VAUGHT: Meeks focused on team success

Jodie Meeks spent his summer shooting 200 to 300 shots every night. He also found time to work on his ballhandling.

"I just put in any extra work I could to get an edge," said Meeks.

That's because Meeks knows following his successful freshman season, expectations are going to increase for him this year.

"I am sure they will rise. You can't worry about that right now," Meeks said. "I worry about our team and how hard I have worked. As a player, you have to think about the team. You can't worry what others think. I am thankful for the comments people make about me being a good player, but I can't really listen to that.

"I do feel more in tune with what I have to do this year. Last year, it was all new and I did not know what to expect. This year I am more aware of what we have to do as a team. Last year I also didn't put a lot of pressure on myself to have a great year. I want to do the same this year if at all possible. Whatever it takes for the team to win, that's what I want to do."

Meeks has had no trouble adjusting to new coach Billy Gillispie and his more demanding workouts than what Tubby Smith had.

"Coach is a great coach. We understand how hard his workouts are. We have to do that to succeed this year. We have to do what he says and hope it will pay off," Meeks said. "I don't really care how we play the game. I can play slow and fast. But this year will be exciting. I think we will press and run more, which is fine with me.

"It is hard to say exactly what the differences will be from last year. It's not good to compare last year to this year. I think it is just different. We just have to work hard and see what happens when the season starts."

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