North Carolina Tar Heels: Kennedy Meeks Still Key versus FSU


The North Carolina Tar Heels will still be dealing with a short-handed post situation against #9 Florida State.

The North Carolina Tar Heels tip off with the Florida State Seminoles today around two o’ clock Eastern. It is their first game since their win at Wake Forest, and that victory was a grind fest. However it did put the Tar Heel management of their low post rotation to the max and offered proof that they could survive such a crisis.

Luke Maye garnered early foul trouble. So did Isaiah Hicks. Tony Bradley was lost to a concussion. The second half was therefore the half of Kennedy Meeks and a smaller four most of the time. There were glimpses of Theo Pinson at the position due to need. It made Meeks front and center the most important player on the court, and he had attracted foul calls too.

Meeks responded with an all-around good game despite increasing tiredness in the second half. He had eighteen points, eleven rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. The team needed every one of those as he led the team in minutes played with thirty-three. There may be better Meeks performances, but this one was the most necessary.

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Which brings things to today. Against Florida State, the Tar Heels will need Meeks to be solid once again. The post rotation may have gotten back Hicks and Maye, but Bradley is still out with his concussion. That will mean a little more time for Meeks, although the Heels are hoping that there is not a big foul epidemic like the last game.

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Florida State is currently ninth in the country after a victory over Duke. Guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes is a player who has given the Heels trouble in the past. He is coming off twenty-one points against Duke. His wing man Dwayne Bacon has also received praise this season.

The Seminoles usually rely on smothering defense to get the job done. In the past that has meant low scoring contests. This year they also have the athleticism to run, and the Heels must bait them into a contest of legs. As NC State and Oklahoma State both know, trying to run with the Heels can be a major mistake.