Q&A with Chris Dortch

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook editor Chris Dortch closely follows Southeastern Conference basketball. On top of that, he's been a Billy Gillispie fan for years, and still is. Here's some insights Dortch offered as SEC gets set to start on Saturday.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook editor Chris Dortch closely follows Southeastern Conference basketball. On top of that, he's been a Billy Gillispie fan for years, and still is. Here's some insights Dortch offered as SEC gets set to start on Saturday.

Question: Where does Kentucky fit into the conference race now and has Kentucky upgraded its performance in your opinion over the last month?

Dortch: " I'm not sure Kentucky has the one through 10 talent of a Tennessee or Florida, but it wouldn't surprise me now if the Cats won the SEC East. They play hard and have two bona fide consistent scoring threats in Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks.

Question: Where do Patterson and Meeks fit when you are talking about elite players in the SEC?

Dortch: " In terms of power forward and shooting guard, no one in the league is playing better at those two positions.

Question: Does any team have a better one-two punch in the SEC right now than UK with Meeks and Patterson?

Dortch: " Before Chris Warren (Ole Miss) got hurt, you might have made a case for him and David Huertas. But right now, for my money, it's Meeks and Patterson. Billy can rely on their contributions. Patterson leads the league in field-goal percentage and Meeks is an impressive 14th. And the thing you have to love about Meeks is that he's not a one-dimensional scorer who leans too much on the jumper. He's taken 94 free throws, second in the SEC only to A.J. Ogilivy of Vandy, who makes a living at the line. And Meeks is shooting 89 percent to 76 for Ogilivy. He's also second in the league in three-point percentage. If there's an off-guard in the country having a more efficient, productive season, I'd like to watch him play. "As far as Patterson, he's off the charts in terms of manliness! Tough, tough kid who competes every night, loves to board, knows what to do with the ball in the paint, can run a lane in transition, has a face-up game. What's not to like?"

Question: What would be your biggest concern about Kentucky at this point?

Dortch: " I still think the Cats have a tendency to get a little fast and loose with the rock. And sometimes they forget they've got a beast in the paint like Patterson. I've seen UK a bunch on TV, and I think some games you could make a case that he's under utilized."

Question: Do you still consider Tennessee the team to beat for the league championship?

Dortch: " I'll stay with my preseason pick on that one. The Vols appear vulnerable to some, but if you look at the teams they've played against, their record is about where it should be."


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