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GREATEST….PERFORMANCE….EVER


Its not that he scored 54, although that number is amazing. It broke the all-time UK scoring record that no old-timer ever believed could be touched. It was the most points by a UK player ever, but it was also eight more points than a few weeks ago when Jodie scored the most points since 1970. In fact, only Melvin Turpin’s two games in the 80s have seen a UK player get more than 42. Add to that the fact that it was (1) the most points by a college player in a game that ended in regulation in over a DECADE, (2) the most points by a player at a BCS school in regulation since the early 90s and (3) the most points in the SEC since Chris Jackson (only the greatest shooter I have ever seen) in 1989, and well…..it is almost unfathomable the amount of points he scored.

Its also not that he hit ten three pointers, breaking a school record. That number is amazing however, especially when you consider the names that have shot threes at this school. Derrick Miller, Tony Delk, Travis Ford, Tayshaun Prince, Keith Bogans, etc could all light it up. But Tony Delk became the first to hit double digit threes in a game….and in so doing, broke his OWN RECORD, which he held with Delk. Those threes are the most for an SEC player since Jackson and there could have been another, had his foot not been on the line.

Its not that he shot 60% from the field in breaking the scoring record. Jodie didnt force shots in order to try and set a scoring record or make stupid plays outside of the flow of the offense. Rather, he took shots when open and had 8 rebounds and 4 assists as part of his performance. There was never a point in the game when you said, “oh come on Jodie, you should pass.” In fact, I actually was calling for him to shoot it more, especially during Tennessee’s second half run. Meeks didnt have a Steph Curry, “shoot it until it starts going in” performance. Rather he put on an offensive clinic on how to get open, shoot with perfect form and watch the ball touch nothing but net. One for the ages.

Even though all those feats are impressive, that isnt what made this such a special night in my eyes. No, the reason this is the greatest performance ever is that Meeks did it on the road, on national television against Tennessee. No one has to tell UK fans that the Vols are always a big game due to the local rivalry. But add to it the fact that the Vols were the favorites in the SEC, had won the last two in Knoxville and were beating their chests about passing the Cats as kings of the SEC. Then with Kentucky needing a signature win on national television, ready to make a statement on the road and wanting to showcase their improvement, the game in Knoxville was huge for the program. For Meeks to do it on that stage, in a hostile environment and with all the pressure of a defense focused in on him…..well there has never been one better.

Dan Issel’s accomplishments were great and yes, he did them before the three point line. But he also played on a top-flight team and in his 53 point game, scored 53 out of 120 points, a little over 43 percent of the points. Jodie scored 54 out of 90, around 60 percent of the points. Goose Givens scored 41 in a national championship game and that should by no means be discounted. There is no greater stage and his performance catapulted the Cats to a banner, not just an SEC road win. But as great as these accomplishments were, Jodie Meeks’ night still tops the list. With a strong rival opponent on the road, Meeks combined point output, team success and national stage greater than any player that has worn the UK jersey has ever done. In so doing, he produced the greatest individual performance in UK history.

Jodie Meeks…..welcome to UK lore.

Article written by Matt Jones

58 responses to “GREATEST….PERFORMANCE….EVER”

  1. slappy

    Simply amazing. I never thought I’d see a Dan Issel scoring record broken. How could that night have been any more perfect for UK Basketball?

    MJ, what’s the name of that columnist that you butted heads with at the SEC Tourney? Doesn’t he write for the AJC now? Couldn’t remember his name, but I’d like to see his thoughts on the state of the program and if he thinks Billy G is in over his head now.

  2. Pokey Chapman

    What is it, 35 free throws in a row now. I say he breaks that consecutive record too. I am happy for the league. Lots of negative talk and no respect, this was the kind of national pub the SEC badly needed. I am also happy that Hopson’s Mom got to come over and enjoy the show.

  3. ukworm

    Every time i watched the highlight on sportscenter it makes me mad that those fools in Tennessee will STILL play rocky top no matter what happens. Oh you just got embarrassed on national TV lets play rocky top?!? why lol As good as he was last night I think he has another 40+ in him for this season. I hope I get to watch it when I go to the Auburn game.

  4. RKA

    I LOVE BEATING UT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ENOUGH SAID!!!!!

  5. BillyClyde4President

    In all honesty, I believe Meeks is the best shooter to ever play at UK and that’s including Tony Delk. Meeks gets that look on his face and there’s not a whole lot anyone can do about it. Reminds me a lot of Dwayne Wade and his ability to single handedly take over a game. Unreal performance and I’m certain I won’t see that record broken in any of our lifetimes.

  6. uksbiggestfan

    it was truly beautiful! this is a day many thought we would never see, but skip bayless just said he couldn’t go to sleep last night after the game b/c he was so jazzed up! he defended Jodie very well against stephen a smith and right before they cut to a commercial he said “remember what i said”, and that is something i thought i’d never see, skip not being a douche bag!UK#1

  7. soup

    I can’t wait to see what kind of ovation he gets from the fans next home game. I’ll be standing and cheering for several minutes. Committee 101 may have to sit me down. I expect the Rupp crowd to give Jodie his due.

  8. DavidEShelton

    #1 the idiot writer among
    others on the AJC is Mark
    Bradley.

    Posters on KY Ink are reporting
    Liggins walked out on practice.
    Any confirmation on this?

  9. GoCats2010

    I am kicking myself for not going to this game. I did nothing in Lexington all day yesterday. I had been debating it but decided not to go. It would’ve been the perfect “back to class” present for myself.

    that was incredible to watch. I especially liked the half time announcer saying that for UK to keep their lead, Meeks may need to score 52 (after his 26 in the 1st half).

    Jodie Meeks is better than you!

  10. drewky

    from deadspin:

    Scott Van Pelt is CAT-CRAZY. He posted this on a UK message board last night:

    ….I had to mention you on the show because I saw there were 5,000 + of you on here. Love the passion.I recall how bitter you were when we lead the show with VMI. As I think I explained that night, you all will ALWAYS be news because of who you are.We weren’t “anti-Kentucky” that night or “on the bandwagon” tonight.You are KENTUCKY which, as I said on the show, puts you on the short list with UCLA, Kansas, IU, Duke and Carolina for all time programs. When something like VMI happens, we are going to lead with it. When a player establishes a new scoring record at a school with all your history, we are going to lead with it. Pretty simple.As a hoop fan, I enjoyed it because I think Meeks is fantastic and I love how he carries himself.SEC is wide open ..good luck the rest of the way.I’ll drop in from time to time to say hey – I know ESPN sucks, or so I read, but I have developed a think skin. I know it’s all rooted in a passion for sports that I share.Y’all be easy. SVP

  11. segdirb1

    Oh… so sweet! It feels great being a UK fan this morning. It might be petty but it felt so good having old UK recruits such as Maze and Hopson wearing orange last night. Did Porter out play Maze?? YEAH HE DID!! It was just sad watching Hopson chase Meeks around. Really, it was something special…

    What a game! Now I can’t wait for Florida!!

  12. Hoop Fiend

    Somebody in Big Blue Nation will know this, but no one in my part of Western KY seems to….. Who is the Smokin’ Hott Blonde that sits right behind the bench at every Vols’ Home Basketball game? Please don’t honestly tell me it is the girl Bruce is giving the Pearl necklace to.

  13. RKA

    This will not be the last time Mr Meeks is going to put up huge numbers. Just wait until the CATS paly an SEC team that is not picked to win the SEC. A lower tier team might get 70 put on them. Jodie is in a groove and will stay their as long as his teammates let him.

    I am not much of a trash talker but what do you say to a guy that puts 54 on you in your house? How can you still continue to talk junk to someone that has done that?

  14. DireStraits

    It was a GREAT performance and one that will live in UK lore forever. However, the performance by The Goose against Duke to win the National Championship is the greatest performance by a UK player ever.

  15. UTCATFAN

    What Happened to the Van Pelt Thread????

  16. clydes_shadow

    Watching Jodie last night, as incredible as the performance was, I didn’t have that feeling of oh man
    he’s out of his mind and everything he throws up is going in. He seemed so in control and comfortable
    while not forcing anything. He is now a legitimate dual threat on offense. Crowd him and he drives
    around you to the basket scoring or getting fouled. Back off him and he’s deadly. His shooting form,
    unlike Tony Delk who has been mentioned several times, is a thing of beauty. I believe Jodie Meeks is
    capable of throwing up performances like this on any given night with the consistency that he shows.
    Unless a team has a straight lock down defender or commits to throwing multiple people at him, we may
    see more performances like this. Not saying he’s going to throw up 50 every night, but………

  17. BillyClyde4President

    Too bad Mr. Wildcat didn’t see this. I would have loved to seen him on the sidelines with that big smile on his face. RIP

    UK Player Points Season

    Jodie Meeks 54 2008-09
    Dan Issel 53 1969-70
    Dan Issel 51 1969-70
    Cliff Hagan 51 1953-54
    Bob Burrow 50 1955-56
    Dan Issel 47 1969-70
    Jodie Meeks 46 2008-09
    Dan Issel 44 1969-70

  18. DanIsselisnotimpressed

    ESPN has just deemed last nights game an “INSTANT CLASSIC” and will replay the game on ESPN Classic at 6:00 tonight. How is that for getting the Big Blue back into the national spotlight?

  19. MIDDAY

    My new favorite Vol is T’aintem.

  20. tmark

    don’t overlook the rebounds, assists and defense. great, great performance but i still say goose givens’ national championship performance was bigger because it won the national title.

  21. Thomas Beisner

    I agree. This performance was so impressive, it made everyone completely forget about the game. You hear nearly no mention today that UK has established themselves as the favorite in the SEC or that they played a complete basketball game.

    What Jodie Meeks did was so amazing, it rendered the outcome of what might be the most important game of the year completely unimportant.

  22. drewster

    Meek’s accomplishment was spectacular and record breaking and awesome and I’m really glad I witnessed it, but come on Matt… there’s no comparison to the stage that is the national championship game. What Givens did was more impressive and way more significant to the history of UK basketball. If Meeks does something similar deep in the NCAA tourney, then I might change my mind.

  23. drewky

    Someone send Van Pelt a UK calendar.

  24. 1kyfan

    #18, I think it is on ESPNU at 4:30 this afternoon also unless they have changed the schedule…

  25. H-townkyfan

    This is exactly what our basketball program needed!! It finally put some eyes BACK on Ky basketball for the first time in a LONG time!!

  26. 1kyfan

    Also, watching the game last night in HD was out of this world. The Raycom telecasts seems like from the 1980’s vs watching the cats in HD…

  27. NashvilleCats

    I thought we deserved to be ranked most of this season when you look at the teams ranked in the 20-25 range. However, we have been unranked for so long, we needed something spectacular to bring attention back to UK basketball and get us back in the minds of the voters. I think last night was just what the doctor ordered.

    On a side note, is anyone else completely shocked by how insignificant Hopson is for UT? He went to a school that should have played right to his strengths (fast paced, high flying, no defense) and he’s still doing nothing. Maybe he’ll prove to be a good player in the future, but maybe BCG was right about that one.

  28. crazzedcats22

    Givens 41 was better…Meeks and Issel have to be tied right behind him

  29. kp2020

    Without a doubt the most amazing performance I’ve seen in my lifetime.
    Just a couple typical UK fan questions.
    1)Where was Liggins?
    2)Why are the passwords for wordpress so jacked up?

  30. ukmoxie

    Meeks stepped to the line with 4 minutes, 11 seconds to play.

    He swished the first and offered a news update to Maze, who stood along the lane watching.

    “Fifty.”

    $$MONEY$$

  31. MIDDAY

    Yes…

    1) Where was Liggins?
    2) Will we be ranked if we beat GA?

  32. DanIsselisnotimpressed

    25-I believe it will be played back to back 3:30 espnu and 6:00 espnclassic. Isnt it nice to have the national media talk about UK “in a good way” again. I love it that the cats are the lead story on sportscenter and the headline on espn.com. Not bad for recruiting either huh?

  33. ukcats07

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=290113023

    So Keith Bogans helped set another 3 point record last night.

  34. drewster

    23 — Well… I guess your original comments could be interpreted in different ways. When I think of “Greatest”, I think in terms of game significance, opponent, what is on the line, pressure, points scored, rebounds, etc… Don’t get me wrong, Meeks deserves to be in that elite catagory… I just would rank it second.

  35. YourMomGoes2college

    Matt, edit your second paragraph

  36. Brink

    32
    1 On the bench
    2 Yes

  37. SlickRick48

    What does portersheadband have to say about Jodie performance? B, B+?

  38. kevinlw1974

    And to think I almost didn’t go to the game. When I am 80 I’ll still be saying, “I was there when…” Freaking awesome!

  39. flipisatrip

    http://dimemag.com/2009/01/jodie-meeks-goes-off-for-54-points/

    mostly an NBA site, but giving Jodie some love

  40. Mojo Wilkins

    I’m getting married just so I can one day have grandkids to tell about the night Jodie Meeks hung 54 on the Vols.

  41. cityoflights

    Meeks is good but what’s up with Lindley?

  42. YourMomGoes2college

    I was sitting there watching raycom in a bar in Phoenix the other day when UK beat up on Vandy, People sitting there were like…”whats wrong with this TV” “Can we put the game on another TV”. I had to explain to the people it wasn’t the TV is effin Raycom’s Sorry cheap shit

  43. RodStiffington

    Will someone please tie Ryan Parker to his couch before he writes a song about Jodie and turns the whole thing gay.

  44. drewster

    Btw… and this may have been mentioned already, but did anyone notice on the ESPN broadcast that every time Jimmy Dykes said something about UK not turning the ball over, UK TURNED THE BALL OVER!? Man, I wanted to reach through the screen and shut him up!

  45. ukbball9698

    As much as Jodie’s performance was truly AMAZING, and on the road against rival UT at that, I can’t say that I’m more impressed or would rather see Meeks get 54 against UT than see Jack “Goose” Givens get 41 to WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. And THAT was on a VERY TALENTED UK team!! There is NO BIGGER STAGE than that, and Givens ALSO did so without the benefit of the 3-point shot.
    GO JODIE!! GO UK!!! Now…LET’S DO IT IN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP…oe at LEAST “FINAL FOUR” 🙂

  46. CAnTuckeeBoi

    Was it just me or did anyone else notice the little shi grin that Scotty Hopson had on his face for the first 5 minutes of the game?

    I dont guess it really matters if he came here or not. The only difference is that here he would be sitting behind a man that puts up 54 where is there he is sitting behind a fellow freshman…….

    As for BMaze all I can say is now that gas prices have dropped, that Range Rover is looking awful nice!!!

  47. The King

    Does anyone have a link to a video showing Jodie look at Maze saying “fifty”?

  48. monstermash

    Jodie Meeks Facebook group has 160 more members just today haha, I wonder why http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?sid=061a35d86c34771187d0b89e867ace51&gid=2227296145

  49. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS

    #43YourMomGoes2college—Do you live in Phoenix? Chandler AZ here.

  50. IkeDaddyUK

    23/35–I’d say that Givens’ 41 is the most significant performance ever due to the stage, etc. Meeks is the greatest ever simply because he scored the most points in carrying a less-talented team to a victory against a rival on the road.

    My basis for the decision is Wilt’s 100 and Kobe’s 82 were the greatest performances ever in the NBA and happened during the regular season. I can think of Jordan and Bird getting 60+ in playoff performances, which would be more significant.

    There’s my two cents.

  51. DireStraits

    23 – I guess it is all in how you define greatest.

    Jodie did it against good competition, on a national stage, in a very important game.

    Jack did it against the best competition, on the biggest possible college bball stage, in THE most important game.

    My vote still goes to The Goose, but that should take nothing away from Jodie’s accomplishment. It was an awe-inspiring, breathtaking, loss for words, incredible performance that we are not likely to see again for a LONG time. I love Jodie and think he is not only a great player but a great ambassador for the program.

  52. BA40

    Did Matt just say “all the pressure of the defense” in reference to Tennessee? Can that be right?

    I know we are focusing on a great performance right now, but when do we get to the news of why Liggins didn’t play? I’ve heard he walked out of the walk-through, but that isn’t something I am confident in putting out there as fact.

  53. YourMomGoes2college

    50) Actually I live in Myrtle Beach, SC. My Girlfriend has a house in Phoenix, we just go there from time to time to check up on things and visit her friends and family. Is Chandler pretty close to Phoenix?

  54. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS

    #54–southeast part of the metro area. Just south of (connected to) Tempe and Mesa. It is equal to you flying into the airport and then driving to Scottsdale, only to the south instead of north.

  55. jcat28

    (22)Granted Goose did it in a national championship game,but it was several points less and in a different era of basketball. What Meeks did last night was more spectacular. Were talking about greatest individual performance of all time.

  56. Grits Gurgler

    Jodie was incredible but…

    Better than Ickabod McCoy in the 1891 Barnyard Classic? I think not Jones!

  57. PK

    I think this meeks game overshadowed this (for good reason), but does anyone know if liggins got one minute or why didn’t play much???