Meeks Thrives Despite Illness

CLEMSON, S.C. – Kennedy Meeks turned in a double-double in No. 19 North Carolina’s 74-50 win over Clemson on Saturday despite battling a stomach bug for much of the last week.

Roy Williams told reporters on Friday that he wasn’t sure how much he would get out of his sophomore forward in UNC’s ACC opener at Littlejohn Coliseum, adding that if the throwing up continued, the Charlotte, N.C. product may not even travel.

Not only did Meeks travel, but he started, posting 12 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes.

“I got a little tired at first,” Meeks said after the win. “I sat out of practice quite a bit this past week, but I got back into it.”

Meeks said he missed one full day of practice and was limited in the other sessions last week. His rust was obvious, especially to his head coach.
“He was 4-for-11,” Williams said. “I mean, he had no lift. You could see that. We tried to substitute in and out early in the first half, particularly, to try to make sure he was okay.”

Meeks scored the game’s first points and totaled nine points before halftime, although he grabbed nine of his rebounds after the break. He also added a pair of assists.

Junior guard Marcus Paige said he was “pleasantly surprised” at what Meeks was able to do.

“He had been having all sorts of problems all week,” Paige said, “but he was active on the glass and did a great job finishing around the basket. He played hard defensively, too. That’s tough to do when you’re out of rhythm with your conditioning and you haven’t been practicing full, but he did a great job.”

Sophomore guard Stilman White, who is suffering with a similar type of stomach bug, did not travel with the team to Clemson.

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