Gillispie says Cats must move on without Meeks

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky will be without its top outside
shooter for at least a month after guard Jodie Meeks was diagnosed
with a stress fracture.
Meeks suffered the injury to his pelvic area when he fell to the
ground during an exhibition game against Seattle. He started but
was ineffective in two regular-season games after that.
"If you've ever had an abdominal muscle pull or anything in the
core area, it's tough," coach Billy Gillispie said Wednesday.
"Sometimes you can't even move your body a particular way, much
less try to practice."
Gillispie said Meeks is expected to miss four to six weeks. The
injury is a huge blow to the Wildcats, who already are without
point guard Derrick Jasper, still recovering from offseason knee
surgery.
With the two guards out, senior Joe Crawford - a starter last
year under former coach Tubby Smith - could return to the lineup,
although Gillispie didn't commit to that. Freshman Alex Legion also
figures to get more playing time.
Last year, Meeks was usually the first player off the bench for
Smith, often providing a spark from 3-point range. He averaged 22
minutes and nine points, and reached double-digit scoring 16 times.
He averaged a team-leading 22.5 points in exhibition wins over
Pikeville and Seattle this season before struggling in the regular
season, averaging seven points and shooting just 1-of-6 from
3-point range.
Kentucky hosts Liberty next Wednesday in its first game since it
was upset by Gardner-Webb last week.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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