In a move that stunned virtually all of the Bluegrass, Jodie In a move that stunned virtually all of the Bluegrass, Jodie

Meeks says goodbye after all


In a move that stunned virtually all of the Bluegrass, Jodie Meeks eschewed a Final Four run and elected to take his shot in the upcoming NBA Draft. Critics say that Meeks is not guaranteed a first round slot and that he could have benefited from a year in Calipari’s DDMO. In the end, there were many reasons for Meeks to stay at UK but it appears his heart was in the NBA, so he followed it.

While Patrick Patterson’s heart told him to return to UK, Meeks took a different path. It’s really not up to us to call it a right or a wrong decision. Meeks obviously got enough insider information to realize that this was a good decision for him. He obviously took the full allotment of time to make his decision and you have to respect the fact that he did not make the EASY choice. The easy choice would have been to follow Patterson back to UK, reap the adoration of the BBN and make a run at title number 8. The fact that he took the unproven path shows that well, coming back to UK was not in his heart. And we have to respect that.

Already I am seeing the UK fans bashing Meeks for his decision. This kind of outrage is simply unacceptable. Sure, it is OK to be upset and a little hurt, but to heap abuse on a kid that gave three years to the Blue and White. From all we have heard about Billy Gillispie’s tenure, a good bit of his wrath was focused on Meeks, but have we heard Meeks utter one negative thing about UK? For that alone, Meeks deserves at least an smidgen of respect.

I think my favorite Meeks memory this year was his “one upmanship” of Florida’s Nick Calathes in the game at Rupp this year. The miracle three pointer he made with Calathes draped all over him was a shot for the ages. Years from now, the shining moments Meeks gave us will be remembered above all of the turmoil and strife of this year. I do wish that Jodie would have gotten experienced the thrill of a deep tournament run, but not if he felt he was failing himself to be back here.

Good luck Jodie, we will miss you.
While Meek’s departure may drop us from the preseason number 1 spot, this team is still a solid Top 10 team. As I said a few days ago, there is not a team in the country that can match us 1-12 depth wise.

The good thing about Meeks departure is that it is going to provide players like Jon Hood and Darnell Dodson a chance to win a starting spot for UK. And it means that we will see Wall and Bledsoe on the court at the same time. And it gives DeAndre Liggins a shot at redemption.

Yes, I realize what UK is losing in 3 point shooting, but I for one, am not ready to push the panic button yet. Calipari told us from Day ONE that this was not going to be a quick run to titletown and we did not listen. We prematurely painted ourselves into the Final Four and picked up those unrealistic expectations UK fans are bashed for having. Was I guilty of that? Yes. But bottom line, UK will be a better team next year than this year. Meeks would have made it great, but we can’t keep dwelling on what is lost, but on what we have.

Also not being a preseason number 1 in Calipari’s first game has to ease the pressure … a bit.

Yes, we have to replace Meek’s 23 points a game somewhere and with the above players, a new hero will emerge.

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