I wonder if it's in his head that there's a chance he could jump to the NBA after THIS season, and therefore now is the optimum time for him to come back? I know it sounds far-fetched, but stranger things have happened. The team is poised to make a deep tournament run, which is the best exposure a player can have. Next year's team will also be good, but I can't imagine them being better than this year's. I'm always amazed when NBA teams draft a guy based on one or two good games in the tournament, ignoring his play from the entire season... but that seems to be the way it is. So really all he'd have to do is have a couple of big games in March and everyone will be saying that he's phenomenal, and that the reason he didn't do more is that he was injured and then playing behind Hansborough. He seems to have the physical tools and the potential, so I bet people would tell him he has the potential to be drafted. From this standpoint, it makes sense for him to come back right now.
Frankly, having watched his brother play at ND, I never expected TZ to be an impact player. Based upon his play early this year, it is not unreasonable to see him going pro in a year or two. UNC is better with TZ available, and Roy is a good enough coach to take advantage of his return.
It also should be mentioned that by all accounts he is a fantastic student and will graduate in four years. The idea of sticking around to play basketball after when you can get paid a lot of money to play basketball elsewhere probably is less appealing to someone with a degree than it might be to someone who is still a student. Old fashioned, I know.
He's a very talented kid and I think that to assume he's going to be a four year player is unfounded.
He's a 7 footer who can run the floor, play either the perimeter or the low post and is a good passer and shooter. If he stays four years, I think it will be because he decides he wants to, ala Tim Duncan, not because he wouldn't be drafted high.
Having said all that, if I were Roy, I'd advise against coming back this season, but if he's set on it and is completely healthy, I'm fine with letting Tyler decide for himself.
If some NBA team threw enough money at him, and is willing to wait to be paid off, who knows?
I really don't think he's thinking this year, just not staying all four.
He has to know he needs to get stronger. He has only played two games since high school, after all.
Leaving the decision to the kid and his family was the smart thing to do.
Can you imagine RW telling him "you can't be a part of this team" when he really wanted to be?
Or imagine RW saying "this might not be in your best interest as a player, but we need you to make a run at the NC".
Last edited by Wheat/"/"/"; 02-18-2009 at 06:14 PM. Reason: sp
After watching TZ tonight, it's pretty clear he's way behind mentally on the floor and looked rusty physically too.
It happened in the 2005-2006 season with Villanova. They had their best team in years (Allen Ray, Randy Foye) and Curtis Sumpter blew out his knee in October. They had a legitimate shot to make a run at the final four with Sumpter... without Sumpter they were extremely guard-heavy. It was somewhat different for Sumpter because it was his senior year and he had a questionable future playing basketball. He ended up taking the medical redshirt and coming back to play his senior year with a much worse Villanova team.
As a coach I think you have to advise the player to sit the year out but let him make the final decision. You can say Zeller isn't a 4-year player, but really we've only seen him play 2 games. Before the season started everyone was saying Plumlee was gonna start at center for Duke! A lot can change during a players freshman year. He's basically had one good game, and it was against an Ivy League team. As we have all seen, it's a lot different playing in the paint in the ACC than it is against lesser teams.
I thought you guys were cleaning up the boards? Why is this rambling thread about a UNC player allowed when a good portion of constructive criticism of the Duke team is deleted all together?
I'll just echo the sentiment that if Zeller isn't going to stay 4 years in the first place (and it doesn't look like he will) then saving eligibility is really a non-issue. They have a chance to (and really should) win it all this year, so why not?
Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.
You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner
You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke
(Not that I'm a mod, but I don't see what this would have to do with a crackdown on critical posts/posts that don't add anything to the discussion)
This answers your question. I just saw Zeller appear in the Unc vs. NC State game.
"Every day, I wake up and tell myself 'I'm a basketball player.' But that's not who I really am. I'm just a fun-loving kid who just happens to play basketball." -Nolan Smith