A five-star prospect who is ranked No. 19 overall in the class of 2011, (Norvel) Pelle has as much potential as any big man in the class. He’s a high level athlete — even by NBA standards — runs the floor, has tremendous length and impacts the game on the glass, as a shot blocker and as an interior scorer when motivated.

Eric Bossi, Rivals.com (November 11 2010)

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Each recruiting season there is a group of PF/C affixed the “moves well for his size” label. Generally this translates to average to slightly above average foot speed, and passable lateral quickness. Each recruiting season there is another group, albeit much fewer in number, which renders unnecessary the “for his size” qualifier. Jordan Hamilton (Rivals #6 ’09), Perry Jones (Rivals #9 ’10), Anthony Davis (Rivals #2 ’11), and ’12 Norvel Pelle serve as examples of the latter. Unfamiliar with the Pelle game, or unaware he’s looking to shakeup the ranks of the class of ’12? I suggest spending a few minutes in research of the enigmatic Power forward. Shabazz Muhammad, Nerlens Noel, and Anthony Bennett undoubtedly hoarded the pre-season Freshman buzz. A determined Norvel Pelle has designs of wedging his name into the conversation come the tip-off of the ’12-’13 NCAA basketball season.


Few in the class of ’12, and not many more in the whole of the NCAA, match the physical measurables of the hyper-gifted Pelle. He is a “jump out of the building” leaper and carries the quicks and agility expected of a 2 or 3. Rated by Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi the 5th best dunker in the class of ’11 (we’ll get to that later), Pelle is a powerful finisher and dominant above the rim. Pelle’s 6’10 frame requires a defender in the mold of a big 4 or even a 5. His aforementioned agility and foot-speed, coupled with developing handles, requires the mobility and athleticism of a 3 to offset. The opposing Coach must then pick his poison. Allow Pelle to out-quick your big, or tower over your 3. His rare size/agility combo is lethal in transition and his NBA-caliber second jump affords scores of putback opportunities. With a reported wingspan of 84.5″, Pelle all but lives above the rim. Equally explosive on the defensive end, Pelle blocks or alters much of what comes his way. He attacks opponents shots much the way he attacks the basket when he is in transition, aggressively. When focused, he is a game changer at each end of the court.

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As mentioned, Pelle was the ranked the 5th best dunker in the Class of 2011. It is July 28th 2012 and not only has he yet to play a minute of NCAA basketball, he is not currently a registered student of a NCAA affiliated institution. Pelle originally committed (November 2010) to Coach Steve Lavin and the St John’s Red Storm. Early in September of 2011 it was announced, Pelle (along with Amir Garrett and Jakarr Sampson) would not be eligible for the start of the ’11-’12 season, but was hoping to gain December eligibility. On September 22nd, 2011, Pelle confirmed his decommittment from St John’s, and enrollment in a Prep school. He went on to declare San Diego State a “high possibility” when asked about possible NCAA landing spots. He has since been linked to UNLV, Arkansas, DePaul, and half a dozen or so others. If, as he vows, Pelle desires to play D1 basketball, does he possess the maturity and personal responsibility to establish and keep his eligibility? On the court, there are also questions in need of an answer. If things go to his purported plan, two years will separate Pelle’s last High school game and his first collegiate game. I assume his competitive game will be rusty, but to what level, and for how long, can’t be answered until tip-off. There’s little doubt Pelle is a beast around the rim. Much of his High school success, however, came via putbacks and alley-oops. Few and far between are samples of post moves or a reliable jumper. At just 210lbs, Pelle may find getting to the rim far more difficult when faced with defenders whom may outweigh him by 30+ Lbs. Less time around/above the rim and an inconsistent outside game would clearly limit his offensive contributions. On the defensive end, Pelle is a prolific shot-blocker, but tends to jump into shooting opponents and utilizes a tomahawk style motion. Without correction, Fouls may prove an issue. Some questioned, and may still question, Pelle’s dedication to his game and its improvement/refinement. Without refinement, Pelle’s game would likely remain the raw product it was in High school.
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When projecting Norvel Pelle’s D1 impact, I do not see a middle ground. He has long been labeled a future “one and done”. Should Pelle arrive on campus focused on highlighting his game and unwilling or unable to deliver within a system, his may prove a rough collegiate career. He is too talented not to enjoy some success, but his ceiling would fall considerably and rumors about dedication and maturity reinforced. This route would almost assuredly lead to “one and done” based on his desire to get clear of school, as opposed to the NBA’s demand for his services. On the other hand (and as I am anticipating), should Norvel Pelle prove committed and dedicated for having experienced the eligibility roller coaster, his game may not hold an identifiable ceiling. A focused Pelle, open to coaching and responsive to instruction, may harness God-given talents matched only by college basketball’s elite. No stretch in projecting 13-15 points, 8-10 rebounds, and 3-4 blocks per game (’12-’13) and NBA Draft stock in the 15-20 pick range. Should, as video and Pelle imply, he arrive on a D1 campus having refined his ball handling and sporting a jumper consistent out to 15 feet, the 6’10 Power forward may prove nothing short of dominant. 18-20 points a game would be within reason and I would expect to find Pelle an early draft night selection with strong probability as a Lottery selection.

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Asked to list schools in which he is interested, Norvel Pelle provided the following : San Diego State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, UTEP, DePaul, Rhode Island, and Iona.
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  1. aztecpaulg says:

    AMAZING talent … would be stoked to see him on the Mesa!!!

  2. BALLisLIFE says:

    If he ends up at Iona it would be a sick team. MoMo Jones, DeShawn Gomez, Armand, Curtis Dennis, Sledge, Desean Anderson, Laury, Ridley, English, and Norvel Pelle. Fast team that could drop 100 ppg. I do not think you would find a more mobile 4/5 combo than Laury/Pelle. It would be sick to watch. A mixture of the best from NYC and LA.

  3. […] permalink Even though Pelle is out as a recruit, thought i would give the latest updates I could find on the guy which isn't much. I am betting he wont qualify anywhere. Since this guy will be 20 soon, can he just try out for the NBA already? Probably his plan anyway. 2012 6'9 PF Norvel Pelle (CA) Still Undecided – Miner Rush Norvel Pelle – Profile SoCal Recruit Spot […]

  4. […] For the remainder of the story>> […]

  5. Rich D. says:

    Any school that admits this kid should be under NCAA investigation.

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