clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Zeller Gets The Jonas Treatment

Adam Lucas spotlights Tyler Zeller on Tar Heel Blue and passes along this little nugget concerning Zeller's weight:

He spent the summer correcting some of the more physical details that didn't benefit from an extended layoff. Zeller has gained 30 pounds of muscle since arriving in Chapel Hill in the summer of 2008, and he's corrected a hitch at the top of his shot that contributed to a freshman shooting percentage of 47.2%.

He also spent time on his footwork and athleticism, although his ability to run the court was one of the first factors that attracted Roy Williams during the recruiting process. Zeller's long strides make him the perfect finisher in the Williams tempo. Watching the Indiana native sprint the length of the court, it's hard to imagine he used to despise running drills.

The roster now lists Zeller at 240 pounds which is up 20 pounds over last season. I have no idea what Jonas Sahratian has going on over there but based on the things Marcus Ginyard says on Twitter, it would kill most people. The extra muscle and the fact Zeller is healthy at the start of the season should make him a solid contributor. Zeller employs an effective hook shot and runs the floor extremely well for a big man, something Roy prizes in his post players. The only question I have about Zeller at this point is his defense. He struck me as a bit out of sorts on the defensive end last season which was likely combination of inexperience and the long layoff from the broken wrist. Zeller says he felt "half a second late" when returned in February which is by no means unusual for a player being thrown back into the mix that late in the season. Being seven feet tall, I think it is assumed Zeller will be more of shot blocker. I am not sure that will be the case since shot blocking is more about timing and a nose for the ball rather than sheer height. Still, with the added muscle, Zeller should be more physical in the post and hopefully a better defender.

For UNC, having Zeller step up his game would provide the Heels with a ridiculous level of depth in the interior. We know what Deon Thompson can do and we all have this barely contained excitement over what Ed Davis can do. Having a 3rd post option in Zeller would give the Heels the best frontcourt in the ACC, if not the country.