Talking Tyler Zeller with Carolina March

We caught up with the North Carolina Blog Carolina March for a few minutes to talk Tyler Zeller with the blog manager T.H. Naturally, hedge fund management and sub-six minute miles were discuss. Go here to check out Carolina March and here to follow on Twitter.

Tyler Zeller, the 17th overall pick selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2012 NBA Draft, answers questions during a news conference Friday, June 29, 2012, in Independence, Ohio.StepienRules:  I was impressed by the way Zeller handled himself at his introductory Press Conference. How do you think he’ll adjust to making the transition from college to being a pro from a maturity standpoint?

Carolina March: Maturity-wise, there’s nothing to worry about. In addition to spending four years in the near-professional Carolina program, he interned at a hedge fund last summer and was the 2012 Capital One Academic All-American of the Year. He also overcame two years of fluke injuries in his first two seasons, which will focus your priorities pretty quickly. I don’t expect any problems with his transition.

StepienRules: As far as NBA player comparisons for Zeller go, who / what do you think would be a best case scenario for him in the League? Who would be a worst case?

Carolina March: I’ve never been good at finding similar players to compare a draftee to, but I think his ceiling is something like Carlos Boozer’s career. Worst case scenario, of course, is a freak injury that keeps him from ever taking the court.

StepienRules: Why should Cavs fans be excited about Tyler Zeller?

Carolina March: He runs the floor like few big men I’ve seen.

StepienRules: Do you think Zeller should’ve been Drafted higher, later, or is 17th overall right about where you expected he’d go?

Carolina March: That sounds about right. This year’s draft had so many players that were hard to place and a few GMs that seemed intent on defying the conventional wisdom that anywhere from 10th to the end of the first round wouldn’t have surprised me.  

StepienRules: Are there any reasons for Cavs fans to be concerned about drafting Tyler Zeller in the first round?

Carolina March: Nope, I think you pretty much know what you’re getting with him. There were a couple of early injuries in his college career that gave him a bit of a bad reputation, but they really were fluke collisions, and he’s been the healthiest player on the team for the last two seasons.

StepienRules: Where does he rank as far as all-time Centers at North Carolina in your opinion? Is he in the top-10, top-20, not in the conversation at all?

Carolina March: UNC has a lot of good centers, just in my lifetime. I’d put him in the Top 20 though, and he has a chance of surpassing the pro careers of some of the centers who outperformed him at Carolina. (Sean May comes to mind, of course).

StepienRules: If I asked you for one thing Cavs fans might not know about Tyler Zeller, you’d say?

Carolina March: Besides the hedge fund thing? He ran a sub-six minute mile at least twice in four years of the annual basketball mile run. It got him out of pre-practice wind sprints.


Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.