As we all know UNC’s lack of low post production really hurt this team last season. When the 2013-2014 season starts most expect the Tar Heels to return to a more traditional lineup with two big men, however no one knows what to expect from returning centers Junior Desmond Hubert and Sophomore Joel James. Enter Freshman center Kennedy Meeks and maybe he can fill the hole in the middle.
Now I know usually Head Coach Roy Williams doesn’t like to start or depend on freshman but by March 2014 he may have no choice. Coming into this season James and Hubert should be the favorites to start next to forward James Michael McAdoo just on experience alone and Tar Heel fans everywhere hopes one or both has gotten dramatically better this off season and will step up and take the spot. If neither can show the improvement that the Carolina faithful is counting on, Kennedy Meeks is not a bad third option. The 6’9 275 lb big man from Charlotte in my opinion is already the most offensively polished of the trio. He can score with his back to the basket, he has a smooth jump shot out to 15 feet and his “Charmin” like hands will be a very welcome asset just, ask the guards. Meeks can rebound as well and his ability to start the fast break with outlet passes will fit perfectly in Ol’ Roy’s offense.
Defensively is where Meeks must improve the most. His lack of mobility and shot blocking will be an issue for sure, although his size and positioning should help he may be too much of a liability defensively to get major minutes especially early. If Kennedy’s “D” is the biggest concern, his conditioning is not far behind. Don’t get me wrong his size is needed but the former McDonald’s All America probably needs to drop 20-25 pounds in order to make the impact many believe he can. In Carolina’s offense the big guys must be able to get up and down the court, now I don’t expect him to move like Tyler Zeller but if he can go end to end like Sean May that should be sufficient enough.
Bottom line If Meeks enters the season in good shape and can hold his own defensively, he has a chance to log major minutes and be a key contributor. If not, most of his freshman campaign will play out on the pine and the Tar Heels will have to hope Joel James or Desmond Hubert has gotten much better!