kennedy meeks

Incoming North Carolina freshman Kennedy Meeks works to improve conditioning

North Carolina incoming freshman center Kennedy Meeks had a lot of hype coming out of high school. After all, the native of Charlotte was a McDonald’s All-American and one of the most skilled big men in the 2013 class.

But there were also some legitimate concerns about his playing weight and how his conditioning would factor into North Carolina’s uptempo attack. At 6’9″, 285 pounds, it was hard to imagine Meeks keeping up with the Carolina guards.

So Meeks has made it a point to silence the critics and put those questions to rest by hitting the weight room hard this summer and changing his approach to his diet.

According to an Associated Press story from Aaron Beard, Meeks is fully committed to losing weight and his mother said that he’s lost 20 pounds already this summer.

“I’m in too deep now — there’s no turning back,” Meeks told the AP. “… I’m not afraid at all because it’s all going to be a life-changing thing that I have to deal with, that I’m going to accept, that’s going to be my life for a long time.”

Meeks has even gone so far as to get ahold of North Carolina strength and conditioning coach Jonas Sahratian when he has a question regarding his new diet.

Team strength and conditioning coordinator Jonas Sahratian said he is working with Meeks on everything from what to do in the weight room to changes to his diet. During Meeks’ first month at UNC this summer, Sahratian said he got numerous text messages a day from the freshman asking whether it was OK to eat certain foods.
It’s a very positive sign that Meeks appears set to lose the weight necessary to be an immediate contributor for North Carolina. With his soft hands, touch inside and ability to pass, he could be an asset to a team that had a hard time finding consistent minutes in the post late last season.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.