JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Kennedy Meeks paused and then reiterated himself when reporters struggled to believe him.
"Yeah," he said, "I think he's the best one."
Meeks, a sophomore forward on the North Carolina men's basketball team, nearly stunned reporters Friday afternoon when he told them it would be Bobby Portis, the sophomore forward out of Arkansas, that would end up being the best player he's guarded this year. Not ACC Freshman and Player of the Year Jahlil Okafor out of Duke. Not Syracuse standout Rakeem Christmas, and not Miami 7-footer Tonye Jekiri.
On Saturday night, when the fourth-seeded Tar Heels take on the fifth-seeded Razorbacks at 8:40 p.m., Portis will be Meeks' responsibility, and it could be his biggest test yet.
Portis was named the SEC Player of the Year and is the the Razorbacks' leading scorer and rebounder despite averaging just 29.8 minutes per game. In fewer than 30 minutes per game, he averages 17.5 points and 8.8 rebounds.