The Meeks Show earns awe

Published: Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 5:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 5:23 p.m.

Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie is thankful to be the one Southeastern Conference coach who doesn't have to worry about defending guard Jodie Meeks.

"The thing about Jodie is he's a very difficult player to keep from catching the ball," Gillispie said. "Once he does catch it, he drives the basketball so well and forces fouls and finishes so well that you don't want to get too close to him. But if you don't get too close to him, he'll jump up and he's got a very quick release."

Tennessee learned all those things about Meeks the hard way on Tuesday, when the 6-foot-4 junior set a pair of Kentucky records by scoring 54 points and hitting 10 3-pointers. Meeks also had eight rebounds, four assists and was 14-of-14 from the foul line, and perhaps most impressively, reached his monster scoring total on just 22 field-goal attempts.

Not surprisingly, The Meeks Show sent shockwaves across the SEC.

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings: "He plays every facet of offense just about as well as it can be played."

Florida coach Billy Donovan: "His performance will be one he's remembered for for the rest of his life."

Georgia coach Dennis Felton has a unique perspective, because he has to face Meeks and the Wildcats on Saturday.

"Who in the country is playing as well as Jodie Meeks?" Felton said. "It's not too hard trying to find out where our focus will be."

Even the guy in charge of things that night Gillispie found himself in awe of Meeks' individual effort.

"I would like to say that we designed all those things, but there wasn't much designing going on," Gillispie said. "It was just a great individual performance."

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