Jul 22, 2012
Sep 9, 2011
NBA Comparison: Josh Harrellson
Strengths: Throughout his career with the Tar Heels, Meeks has been known as an extremely strong player on the interior and an above average rebounder at almost 14 per game per 40 minutes for his career … Exhibits great touch around the basket and is an efficient scorer from inside 12-15 feet … Very nice hands and a knack for finding the basketball, particularly on the offensive glass as evidenced by the Heels being the best offensive rebounding team in the Nation during Meeks’ senior season … Really excels in getting good rebounding position and gets quite a few of his baskets from tip ins … Great footwork for a big man and doesn’t get pushed off of his spots once he catches it on the block … For a guy of Meeks’ size, he runs the floor well and is a huge target for his teammates to hit in transition … Uses his superior strength to his advantage on the block as his is able to bully smaller defenders to get where he wants in the paint … Good basketball IQ and feel for the game … 7-foot wingspan is solid …
Weaknesses: Questions surrounding Meeks’ conditioning and weight will follow him wherever he goes … As a player who is far from a plus athlete, Meeks will have to keep his weight in check for him to see time at the next level … Tree trunk legs make it harder for him to move quickly from a standstill position … Defensively, he is going to struggle guarding anything other than traditional centers due to his lack of lateral quickness, below average length and lack of athleticism … Not an explosive jumper by any stretch and not much of a shot blocker … Average free throw shooter at best … At 6’9, he is undersized for the center position in the NBA and his aforementioned length will hurt him as he tries to get shots off against bigger defenders … Doesn’t really have the ability to stretch the floor so there isn’t any versatility with him being able to play more than one position in the League …
Overall: Meeks came to North Carolina at almost 300 pounds as a freshman and has really slimmed down during his four years in Chapel Hill. Early on in his career he struggled to stay on the floor for stretches due to injuries and an overall lack of conditioning but has put that to rest as he’s been able to stay relatively healthy and stay the floor for long stretches this season. Meeks projects as a center at the NBA level due to his lack of lateral quickness on the defensive end and his inability to stretch the floor on the offensive end. The 16/17 NCAA Tournament has been particularly kind to him as he’s outplayed other higher touted NBA prospects along the way. He lacks the upside of most bigs that he will be competing with for draft position and will likely be a late second round to undrafted player when it is all said and done but with some development, potentially in the D-League, he could find himself on an NBA roster at some point in the future.
Notes: Measured at 6’9.5 (in shoes) 297 lbs, with a 7’0 wingspan at the 2012 Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy
Clayton Crowe 4/3/2017