Meeks could fill void down low

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Wanted: big bodies.

With Tennessee set to lose Kenny Hall, Jeronne Maymon and Dwight Miller to graduation and likely Jarnell Stokes as an early entry to the NBA Draft, the Volunteers are looking shockingly thin on the low block for the future.

To find a prospect that could fill the role of creating space and providing productivity near the glass, look no further than Kennedy Meeks.

Coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff have a scholarship offer on the table for FOX Sports Next's No. 3 center in the Class of 2013.

Getting Meeks to visit, let alone commit to the Vols won't be easy. Schools like Georgetown, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Stanford and a majority of the Atlantic Coast Conference are also hard after the Charlotte, N.C., native.

He noted that he grew up a fan of Duke but the Blue Devils have not come with an offer. Although he has an allegiance to Duke, an offer wouldn't be a slam dunk commitment.

"It'd be big, but I wouldn't do it on the spot because so many colleges have been on me since Day 1. So, I have to keep that in mind too," he told InsideTennessee.

One thing Tennessee does have going for it besides early and plentiful playing time is it is also recruiting a friend and summer teammate of Meeks' in Sindarius Thornwell, who is a five-star talent and ranked the No. 4 shooting guard in the country.

Meeks is totally up for playing with Thornwell on the next level.

"I think that'd be pretty cool because we're so used to playing with each other," Meeks said. "I think we can get a lot of wins out of the connection we have on the court."

According to Meeks, the two have been running together for "about five years."

"We criticize each other on the bad stuff and compliment each other on the good stuff."

Before the four-star gets on a college's hardwood, he said he'd like to vastly improve his conditioning. He reported his size at 6-foot-9, 273 pounds but wants his weight down to the 245-250 range.

If he can accomplish that feat, he would better resemble the player he said he compares his game to — former Tennessee Vol and eventual NBA Draft first-round selection Tobias Harris.

Meeks has also shown a propensity this summer to toss up mid-range jumpers and isn't afraid to step back for the occasional 3-pointer.

"If I have a defender on me that can't guard me, I'll just shoot it," Meeks said. "If I have a smaller guy then I'll go inside."

The West Charlotte High School big man said he would prefer to make a decision this summer but has no date set. He is currently ranked the No. 34 prospect in the country.

He reports a 3.5 grade point average and plans to major in Journalism.

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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