After being plagued by injuries throughout his sophomore season, Jodie Meeks
is having an absolutely outstanding junior year. Going from averaging a meager 8.8 points per game last season, he has nearly tripled his scoring average to 24.2 points per contest. Equally as impressive is the substantial improvement that he has shown across the board in the areas of field goal percentage (+15%), three point percentage (+10%), and free throw percentage (+11%).
Meeks is a bit on the small side for a shooting guard at only 64, and is not an exceptionally long player. Powerfully built, he owns very nice strength for a guard, but is not an elite athlete by any stretch. His lack of size, length, and athleticism will likely hurt him when evaluating how his physical tools may translate to the next level as an NBA draft prospect.
The bread and butter of the juniors game is unquestionably his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. He is comfortable both coming off of screens and shooting from a standstill, getting the ball off with relative ease and doing a nice job of reading what the defense gives him. Meeks shot is fluid with a nice release, also having legit range beyond the NBA three point arc. He has established himself as arguably the top shooter in the SEC (along with Arkansas sniper Rotnei Clarke) and one of the elite shooters in the entire NCAA with his performance thus far this season. He currently ranks 3rd amongst all prospects in our database in 3-pointers made, and is the 12th best shooting guard in true shooting percentage.
Aside from Jodies ability to shoot the ball, his offensive game is fairly limited. He struggles to create separation off of the dribble, only possessing an average first step. Not coincidentally, he settles for a number of tough pull-up jumpers, though he very often makes them. The swingmans limited ball-handling skills dont particularly help him in this area either, as you will rarely see him get all the way to the rim in half court situations.
On the defensive end, there is a considerable amount of improvement that needs to be made if hes to see minutes in the NBA. He is not incredibly quick laterally, and often finds himself completely out of position on this end of the hardwood. Meeks does a very nice job of getting in the passing lanes and creating deflections, although this is primarily due to his tendency to gamble so much defensively. This is an area of his game that he will need to work on considerably before he takes his game to the next level.
Meeks statistical production at the highest level of college basketball and perimeter shooting ability are two things that immediately make him a player to keep an eye on. Though he isnt an elite draft prospect, he is certainly a player who will certainly be scrutinized by NBA teams. Should the NBA not work out, he is likely to have a very successful career in Europe, where his skills might be better appreciated.