A kid that didn’t have two dollars to get into the inside basketball court has evolved into a lethal player at the collegiate level. JD Notae out of Covington, Georgia has always been looked over. He attended Newton High School and was teammates with NBA G-Leaguers Ashton Hagans and Isaiah Miller. Notae won player of the year in his region of Georgia High Schools but was still lightly recruited. He signed with little-known Jacksonville University over two other mid-major offers from Kennesaw State and North Carolina A&T.
Noate immediately started to prove his doubters wrong when he started putting on scoring clinics as a true freshman. He scored 30-points against Middle Georgia State and the Dolphins knew they had something special in the freshman guard. Notae shot 41-percent from three and started all 28 games he played in that season. He would suffer a season ending foot injury in a matchup with NJIT but did finish the season averaging 15.4 points per game which led him to being named A-SUN Freshman of the Year for the 2017-2018 season. Two of his best games came against top competition when he scored 19 against NC State and 22 points versus Michigan
The very next season, Notae returned to Jacksonville for his sophomore season with a vengeance. He came out against Florida Memorial and scored a career high 40 points and pulled in eight boards. In matchups with Notre Dame and Indiana, Notae he scored 17 and 15 respectively but was 50-percent from three going 8-16.
He would enter the transfer portal but had to sit-out one season due to NCAA Transfer rules at the time. Notae was the fourth addition of the 2018 off-season under first year coach Eric Musselman who was just hired from Nevada. Everyone knew Musselman’s success bringing transfers into his Wolfpack program which went to the Sweet Sixteen two years prior. Notae joined Jeantal Cylla, Isaiah Moss (who never made it to campus) and Connor Vanover. Even with the talent Notae showed only three teams in Power-Six conferences showed interest and those were Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Arkansas.
There was word that Notae was a dog during the closed practices at Arkansas. He immediately went to work to get better as a player overall while lacing up his shoes to face Mason Jones, Isaiah Joe and others while he redshirted during the 2019-2020 season.
Then, the moment came that Notae could finally play college basketball again but this time in a Razorback uniform. He would start only one game that season and spent the rest coming off the bench. According to Arkansas’ website, Notae was the first player to sub-in 16 times and the Razorbacks were 13-3 in those games. He was the Razorbacks leading scorer seven times and scored in double digits 21 times including a season high 27-points against Missouri in the SEC Tournament. Notae was named SEC Sixth Man of the Year outperforming his 29th best “Sit-Out Transfer” of the 2019 cycle according to ESPN.
Arkansas lost a lot of production from its Elite Eight team from the 2020-2021 season. It was time for Notae to live up to the hype as the Razorbacks most talented scorer with Moses Moody, Justin Smith and Jalen Tate all gone. He’s done that and more with his play this season. He topped all of his incredible performances this season with his game against #6 Kentucky. Notae scored 30 points (13-26 from the field) and dishing out 8 assists which was the best stat-line against an AP Top Ten team in the past 25 seasons.
There is simply no one better suited as a leader for this team than Notae. His confidence in his game, the dawg in his defense and the fight of which he plays with spreads throughout his teammates. There is this never quit attitude that has helped the Razorbacks win 15 of their last 16 games. The Hogs are hungry for March Madness. They are ready to make a deep run in not only the SEC Tournament but make noise in the NCAA’s. It’s Notae’s time to add one more shining moment in a tremendous college basketball career.
It’s incredible that a little-known kid from Jacksonville University could potentially be the SEC Player of the Year and an All-American at Arkansas. JD Notae, he’s that guy.