Trent Noah took things to another level in the Sweet 16. That’s where the county product de Harlan shot an incredible 56%/56%/88% while leading the Black Bears to second place. His state tournament appearance made him legendary in the Bluegrass State, but his play on the 3SSB circuit with the Midwest Basketball Club is what garnered national attention. Here’s what On3 Senior National Recruiting Analyst Jamie Shaw had to say last summer.

“Trent Noah had a great summer on the Adidas 3SSB circuit. It was the consistency throughout the match that really stood out. To start, the jump shot. It’s a close-range weapon, with deep reach and a quick, confident release. Noah has good footwork and maintains good balance throughout.


Especially when evaluating film for a player who hasn’t necessarily reached the highest levels of high school basketball nationally, it’s important to find directly transferable skills. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing for Harlan County or the University of Kentucky, Trent Noah is going to use offset double screens. His ability to put his feet down and make that shot attempt quickly will transfer to high-level college basketball.


It’s good old fashioned, one man down. Noah receives the pass on the wing and gives his defender a little kick. This move is just enough for the defender to let his hands go, so Noah elevates and punches in the three-point attempt. At 6’6″ on the perimeter, he doesn’t need a lot of space to look sharp.


It takes a high level of skill to move at full speed, stop on the fly with a behind-the-back dribble, and launch into a three-point attempt. Trent Noah isn’t going to wow you with his athleticism or explosiveness, but he is very fluid and has excellent footwork. This frequently comes into play on the perimeter and is part of why he is such an effective three-point shooter. He is always in balance and has stable feet even when he is moving.

Underrated ability off the bounce

At Kentucky, especially early in his career, the playing time Trent Noah earns will be tied to his shooting ability. However, eventually, his underrated ball handling could unlock his true ceiling. The 6’6″ guard has a tight handle, uses his body well to play through contact and is very comfortable finishing around the basket. Due to his size at Harlan County, it was not uncommon to see Noah score in the post as a forward. These skills translate into a high percentage of finishers at the end of his workouts. With the pressure he will put on opposing defenses due to his shooting ability, you can expect to see him succeed in closing offense. The skill with the ball is impressive and will make Noah more than just a shooter at some point in his career.


There is a level of fluidity to Noah’s playing that is truly impressive. He can change direction and make several movements to get to his place. This clip shows what he can do off the bounce and how his size allows him to finish at a high level inside. Again, this probably won’t be his strong suit in Lexington, but it’s good to have the skill level.


There is a world in which Trent Noah could become a small-ball, pick-and-pop 4-man before he graduates. A university strength and conditioning program will serve him well in the years to come. However, even with its size on the perimeter, Noah is very comfortable playing on ball screens. Here he is able to reject the ball screen as his defender begins to cheat over the top, afraid of giving up a three. Then he does a powerful professional jump to his right hand to finish. This is a play you could see Noah making even early in his career at Kentucky.


Having a high skill level when rebounding can also translate into more three-point shots. Noah has proven his ability to come off screens and make threes, but he can also make them off the dribble. Here’s an example of how he can freeze the defense with a few dribbles before launching his shot. Additionally, this clip once again shows off Noah’s balance and overall footwork. Everything about his game screams high-level shooter.

Assessment

Pure shooting ability is what stands out the most when evaluating Trent Noah. He has excellent footwork out of the screening action, can space the floor deep beyond the arc and has the positional size to get a cleaner look from the perimeter. This will be the shooting ability that translates most quickly to the college level. Noah is a very comfortable and confident ball handler, which could allow him to attack the fences and use his size to finish around the rim against smaller defenders. He doesn’t have the raw speed or athleticism of many top players, but his skill level closes the gap. Establishing a floor as a high catch-and-shoot percentage threat is a good start for Noah. Anything he provides beyond that is icing on the cake for Coach Pope and the Wildcats.