Speed Read: Nothing Meek About Wildcat’s Game

We know what you’re saying: “Wait, who scored how many on which team now?” The answer to that is not as significant as the subset in which the points came: A college basketball game in the SEC.

jodie meeks kentucky

That’s right, Jodie Meeks, a junior guard for Kentucky, had the night of a lifetime, dropping a whopping 54 points on the No. 24 Tennessee Volunteers in a shockingly one-sided 90-72 win. Meeks hit 10 of his 15 three-point attempts, helping the Wildcats take control of a game that was still up in the air in the second half. In the process, he set the Kentucky record for most points in a single game. Really. It’s also the most points scored by one player in regulation in a decade, and six teams scored fewer total points on Tuesday night than Meeks did himself.

Not surprisingly, his coach and teammates had some choice quotes about the junior sharp-shooter.

“It was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen,” said his coach, Billy Gillispie.

“I wouldn’t be talking at all,” Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson said about Tennessee players who he said continued to talk trash. “My mouth would be shut. Especially when a guy’s got 54 in your own gym. They can talk all they want. Jodie’s shots speak for themselves.”

If you’re like us, you saw the name of the NCAA nightly stud and thought, “Who is this Meeks guy?” Well, here’s some things we should all get to know about the most legitimate single-game college output since Kevin Durant was still wearing orange.

  1. Meeks is averaging more than 24 points-per-game this season, which means we probably should have known about him already.
  2. He was on the 2007 All-SEC Freshman Team and All-America Freshman Team (so we really should have known about him)
  3. He’s from Norcross Georgia (how did he possibly not end up at Georgia Tech?)
  4. Meek’s 24 ppg (before Tuesday’s avalanche) were a stunning improvement from his prior seasons, when he averaged 8 ppg … despite playing fewer than 10 minutes less per game.
  5. While the 54 points were beyond what anyone could have expected, these big busts aren’t unanticipated; he dropped 46 on Louisville at Freedom Hall back on December 20. Guess he really likes playing on the road.
  6. And, like any 21 year-old worth his athletic salt, Meeks already has a fan web site.

Here are the highlights from Meeks’ absurd performance. Grab your popcorn, you don’t want to miss any of it.

The best part about Meeks? His demeanor actually matches his name. There was no jersey-popping after his big night, just honest answers. When asked why his performance was so special, he just dropped this gem: “We just never won here before.” Priceless.

If Kevin Garnett thinks Paul Pierce is Superman, what does that make LeBron James? We ask because LeBron’s triple-doubles have become almost matter-of-fact, with last night’s triple-double — it was just another workmanlike 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — in Cleveland’s 102-87 win in Memphis almost seemed like an afterthought. With the Grizzlies on the schedule, you actually expected LeBron to drop a triple-double with at least 30 points.

The most amazing thing is that the points and rebounds weren’t even the most impressive part about LeBron’s night. No, that would be his defense, which included an early block that clearly set the tone for Cleveland’s defensive pressure.

Then there are plays like this, which really just aren’t fair.

It’s almost impossible to think about just how significant a cultural factor LeBron will be if the Cavaliers somehow win the title. He’s on the cover of this month’s edition of GQ. He makes his own commercials for Nike. Heck, he’s making the city of Cleveland relevant. That’s astounding in itself.

In fact, LeBron is already such a household name, and his cultural morays thereby tacitly acceptable, that he may subtly do for tattoos what Michael Jordan did for baggy shorts. Think about it. BronBron sports nearly full-sleeve tattoos on both arms, with images swirling into one another. He’s added to his tat collection each season, and it almost seems like a matter of time before the shirts with all of his tattoos start flying off the shelves (remember the Iverson edition back in the day?). By 2020, don’t be surprised if 75 percent of the people you know are sporting tats of some kind, and a lot of that may be due to LeBron, whether we want to admit it or not.

Hey, Buckethead is already a fan, so sky’s the limit.

Speaking of basketball and the (not so) distant future, this announcement seemed to slip past most radars yesterday: Billy Packer and Bob Knight are going to be providing NCAA Tournament analysis for FOX SPORTS from Las Vegas during the opening weekend of this spring’s tournament. And, because they’re in Vegas, Packer and Knight are going to be televising their rants from a casino sports book.

billy packer
(Get thee to Vegas, and quick!)

That seems like a good idea. After all, a sports book is definitely the place to catch all the first and second round action. And all of this would be well and good except, as FANHOUSE delicately points out, for the fact that the NCAA absolutely, positively does not condone gambling on its games.

That’s right folks, FOX SPORTS is openly thumbing its nose at the NCAA, taking a preeminent coach and a recently deposed preeminent broadcaster and having them talk about the tournament from the very site that the NCAA wants to believe won’t touch the games themselves. It’s a little like holding a dieting workshop at the entryway to a Twinkies factory. Sure, Packer and Knight may not talk about the gambling lines, but they’ll be surrounded by them. You might even be able to see them scrawl across the backdrop behind their set.

Just one more incident that proves the NCAA has much less power than it thinks it does. That and that alone should at least give the rest of us hope that eventually we’ll get that football playoff, by hook or crook (smart money’s on crook, sad as it may be).

After last night’s performance, where will Jodie Meeks be picked in the 2009 NBA Draft?

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