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.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: