As you might expect, today's main topic of the Daily Mail will be Jodie Meeks, and the commentary surrounding his exodus from college basketball. Jodie only really had two good years at Kentucky, his sophomore year being an injury-hobbled affair where he was only able to impact the team for a few games early in the season before being struck with a nasty sports hernia that eventually required surgery to correct.
There were a number of games that Jodie really showcased his skills in before the tremendous season he had last year, the most memorable of which was the Louisville game at Freedom Hall in Jodie's freshman year, where Jodie showcased his trademark efficiency for the very first time, scoring 18 points in only 21 minutes of action, shooting 4-7 from the arc and breaking the back of an inept Louisville Cardinal team. That performance by the Cards led a sudden outburst of anti-Pitino outrage which lasted right up until the 2007-08 game.
Another of my favorite Meeks memories was against Appalachian State last year where he racked up 46 points in 34 minutes. That wasn't great competition, but it was a terrific performance by Jodie. And of course, who could forget the record-breaking, "we're not worthy" performance by Meeks in Kentucky's beclowning of Tennessee last year. Rare stuff, and one of the moments that made UK basketball interesting last season. Sadly, that was virtually the high point of last season -- UK fans had precious few moments to cheer about thereafter.
So I suppose this post is a "farewell to Jodie" missive. We will surely miss him, and the moments he provided us. I know we all wish Jodie well in the NBA, and I am confident that, no matter what the outcome of the actual NBA draft, Jodie Meeks will be on a league roster next year if he remains healthy -- and I expect he will play quite a few good years in the Association. Thanks so much for the memories, Jodie. You provided a bunch of them, and we will miss you next year.
And now, for the news.UK Basketball News
Meeks Leaves Kentucky
Rush The Court examines what no Jodie Meeks means to UK next year. I think they get it pretty much right.
Meeks' future in NBA
More Meeks from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Team Speed Kills talks Meeks
He brings up an interesting game next year -- Kentucky vs Mississippi State.
Winners and losers in this year's NBA Draft
The Loathsome Troll Jeff Goodman thinks that UK is a winner overall because Patterson came back. He has a point, and if we had lost both, I think all the early hype would have been dealt a real setback. Fanhouse agrees.
Meeks right to follow his heart
John Clay thinks Jodie will have to play his way on like Hayes and Azibuike. I'm not so sanguine that he won't get drafted in the first round. Either way, I don't think Meeks' road will be as rocky as Hayes or Azibuike, or even Joe Crawford.
Top 25 (and one): Meeks' UK departure leaves KU No. 1 - CBS News
Parrish drops UK a spot in his rankings, and I think I would drop them even more. But the 'Cats will still be very tough, perhaps even better than people expect.
It’s been real Jodie Meeks
Straitpinkie farewells Jodie Meeks.
Meeks' loss will hurt more than you think.
I think this is right. We will feel Jodie's loss, and probably drop some games we could have won with him back on the roster.
Katz picks UK as a draw
Lots of winners and losers, but UK's situation, according to Katz, is status quo. I'm not sure I agree, but I do believe that UK will still have a very good team without Meeks.
Wildcats can still flourish with Meeks gone
Rick Bozich thinks Kentucky will be fine, and I think he makes some good points.
Hurricane Jodie: How Will Kentucky Recover?
Everybody's talking about Darnell Dodson as a Meeks replacement. That's a lot of pressure for a JUCO transfer who will be seeing his first Division I action next year.
Gary Parrish on Jodie Meeks' departuer.
No doubt this hurts UK's standing, but it doesn't devastate it.
John Clay's Big Blue Links.
Meeks, Meeks and more Meeks.
Looking to the future
Kenneth Spears looks to the future over at True Blue Kentucky, and tries to find who will replace Meeks' scoring.
UK Football News
Athlon sports ranks UK
UK comes in at #56, just above Maryland one spot below ... Michigan? I wonder when the last time UK was ranked this close to Michigan by anyone?
Patience in '09, Pays Off in 2010?
Ira Combs is the second person I have seen with this view. It does make some sens, it would seem to the seasoned observer that UK is really a year away from being really good in football. The schedule for the upcoming season is particularly brutal, with many of the games against the more beatable foes in the SEC on the road. He also sees Jarmon's loss as more devastating than I do, but he does make a strong argument.
Could this be the first no-bowl season for UK in four years? Let's hope not.
Other UK Sports News
Kentucky Cat Scratches
Always worth a read.
Clint Tilford Agrees to Terms with Colorado Rockies
One of our most talented baseball players decides to turn pro.
NCAA Sports News
Newspapers Sue Florida State for NCAA Documents
This does look suspiciously like an attempt by the NCAA and member schools to circumvent state "sunshine laws."
So what is exactly going on at USC?
This writer sees USC heading for the "Lack of Institutional Control" charge. That would surely be ugly.
Other News of Interest
The Daily Schadenfreude
Coaching USA Basketball again would be perfect exit strategy for Mike Krzyzewski
Heh. Exit strategy. I like that.