John Calipari always goes big when it comes to recruiting. But he’s never gone quite this big.
2013 center Kennedy Meeks told Jody Demling on Monday that Kentucky has been “showing a lot of interest recently. They say it’s high interest.”
It’s not surprising that UK would target someone of Meeks’ skill level. ESPN rates him as the No. 2 center in the class of 2013 behind Beejay Anya. Scout.com, MaxPreps and CBS Sports all rank him as the No. 3 center, and Rivals has him No. 4.
What is a little surprising is that Calipari would envision the near-300-pound Meeks in his motion offense. Since Cal came to Kentucky, Josh Harrellson has been his biggest player (6-10, 275 pounds). But Jorts was a holdover from the Billy Gillispie days. Enes Kanter (6-11, 272 pounds) was Cal’s biggest recruit, but he never played for the Cats. That leaves DeMarcus Cousins (6-11, 270 pounds) as the biggest Calipari recruit to actually suit up at UK.
Meeks is listed at 6-9, 297 pounds, making him two inches shorter and nearly 30 pounds heavier than Cousins. The closest Cal has come to bringing in that kind of size was probably 2012 star Dajuan Coleman (6-9, 280 pounds), who committed to Syracuse over Kentucky last year. Like Coleman, Meeks has unique skills for a big man. A recent ESPN report suggested Meeks is the “best passing big man in high school hoops since Kevin Love.” He has great hands to go with a skilled post game, and can also play away from the basket. NBE Basketball said he “put on an impressive display from the perimeter” during Monday’s sessions from the LeBron James Skills Academy.
If UK’s interest is genuine, he’ll be one of the more unique targets of the Calipari era.
*- Recruited by Billy Gillispie