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UNC Meeks Out 2 Weeks; How Will Team Fare Without Him?

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at North Carolina

The North Carolina Tarheels loss a very tough game Saturday to the Texas Longhorns by way of a buzzer beating basket. UNC was favored and expected to win but Texas gave them more than they could handle. More important than a loss to and unranked team, UNC will be without big man Kennedy Meeks for 2 weeks.

Losing to Texas dropped UNC down 8 spots leaving them ranked 11th. Without Meeks for a couple of weeks, how much further will the team drop?

UNC will face Tulane, UCLA (22), Appalachian State and UNC Greensboro during the next 2 weeks and I expect them to be just fine. Meeks’ weakness is that he isn’t a strong pick-and-roll defender. Isaiah Hicks, who is likely to play for Meeks, does well defensively and is coming off one of his best games this season. Hicks scored 14 points but will need to do more on the boards as his 3 rebounds proved. UNC also has the option of playing small ball, allow Brice Johnson to play center surrounding him with shooters. Nate Britt and Joel Berry have both been shooting the ball extremely well so far this season. Add them to likes of Marcus Paige and young stud Justin Jackson could cause problems for anyone if they are making shots and pushing the pace.

UCLA has a pretty good team and could give UNC a good run. I’ll leave that game as a toss up but I’m leaning towards UNC simply because it is at the Barclays Center (neutral court). UNC also seems to play better when the ranked lower without the targets on their backs. With that being said, Meeks should take his time, make sure he heals properly and get ready for ACC play.

HT: BleacherReport