Posted on: June 15, 2009 11:56 am
Edited on: June 15, 2009 5:47 pm
Kentucky junior Jodie Meeks will remain in the NBA Draft.
"I want to thank the fans and the city of Lexington. They have been great and I will always be a Kentucky Wildcat," Meeks said in a released statement. "I feel comfortable with my decision and I’m confident in my ability. My family and I talked over the weekend and decided this was the best decision."
Sources told CBSSports.com that Meeks does not have a first-round guarantee, but he has decided to stay in the draft anyway, for better or worse. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 23.7 points last season while shooting 40.6 percent from the 3-point line. He will almost certainly be picked somewhere late in the first round or early in the second.
This development is an obvious blow to John Calipari's first UK team.
With Meeks back, the Wildcats would've been most people's preseason No. 1 team. Now that honor will likely go to Kansas, although Kentucky should still be a favorite to make the Final Four thanks to a roster that is expected to include Patrick Patterson, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.
Posted on: March 10, 2009 4:11 pm
Obviously, I disagree with Gregg Doyel's column .
As for some other controversial decisions, I'll address them quickly.
Where's Jodie Meeks?
If you look at my All-America teams you'll see that every guy I have listed is projected by Jerry Palm to play in the NCAA tournament, except for Davidson's Stephen Curry. That should show you how much emphasis I put on winning, and how much I disregard players posting big numbers for bad teams. I mean, lots of guys post big numbers on bad teams (UCF's Jermaine Taylor comes to mind). So while I do think Meeks is great and one of the most fun guys to watch in college, the reality is that he's posting big numbers for a bad team, one that is especially bad by Kentucky standards.
For that same reason, I left off Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, too.
Simply put, I like impact players on successful teams.
Let the world be warned.
So how do you justify Stephen Curry?
I don't think Curry was on a bad team. I think he was on a conference champion that got caught in the semifinals of the Southern Conference tournament, and now he'll pay the price for that. Is Davidson as good as a good Big East or ACC team? Of course not. But relative to Southern Conference teams, the Wildcats are very good, which means Curry was succesful by any reasonable measuring stick, just not when you have to be in a one-bid league, unfortunately.
And why can't you have three bigs on the same team again?
Think of an All-Pro football team.
They don't just take eight quarterbacks when they do those.
They take a quarterback, a few receivers, a kicker, a couple of safeties, so on and so forth. I like that because it better resembles an actual team , and that's my thought process on not having three traditional bigs (like Griffin, Blair and Hansbrough) on the same team, because there's no way those three would ever actually get on the court together at the same time, I don't think.
If you want to know the truth, I believe there are eight players worthy of first-team All-America status.
They are ...
That's my top eight, regardless of position. So what I did was take a point guard (Lawson), a shooting guard (Curry), a wing (Harden) and two bigs (Griffin and Blair) from that list, and I called it a day. It really was that simple. And I hope that makes some sense, though I'm sure it won't to some.
Posted on: January 14, 2009 12:04 am
Edited on: January 14, 2009 12:05 am
Jodie Meeks launched himself into the National Player of the Year race Tuesday night.
He might've put the Kentucky Wildcats back in the Top 25, too.
That's what a 54-point effort in a 90-72 victory at Tennessee on national television can do for a player and a team, and if you missed it what you missed was arguably the most impressive individual performance in the history of Kentucky basketball. And that's not hyperbole. As rich as UK's tradition is, the school has never had a player hit 10 3-pointers or score 54 in a game. But Meeks did both before a soldout crowd at Thompson-Boling Arena to break (by a point) Dan Issel's single-game scoring mark set during the 1969-70 season.
So celebrate that, UK fans.
And get ready for what should be a nice run.
What's next is a winnable game at Georgia followed by a home game with Auburn, which means the Wildcats should be 15-4 overall and 4-0 in the SEC heading into a Jan. 24 tilt at Alabama. That's not bad for a team that opened 0-2 with a loss to VMI. So once again it appears Billy Gillispie has turned this thing around, and that's something everybody ought to remember -- including yours truly -- next November if the Wildcats stumble and take a bad early loss for the third straight season. If it happens, the wise move will be to laugh it off, because Gillispie has shown again that there's not a bad situation he can't fix, and if all else fails he can always just turn to Meeks, which seems like a reasonable gameplan given what took place Tuesday night in Knoxville.