Kentucky will spend the weekend waiting on Jodie Meeks.
As will Kansas.
As should the nation.
Because Meeks' decision to either remain in or withdraw from the NBA Draft by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline will likely be what determines the CBSSports.com preseason No. 1. If the high-scoring guard remains in the draft, Kansas should be tops. But if Meeks withdraws from the draft -- and all those recruits get eligible, specifically John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins -- then it'll be the Wildcats who are atop the rankings and the obvious favorite to win the 2010 national championship thanks to a loaded roster created by first-year coach John Calipari.
So yeah, this is a big weekend.
(I hope the servers at CatsPause.com are well rested.)
|If Jodie Meeks returns, that could make the talent-laden Wildcats No. 1. (Getty Images)|
Think about it.
Would Florida have won the 2007 NCAA tournament if Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer hadn't postponed pro contracts? Of course not. Would Kansas have won the 2008 NCAA tournament if Brandon Rush hadn't withdrawn from the NBA Draft? Absolutely not. Would North Carolina have won the 2009 NCAA tournament if Ty Lawson, Danny Green and Wayne Ellington hadn't withdrawn from the NBA Draft? Not a chance. But because each of those things happened, each of those other things happened, too. And I'd be willing to bet a stack of Tim Floyd's $100 bills that our next national champion will be a team led by a player or two who could've turned pro just as easily as Jeff Teague or Earl Clark, but didn't.
Perhaps it'll be Kansas because Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins skipped the draft.
Or North Carolina because Ed Davis skipped the draft.
Or Villanova because Scottie Reynolds skipped the draft.
Or Kentucky because Patrick Patterson and Meeks skipped the draft ... if, of course, Meeks does indeed skip the draft. For what it's worth, multiple industry sources -- some close to the Kentucky program, others on the NBA side of things -- have told CBSSports.com that Meeks will probably withdraw by Monday, if only because he's projected by most to go somewhere outside of the first round. In other words, Meeks seems to be choosing between the likelihood of being a second-round pick with no guaranteed contract or a first-team All-American with a real chance to make a Final Four.
Which path will he select?
The state of Kentucky anxiously awaits an answer.
But rest assured, either way, the entire nation will be impacted.