Kentucky Wildcats Lose Jodie Meeks to NBA Draft

Barry WallContributor IJune 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 28:  Jodie Meeks #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during the SEC game against the LSU Tigers at Rupp Arena on February 28, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky.  LSU won 73-70.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

A report from stated that Jodie Meeks has declared for the NBA draft. This news leaves a sour taste in the mouth of many Kentucky fans, considering they were relying on Meeks’s return to guide the number one recruiting class in the country.

In a statement released Monday Meeks said, "I want to thank the fans and the city of Lexington. They have been great and I will always be a Kentucky Wildcat. I feel comfortable with my decision and I'm confident in my ability. My family and I talked over the weekend and decided this was the best decision."

Meeks is a stellar shooter and had one of the greatest offensive seasons by a single player in Kentucky history. His 54 points against Tennessee in Knoxville was beyond epic, but most draft experts feel he lacks athleticism, and therefore is being projected as a low second-round pick.

This is a huge loss for Kentucky, who will miss not only his ability to score, but the quality leadership a strong senior could provide such a great group of incoming freshmen.