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Meeks declares for NBA draft


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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks will test the NBA waters before deciding whether to return for his senior year.

Meeks will submit his name for the NBA draft but will not hire an agent. He averaged 23.7 points last season — eighth in the country and tops in the Southeastern Conference — and poured in a school-record 54 points in a win over Tennessee in January.

He also led the SEC in 3-point percentage (40.6), 3-pointers per game (3.25) and free-throw percentage (90.2).

Meeks sounded optimistic about coming back last week after the Wildcats hired John Calipari to replace Billy Gillispie following Kentucky's 22-14 season. The Wildcats missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.

"I'm going to give him a fair chance," Meeks said. "He seems like a really good guy and I'm really looking forward to being under his coaching."

The Wildcats had an energetic practice after Calipari's hire, and Meeks could thrive in the dribble-drive offense Calipari used at Memphis. Already one of the top shooters in the country, Meeks became an effective slasher toward the end of the season and made teams pay for fouling him.

Calipari plans to sit down with each player in the coming weeks to discuss his future with the program. Calipari said during his introductory press conference that Kentucky "will not be for every player," but he was mesmerized by Meeks' outburst against the Volunteers.

"You had to watch the Tennessee stuff, because he was out of his mind," Calipari said. "It was exciting to watch."

Meeks has until June 15 to remove his name from the draft and retain his final year of eligibility.

Sophomore Patrick Patterson has remained quiet about his NBA intentions. He said last week that he and Meeks are tempted by the thought of resurrecting the program under Calipari's guidance.

"We always talk about what could be, what could possibly be in the future with Kentucky and with this great coach we have in Calipari right now," he said. "We're just looking forward to it and I'm sure we'll come to a decision soon."

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