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Notes from the SEC Coaches Teleconference

It’s Monday, which means the SEC basketball teleconference. Obviously, the hot topic in terms of UK was another stellar performance from Jodie “Don’t call me Yodie” Meeks.

Here are a few notes:

Billy Gillispie

– Clyde said that Vandy is “a nice team” and that with Ogilvy back and their young players playing well, they’re starting to come on strong.  He said that they’re gaining steam and the Cats will have to match their intensity.

– Gillispie also said that he thinks the SEC is good despite what others are saying nationwide and that style of play has something to do with it.  Gillispie said that SEC teams “don’t have two 6’10, 270 pound guys playing on the blocks”, but the guard play and everyone’s ability to spread opponents out and knock down threes is as good as he’s ever seen.  He added that as the season continues to play out, the teams will get the credit they deserve and that it will all show up in the post-season.

– It wasn’t a Jeanine Edwards situation, but Clyde got a little testy with Mick Elliott of Tampa Tribune after Elliott asked Gillispie about it being a challenging year for the SEC this year.  Gillispie gave the above answer and Elliott said “I was asking about how tough it is for the coaches” and Gillispie got irritated and retorted with a couple of “Sir?” responses.  Then, he flashed back to Clyde v. Jeanine II with a “I don’t know what you want me to answer” dipped in sarcasm before giving the coach-speak answer of “It’s always challenging to be a coach”.  Well played by Clyde.

– He said that Patrick Patterson remains day-to-day and nothing has changed

– However, he did say this time off has helped Patterson’s finger heal.  Clyde said “it wasn’t getting any better” and the time off has been very (he said it twice) helpful in getting some treatments on that injured finger.

Kevin Stallings

– Stallings said that Jodie Meeks is playing as anyone in the country and despite all the media attention for Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin, he can’t imagine that anyone is having a better season than Jodie Meeks.

– Stallings said that it’s “foolish” to not give Meeks the utmost attention on defense, but it’s important to not do it at the expense of leaving other guys open. He also said that if Patrick Patterson doesn’t play, it won’t change what they want to do defensively.

– He said he wasn’t sure how Meeks only had 21 points the first time the two teams played.  He said it was more of him not making shots than them doing anything to stop him and joked that he was “saving them for Tennessee when they really needed them”.

– Stallings was very impressed with where Kentucky is now, but mostly on the defensive end.  He called them a “very good” defensive team and cited their shot-blocking as well as strong individual and team defense as areas they are succeeding in.  He said a coach has to worry a lot about stopping Meeks and Patterson, but scoring on UK’s defense deserves just as much focus.

– When asked about what he remembers from the drubbing of UK last year in Nashville, Stallings said “that we won” and then said “last year doesn’t help this year”.

Billy Donovan

– Donovan thought the Gators did a good job of defending Meeks until the last 3 or 4 minutes and compared him to Devan Downey and Chris Lofton for the way he can will the ball to go in the basket.

– He said that Jodie is doing a great job and having an unbelievable season, but a lot of credit should go to Gillispie for putting him in the situation of being able to score a lot.  He said Meeks is not doing it on his own and a lot of his scoring is because he’s using the good screens his teammates are setting out of the sets Gillispie has them running.  He added that Jodie is the best guy he’s seen in a long time go from 0-60 off of a screen and his explosiveness in that area is what is getting him the good looks.  Then he added that he thinks its funny that people are concerned he isn’t scoring enough when he gets 19 or 20 points.

– When Donovan was asked about stopping Patterson and Meeks, he said it’s tough because if you focus on them, other players can beat you.  He called Perry Stevenson “the unsung hero” of the team and added that Michael Porter is dangerous enough that you can’t help off of him too much because he’ll knock down threes.  He went on to call the Cats a “good scoring team because everyone knows their role”.

Bruce Pearl

– Pearl said that he didn’t see what Jodie did this week but it’s nice to see him killing someone else instead of Tennessee.  Like Donovan, he credited the entire team for Meeks’ performance saying that the whole team is great at getting him open and finding him when he is.  He said that “if he sees it, he makes it” and then said he thinks Meeks is definitely a candidate for National Player of the Year.

 – The question about Meeks from Jerry Tipton was the only one asked of Pearl this week and he again hung up without saying “thanks” or “goodbye“.  How rude.

Article written by Thomas Beisner