While everyone has paid attention to the effort Jodie Meeks has made to make himself an even better 3-point shooter, the Kentucky sophomore guard seems to also be becoming a much better defender.
"I feel like I am. I am improving. We as a team have a long way to go. We are playing hard on defense. We just have to learn to keep our hands off defenders. But it is going to come later in the season, and I know the more defense I play, the better I am going to be," Meeks said.
"I think I am improving now. I was a freshman last year and learned a couple of things that have really helped me. As you get older, you learn. I try to improve every day, and think I have. That's what coach Gillispie expects from me and I don't want to let him down."
What exactly does Gillispie expect?
"He wants not only me, but everybody to compete every day in practice and try to dominate your man. In full-court pressure, he wants you to get your man turned and not let them be comfortable," Meeks said. "He definitely emphasizes the importance of rebounding, too. If you are supposed to be crashing the boards, you better. Blocking out is his big thing, and that's something you just have to want to do."
Meeks says its not hard to understand how aggressive Gillispie wants players to be on defense.
"I think he is a great coach. We understand he wants us to play hard but under control. He says all the time we shouldn't play like a chicken with its head cut off and just go wild. Just play hard and be disciplined. If I can just remember that, then he's going to make me a much better defensive player than I have ever been," Meeks said.
Meeks is working on his defense
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