‘It’s my time.’ TCU’s Kouat Noi is ‘all-in’ pursuing NBA, professional dreams

TCU’s Kouat Noi is ready to pursue his professional dreams.
TCU’s Kouat Noi is ready to pursue his professional dreams. Courtesy TCU Athletics

Kouat Noi’s college career at TCU is over.

Noi is pursuing a professional career, he told the Star-Telegram on Thursday, and has no intentions of keeping his options open to return for his junior season.

“I’m all-in,” Noi said. “I feel like it’s time to go. I could definitely stay another year, but I feel like it’s my time. I’m ready to go to the next level. It’s going to be a hard process, but I’m 100 percent confident in myself.”

Noi leaves TCU after three seasons.

He redshirted his true freshman season in 2016-17, and then played in all 33 games, including nine starts, in 2017-18 as TCU snapped a 20-year NCAA Tournament drought.

Last season, Noi played in 31 games, including 19 starts, and averaged 13.9 points and 4.9 rebounds. He had a streaky sophomore season with games such as a 30-point outing at Oklahoma and a 25-point outing against Creighton in the NIT quarterfinals.

But he also had games such as a scoreless night against Kansas State on March 4, and a seven-point game against Texas in the season-ending NIT semifinal loss earlier this month.

Noi, though, feels like he’s ready to make the jump.

“I feel like this past season, I put it all together,” Noi said. “We didn’t end the season the way we wanted to, but I feel I made a statement. And I’m ready to make another statement.”

For his entire college career, Noi averaged 12 points and 4.4 points in 64 games played. He shot 45.6 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from 3-point range.

At 6-foot-7, 205 pounds, Noi was a matchup problem for most teams. He has the ability to stretch the floor with his outside shot, as well as length to play inside.

He hopes to show his versatility to pro scouts in the coming weeks. His first preference is to play in the NBA, of course, but he is open to playing overseas to start his professional career.

“I feel every aspect of my game is what any NBA team needs,” Noi said. “I can go out there and play defense. I can shoot 3s. I’m comfortable in every aspect and I feel I can provide a lot for a NBA team.”

Noi said the TCU coaching staff is happy that he is chasing his pro dreams, and feels the program is positioned for success next season. Noi believes his cousin, redshirt freshman forward Lat Mayen, is primed for a breakout season in 2019-20 with the Frogs.

“I’m really excited for Lat,” Noi said. “I feel like he’s a better shooter than me and will provide a lot for next year’s team. I’m excited to watch him play.”

Noi, who spent most of his childhood in Australia, has nothing but good things to say about TCU and Fort Worth as he moves on to the next chapter of his life.

“I loved it here. I loved being here the past three years,” Noi said. “I loved the fans. I loved the people. It was just a great place. I’ll definitely be coming back for sure.”

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