Roy Williams and UNC historically have loved their big men and Kennedy Meeks is no exception. The most recent commit of the 2013 class will join a long distinguished line of big men who’ve brought their big games to Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels.
To say that Meeks is big is an understatement. The Charlotte, NC native measures a fully grown 6-9, 275 and may even be still growing. His size along with his polished skill set made him one of the most sought after big men in the country.
Meeks committed to the Tar Heels back in November of last year making him the third member of a top 10 recruiting class coming to Chapel Hill next season that includes Isaiah Hicks and Nate Britt. The way the current landscape of team is set, it looks like the commitment of Meeks to the program could not have come at a better time. With UNC’s only polished big man, James Michael McAdoo, projected to bolt for the NBA after this season, Meeks should find himself receiving major minutes in the rotation early on in his Carolina career.
Hicks and soon to be sophomore Brice Johnson will more than likely garner the most minutes in the low post if McAdoo leaves, but neither player provides a true post game inside. That’s where Meeks comes in. We know Joel James will have improved, but it’s unceratin how much better he will be after one full season of college ball. If it just so happens that James will continue to be eased in by the staff, Meeks may even be the favorite to start early in the year.
What Meeks brings to the table, besides his frame, is a soft touch shooting the basketball and great floor vision. He won’t go hard to the rim and finish above it like other UNC big men, but Kennedy has an arsenal of fundamentally sound post moves that allow him to get in close for high percentage shots. His touch has transferred to the mid range as well. Meeks has been able to really work on shooting the basketball 13-15 feet from the basket and has become very effective scoring that way. His floor vision and ability to hit the wing players on the perimeter is unparrallel. Roy Williams has said that Kennedy is the best outlet passer he’s seen since Kevin Love which is very high praise. Just imagine having a Kendall Marshall type player in the post.
People seem to worry about how Kennedy will handle Roy’s run and gun system with the shape that he’s in. I’m here to tell you that, just like every other big man, he will need some time to adjust, but at the end of the day, he will be fine. Kennedy is coming into a team that has a lot of big men on the depth chart which means he will have people to rotate in and out for him at all times. Once Kennedy has access to the training staff, the weight facilities that they players use and gets in a routine, he will slim down and be a lot lighter on his feet than people expect. This summer, he’ll be enrolled in classes and have full access to it all so don’t be surprised in Meeks is a lot slimmer come next November.
At the end of the day, Kennedy Meeks is one of the premier big men in the country coming out of high school. His basketball IQ, skills, and all-around game will be well received here in Chapel Hill and are very much needed. Not often do teams win the National Championship without a headlining big man and UNC has never won without one. I’m fully anticipating that Kennedy Meeks will develop into a big man that’s more than capable of leading the Heels back to the promise land.