Friday, November 16, 2012

W. Charlotte's Kennedy Meeks picks UNC: Thoughts, reaction

CHAPEL HILL — Big news from a big recruit (both figuratively and literally): Kennedy Meeks, the West Charlotte High center who is considered one of the best prospects in the class of 2013, announced on ESPNU tonight that he would play at North Carolina.

Meeks chose the Tar Heels over Georgetown. You can read the story about it here.

Some reaction …

--Meeks, whom ESPN ranks as the 20th-best prospect in the nation – and the No. 2 center – joins a UNC recruiting class that already includes power forward Isaiah Hicks and point guard Nate Britt. Hicks, from Webb High in Oxford, is ranked the 18th-best prospect in the country, according to ESPN. Britt, a Washington, D.C., native who is playing this season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., is the No. 52 prospect in the country, according to ESPN’s rankings.

--Obviously, landing Meeks is huge for the Tar Heels, whose 2013-14 frontcourt looks quite formidable – even if James Michael McAdoo decides to leave school for the NBA. Assuming McAdoo goes – and that’s a reasonable assumption – UNC would still have Joel James and Brice Johnson, both of whom are off to promising starts in their freshman seasons, and Hicks and Meeks. The James/Johnson dynamic is similar to that of Hicks and Meeks. James and Meeks are the larger, more imposing players, while Johnson and Hicks are quicker and more agile. All four guys should complement one another well.

--Had a chance earlier today to speak with Dave Telep, the ESPN national recruiting analyst who was on the set tonight with Meeks announced his decision. Telep was kind enough to share his opinion on Meeks and on what his commitment would mean to UNC.

Telep on Meeks: “He’s one of those guys that if you’re going to play a center, a true center, then you want to have this guy because he absolutely owns his area. He rebounds the ball with authority and is a terrific passer. And he’s got an incredibly good touch around the bucket. I just think Kennedy Meeks is one of those guys that’s almost disappearing in college basketball. You can throw him the ball in the lane and with his back to the basket he’s just a really good player.”

Telep on what Meeks’ commitment would mean to the Tar Heels: “If you really look at that, start look at who has better frontcourts in the country than that. You’d have Isaiah Hicks, who can be a prototypical frontcourt player for Roy Williams … and then you’d have two guys are different than each other, can play off of each other – and Hicks would be that slender, shot-blocking floor-runner. And Meeks would be that anchor on the inside.”

--Meeks won a state championship at the Smith Center during his sophomore year of high school, and he has ties to North Carolina simply because he grew up here. Still, his commitment to UNC might have come as a bit of a surprise given how hard Georgetown recruited him. Said Telep: “I think that Georgetown showed they saw the value in him early, and just really dropped the hammer on him, and went all in on him. I think that they recruited him exceptionally hard. So it’s not easy to get a top 20 player out of the state of North Carolina, and I think they knew that going in. But they just saw a fit that was so good for their offense.” So credit Tar Heels coach Roy Williams and his staff with the job they did recruiting Meeks. It was never going to be easy beating out Georgetown.

--Last but not least, the Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. did an admirable job with this story on Meeks. Be sure to check that out.

- Andrew Carter


Anonymous said...

Solid 4-star recruit. Not a program-changer but will add some depth down low.

Anonymous said...

You-can't-be-serious? "Hard to beat out Gtown?" No one works harder on the Recruiting Trail than Roy Williams. Readers may Bing reSearch that point.

Anonymous said...

Roy better work hard on the recruiting trail. He sure as Hell can't coach on the bench on game day. Wonder how his recruiting would go at some lower profile program? There's a reason he was voted most overated coach in America.

Hostpph said...

I have to agree on the part about Kennedy Meeks, he is one of the most promising players I have lately seen in the league