By Danny Cox
Name: Dwight Meikle #23
Weight: 210 lbs.
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
The Hampton Pirates were fortunate enough to grab one of the final spots in 2015 NCAA Tournament, and they'll take on Manhattan for the right to advance to the Second Round. If they do, they'll have quite possibly one of the biggest tests that any team has ever faced and it will be the undefeated and No. 1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
Junior guard Dwight Meikle needs to continue the dominance and great play that he has shown this entire season for the Pirates to possibly get past Kentucky. First though, they're going to need to get past Manhattan and make it past the First Round.
Coming into college at Hampton, Meikle sat out his true freshman season in 2011-12 and was redshirted. Upon coming off the bench in his redshirt freshman season, Meikle immediately made an impact and ended up playing in 31 games that season for the Pirates. Before the season was over, he had started 18 of them and averaged 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
As a sophomore, it was obvious that there was still some learning to do for Meikle as his numbers dropped a little.
He played in 31 games for the Pirates as a sophomore, but started just one time. His minutes dropped a bit and it seemed like Meikle may have fallen from the graces a bit. No, that wasn't the case. Hampton just has a lot of talent and it's hard to spread that out, and players need to truly separate themselves from the rest of the pack to rise to the top.
That's what Dwight Meikle has done this season.
As a junior, he leads the team with 13 points per game while averaging almost 28 minutes per contest as well. The young guard is also shockingly leading the team in rebounding with 7.5 per game as there isn't a place on the floor that you won't see him.
Meikle getting inside and mixing it up with the centers and forwards is nothing new. In 2013, he had a career-high six blocked shots against Virginia. He can get inside and pull down a rebound just as quick as he can head outside to hit a three.
That is the kind of versatility that Hampton needs from its players to advance in the NCAA Tournament, and Meikle brings leadership as well. His leadership qualities show in that many times, he ends up coming off of the bench, yet still chalks up so many minutes per game.
Hampton needs that and they've shown improvement this year by coming out and doing what needed to be done to get into the Big Dance. Even with a record of 16-17, they are just the ninth team since 2000 to enter the NCAA Tournament with a losing record.
They have great history, though. Back in 2001, Hampton was one of just seven 15-seed teams to upset a number two seed when they beat Iowa State. If they get past Manhattan, is it possible that they could be a 16th seed to defeat a No. 1 seed?
That's exactly what will happen if Dwight Meikle has anything to say about it.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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