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.
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.