UNC Basketball: Why Kennedy Meeks Needs Carolina Just as Much as It Needs Him

Drew LaskeyCorrespondent INovember 15, 2012

A week and a half ago, Scout.com's second-ranked center in the 2013 class, Kennedy Meeks, trimmed his destination list to Georgetown and North Carolina.

According to northcarolina.247sports.com, Meeks will pledge his commitment Friday on an ESPNU recruiting special.

Throughout the recruiting process, the 6'9", 275-pound North Carolina native's most scrutinized facet of his game hasn't been his scoring, rebounding or defense, though.

It's been his weight.

The imposing size of Meeks has been a significant contributor to his high school success, which includes a 2011 state title.

However, many have questioned how—or if—it would translate into college.

Meeks has slimmed down over the past few months, dropping 20 pounds since the end of last season.

He credits his dieting to wanting to give himself the best opportunity to lead his team to another state championship, something that escaped them last season.

But perhaps there is another underlying reason that's motivating him, such as his future college choice.

With the imminent departure of UNC forward James Michael McAdoo to the NBA next June, Meeks' experience in big games and overall talent would be a welcomed addition.

That's why North Carolina needs Kennedy Meeks.

The biggest difference between Georgetown and North Carolina is simply their style of play. Georgetown runs the Princeton offense and UNC just runs—a lot.

Even though Meeks would be effective in either offense, the question is, in which offense would he be most effective?

Meeks' low-block game is refined and potent—it's one of the areas college recruiters are least worried about. The same could be said about his defense.

But if he really wants to take his game to the next level, he has to be able to run the floor—and run it well.

That's why Kennedy Meeks needs North Carolina.

If he becomes a Tar Heel, Meeks would be forced to come onto campus in peak physical condition, a demand not so much required by Georgetown.

Meeks resembles Sean May in a lot of ways: big body, great hands and a soft touch. May learned how to run for Roy Williams—Meeks can too.

When you're a 7-footer and the size of Meeks, you have "next level" written all over you. But when you're 6'9", it's much harder to find your fit.

That's why it's essential to be versatile.

Meeks needs to learn to run better.

He needs to be able to keep wind after multiple uptempo possessions and finish plays in the process.

And he'd achieve that conditioning and skill at UNC long before he would at Georgetown.

Meeks' offensive game and defensive presence will always be there for him, but the college (and NBA) game is much faster and much more athletic.

You either adapt to the tempo or get run off the floor.

He would play to his strengths at Georgetown, there's no doubt about that, but he would also play to his strengths at Carolina and develop plenty of new ones too.

Meeks' recent approach to his weight loss is admirable and something that's definitely in his best interest.

And I think choosing North Carolina is too.


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