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Prospect Profile

Tyler Zeller

  • Full Name: Tyler Zeller
  • Position: Power Forward / Center
  • Height/Weight: 7-0 / 250
  • Birthdate: January 17, 1990
  • College: North Carolina
Dallas Mavericks (Traded to Cleveland Cavaliers) Round 1: Pick 17

* Knows how to score
* Good face-up shooter
* Competitor
* Good speed
* Solid defender
* Good rebounder
* Good free-throw shooter

* Needs to get stronger

NBA projection:
Zeller will be a lottery pick, and though he may never become a team’s No. 1 or No. 2 option, he’s going to have a long, productive career as an important piece of a good team. He’s very capable of averaging 14 points and seven or eight boards for 10 years.

2011-12 Season:
Zeller was chosen the ACC player of the year and a second-team All-American after averaging a double-double in his final season. He was also the first UNC player to win Academic All-America of the Year.

Key statistics:
16.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.9 tpg, 0.9 spg, 1.5 bpg, 28.2 mpg, .553 FG, .808 FT

Cool statistic:
Zeller joins Duke’s Shane Battier (2001) as the only players to win ACC player of the year and Academic All-America of the Year in the same season.

Reminds me of:
Zeller has some Pau Gasol-like skills

What Insiders Say:
North Carolina coach Roy Williams
“Over the course of the season, I think he's the quiet leader. He doesn't say much. But when he does, the kids have a great deal of respect for him. I think they had that at the start of the season. But the way he's conducted himself in practice every day, the way he's played in the games, everything has just been of a positive nature. His attitude, the respect he has from his teammates, there is no question they had a tremendous amount of respect at the start of the year, but I think it's even more so now.”

What Outsiders Say:
Kansas coach Bill Self
“I think the thing that he does as well as any big man in the country is he runs, and he runs every possession.  And Kendall [Marshall] is so good at pitching the ball ahead if he runs. If he runs 25 possessions in a game, he'll get him six points just off of his effort running. That's a huge challenge. And he's big man, too. He's big.  And he's hard to get around, and he's got touch and can score over his left shoulder as well as anybody in the country.”

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
“The kid is a great player and great kid. He never seems to get tired. He has an amazing physical presence. He puts so much pressure on you the way he runs the floor, and inside, he is just a high percentage shooter. He is a great college player, and I think he would be a really good pro too. But I am not a pro coach, so we can all decide on that, but I tell you, he is a great college player. He has had a Player of the Year performance. His team has won the league, and he has shown up every night on a real high level."

-- Profile by Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Follow him @cdortch.

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