Tag:Tyler Zeller
Posted on: February 11, 2012 6:30 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2012 7:02 pm
 

Offended by Roy's suicide story? Not me

Williams and the Tar Heels bounced back with a win over Virginia Saturday afternoon. (Getty Images)

By Gary Parrish


The North Carolina Tar Heels cruised Saturday to a 70-52 victory over Virginia that helped put behind them Wednesday's crushing loss to Duke, you know, that loss in which Tyler Zeller missed free throws, scored on his own team and let Austin Rivers bury a jumper at the buzzer.

This win over Virginia was good.

But that loss to Duke was really bad.

It was so bad Roy Williams was asked Saturday how Zeller handled it.

A portion of the coach's answer quickly made its way around Twitter and other social media sites.

"We had a chance to visit and [Zeller] said I was one of the few guys who could make him laugh," Williams said, according to an audio clip provided to CBSSports.com by Inside Carolina's Dijana Kunovac. "I asked him Thursday night when I called him late, I said 'Are you thinking about getting the knives out and slicing your wrist?' He said 'Maybe.' I said, 'Well if you're gonna do that then call me and I'll come do it with you.' I told him my son would want to know it first so he could change the will and get control of everything. He liked that statement, too."

Roy Williams slicing wrist audio

But some fans didn't like that statement at all. To them, this was good 'ol Roy -- the same coach who once compared a losing streak to the earthquake in Haiti -- sticking his big 'ol foot in his big 'ol mouth, but I can't be outraged. And those of you who are probably need to relax a little.

I mean, the man was just joking.

Have we really reached the point where jokes aren't allowed?

All I ever hear are people bemoaning the idea that our sports lack real characters. We say we hate coachspeak then attack those who try not to deliver it, and that seems dumb. So let the record show that I have no issue with Williams' story ... and, yes, I realize suicide is a serious issue.

I've had friends commit suicide.

I've had friends survive suicide attempts.

Guns. Pills. Razors-to-wrists. We all have stories.

Suicide is a very serious and sad thing. I can't imagine what it must be like to reach a point where ending your life seems like a better option than continuing it. But trainwrecks are serious, too. And people have died that way, too. And yet I sat at the KFC Yum! Center last Monday watching Louisville dismantle Connecticut while folks publicly described the Huskies as a "trainwreck," and I don't remember anybody reminding the world that it's not funny to joke about trainwrecks. Because it's just a term we use to make a point. Everybody basically understands this. It's fine.

Raise your hand if you've never joked around and said the words, "Man, I'd rather die than do that."

Raise your hand if you've never shaped your fingers like a gun and pointed them at yourself.

Raise your hand if you've never typed the letters KYS.

My guess is that most reading this have done at least one of those things, and I bet most didn't mean any of it literally. You don't really mean you'd rather die than eat black olives, you wouldn't really put your finger under your chin if it were a loaded gun, and you don't really want a Facebook friend to kill himself. Those are just expressions designed to make points, and that's all Williams was trying to do Saturday. He was just trying to make a point about how devastating that loss to Duke was to he and Zeller and UNC in general, and I thought he made the point rather well.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Goodman Preseason Tour: Thoughts from UNC

By Jeff Goodman

Now that I've returned home and had an opportunity to catch my breathe from my Preseason Tour, I'll try and run through my thoughts from each practice I attended. I've already done so for Ohio State.

Here are my thoughts and observations from North Carolina - where I was for Midnight Madness:

1) Harrison Barnes will pick up where he left off last season and then some. The Tar Heels sophomore has that swagger back and while he isn't exploding to the basket, he's certainly more assertive. He's also far more comfortable playing with his buddy and roommate, Kendall Marshall.

Season tips Nov. 7
2) Speaking of Marshall, his perimeter shot has improved. That, along with his quickness, were the areas of focus this past offseason. However, Marshall's most important attributes will continue to be making his teammates' lives easier and also leading this team vocally. I wouldn't be surprised if he leads the nation in assists and also averages double-figures this season in scoring.

3) It'll be interesting to see which one of Reggie Bullock or P.J. Hairston emerge. Both are terrific perimeter shooters - arguably among the Top 50 in the nation - but Bullock has the edge - when healthy - because he's further along defensively.

4) James Michael McAdoo may come along slowly since he has been on the mend due to tendinitis for a month or so. The positive is that, barring an injury to one of the frontline guys, McAdoo will be a piece this season. A damn good piece. Then he will turn into a star as a sophomore.

5) Dexter Strickland will be a huge key for this team and its national title hopes. He's a glue guy, but his perimeter shot appears to be more consistent - and his ability to run the team has improved as well. He will likely split his time between both backcourt spots, but the critical component for Strickland will come on the defensive end where he'll need to become a lock-down defender.

6) John Henson's offensive game is a work in progress. He's still raw on that end of the floor, but I still say he's as important on the defensive end as just about anyone in the country due to his length and ability to both block and alter shots.

7) Tyler Zeller is vastly underrated and is also the biggest beneficiary (Barnes is a close second) of Marshall and his floor game. Zeller, one of the best big man "runners" in the country, should be the recipient of a couple fastbreak baskets per game from the pure point guard.

8) Leslie McDonald said he hasn't ruled out playing this season, but it appears far-fetched. He tore his ACL this past summer in a Pro-Am game and said there's a chance he could be back on the court shortly after the New Year. My guess is he winds up redshirting.

9) Spent some time with ex-Tar Heels Tyler Hansbrough and Bobby Frasor. Psycho T is completely healthy after a brutal offseason a year ago in which he wasn't cleared to do anything - and Frasor is trying to break into college coaching.

10) Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes need ping pong lessons.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:51 pm
 

North Carolina trio made right decision - for now

By Jeff Goodman

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller were on the court, acting, well, like college kids.

They were performing the annual dances that have become a staple at North Carolina's Midnight Madness.

However, they could as well have been in the stands, sitting next to Vince Carter and Raymond Felton, waiting for the NBA lockout to end.

Barnes, Henson and Zeller all considered leaving Chapel Hill early for the NBA.

But the moment all three opted to return, the Tar Heels became the frontrunners to cut down the nets in New Orleans this April.

"They did make the right decision - for that reason," Felton said following the festivities. "And for the opportunity to do something special."

This group has a different outlook than some that have been tabbed as the unanimous (find me one idiot who doesn't have UNC at No. 1 in the preseason) top team in the country.

Remember, upperclassmen Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Dexter Strickland had endured a year and a half of getting crucified.

Two years ago, the Tar Heels were 20-17.

NIT.

A year ago, they were hammered again - even after the addition of a freshman class which featured Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall.

Until Marshall entered the starting lineup in mid-January.

Then it all changed.

The pieces began to click - and everyone fell in love with the Tar Heels.

No. 1 to start the season, no shortage of accolades.

While the NBA players can only sit and wait.

However, Zeller isn't quite ready to anoint his decision as a success.

Not just yet.

"We'll see at the end of the year whether it was good or bad," he said of the decision to return to Chapel Hill for another go-around.

Zeller is hoping that'll be determined on April 2 in New Orleans.
Posted on: December 28, 2010 3:01 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2010 4:23 pm
 

Kadeem Jack does his best Ty Zeller impression



Posted by Eric Angevine

After the Wear twins departed Chapel Hill, leaving Roy Williams short-handed in the frontcourt, the Tar Heels made a big fuss out of trying to land Kadeem Jack, a relatively raw prospect originally from Trinidad and Tobago. The 6' 9" teen had only played organized ball for three years at the time, but his talent was obvious to observers who caught wind of his performances at Rice High in Queens, NY. Kentucky, Arkansas, Arizona and UConn were also said to be pursuing him, in hopes of getting him in uniform this season.

When both Kentucky and UNC signed junior college big men, Jack opted to go to South Kent prep in Connecticut to work on his nascent game. He also chose to stay closer to home by committing to Mike Rice at Rutgers, where the team was willing to wait for him to come to campus.

After one semester at South Kent, Jack has decided to go ahead and join the Scarlet Knights as a redshirt for the spring semester. Ironically, his role this week was to impersonate the player he would have backed up at Carolina during practice.

"He was Tyler Zeller today ," Mike Rice told Jerry Carino of New Jersey Hoops Haven. "Instead of having a 6-foot-2 walk-on (be the 10th man), he was out there running the floor and rebounding. He adds things to our scout team that you really usually don’t have, especially with nine scholarship athletes."

If you're looking for the immediate impact of Jack's decision to leave prep school and head to Piscataway, try this on for size: Rice inherited a smallish team, and has been forced to use current freshman Gil Biruta as his primary inside player. Biruta is growing into the role quite nicely , but imagine how much better he'll get by going up against Jack in practice.

Biruta will face a lot of legit post players in the Big East, and it can only help with preparation if he faces one in scrimmages as well. In addition, when things get tough this season for the Knights -- and they will -- players, coaches and fans alike can daydream about the more potent Biruta/Jack frontcourt their team will field next season.
 
 
 
 
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