If Jodie Meeks keeps this up he's going to need a snazzy nickname. 'Pistol Meeks' would do nicely.
And that Patrick Patterson guy isn't half bad either.
Kentucky's dynamic duo each blistered the Rupp Arena nets for more than 30 points in a 102-58 decimation of Tennessee State. Meeks scored 27 points in the first half on his way to 32 in the game then watched as Patterson poured in 23 after the break while setting a career-high with 33 points.
For those doing the math at home the final scored could have been Patterson/Meeks 65, Tennessee State 55. That'll do in a pinch.
"These are the easiest assists (ever), just throw the ball to the wing and let Jodie shoot it," guard Michael Porter, who had seven dimes, said.
"As you can see (Meeks and Patterson) don't force many shots, they take really good shots, plus they're both really humble so it helps us want to pass the ball to them. They work really hard so it's not like they just come out here and do this."
Meeks exploded over the final 3:02 of the first half, jumping from 13 points to 27 with a flurry of three-pointers that sent the Rupp Arena crowd into a frenzy. By the time he skipped to the locker room he had upped his point totals to 59 in the past two halves of basketball and 73 in the previous three. The seven triples he buried before halftime tied a UK record previously shared by Tayshaun Prince and Derrick Miller for most threes in a single half of basketball and his back-to-back 30-plus point outburst are the first since Miller did so in 1989.
"I thought I saw flames on his fingertips," Patterson said of his roommate and close friend.
Perhaps feeling like he was cloaked in kerosene Meeks did the ultimate heat check, pulling up from just inside the 'U' in the center court logo, a la Prince's bomb against North Carolina in 2001. Alas, it did not go in.
"We did it in practice and he knocked it down," Patterson said. "I was looking at the ball going in the air and it was on target. If you're hot and feeling it you can probably go 30 or 40 feet. You see it in the NBA, Tayshaun did it when he stepped across half court. That's a little play we run, the bigs walk up and screen for Jodie at the top of the key."
Meeks plead ignorance as to how deep he was when he let fly.
"I didn't really know where I was on the court, I think it was a little bit too far out," Meeks said. "It was kind of a heat check. I thought it was going in when I shot it but when it was halfway there it was a little bit to the right."
That was just the opening act. After sticking his eighth three 4:30 into the second half Meeks went about making sure his roommate got a piece of the pie as well. Patterson dominated the interior in the second had, 10 straight UK points in one stretch before capping his night with a one-handed tomahawk dunk on the break that ended in a three-point play. He left to a standing ovation and shared chest bumps with teammates on the bench after converting 15-of-17 shots and adding 11 rebounds for his seventh double double of the season.
"He is Mr. Automatic," guard Kevin Galloway said of Patterson.
At this rate that moniker would be an apt description for both of UK's star players. Meeks has outscored the Cats' opponent in a half three times this season while Patterson raised his field goal percentage to 77.1 percent on the year (91-of-118).
The ease with which it appears the two are churning up defenses has left teammates in awe. The last time two UK teammates reached the 30-point plateau in the same game was Dec. 10, 1975 when Jack Givens (31) and Rick Robey (30) carved up Miami (Ohio) in Memorial Coliseum.
"It makes it a lot easier for us because Jodie is coming off a stagger and that leaves Pat with no help so you can throw it over the top or hit Jodie on that stagger," Galloway said. We were laughing in the locker room about how easy it was to get assists tonight."
Cue those nickname contests, just make it a two-for-one deal.
Matt May is the basketball beat reporter for The Cats' Pause. If you have questions or comments about the Cats e-mail him here.