May 4, 2016
After declaring for the NBA draft without an agent, Kennedy Meeks announced Wednesday he will return to North Carolina for his senior season in 2016-17.
The star forward made it official with the following tweet:
Meeks averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season for the national runner-up Tar Heels.
Per Brian Hall of WFMY News 2 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Meeks commented further on his decision in a press release provided by UNC:
While the Tar Heels were a Villanova buzzer-beater away from potentially winning the national title, Meeks’ production took a slight hit in 2015-16.
He enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign with 11.4 points and 7.3 boards per contest, but he played just over 20 minutes per game last season with Isaiah Hicks cutting into some of his playing time along with Brice Johnson in the frontcourt.
The 6’9″ native of Charlotte, North Carolina, was still a dominant force in the paint at times, however, and his role figures to increase in 2016-17.
With Johnson out of the picture and another big in Justin Jackson potentially entering the draft after declaring without an agent, Meeks may very well be head coach Roy Williams’ primary option down low.
There is some risk involved with Meeks returning to school since an injury could cause his draft stock to plummet, but a bounce-back season could just as easily boost his value.
Assuming the big man stays healthy and receives an uptick in usage as expected, he should be in a far better position to possibly land in the first round of next year’s draft.
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