November 14, 2007

Zeller signs with Tar Heels

After making it public last week that he would be playing his college basketball in Chapel Hill, Washington (IN) center Tyler Zeller sends his national letter of intent to the UNC basketball offices on Wednesday. Zeller, who chose the Tar Heels over in-state rivals Indiana, Purdue, and Notre Dame, is currently the No. 5 center and the No. 22 overall player in the Class of 2008 national rankings.

"North Carolina was the best fit for me," said the 6-11, 215-pound Zeller. "I felt more comfortable with the Carolina staff and players than any of the other schools. You've got to look at the long run, and the more I look into it, the long run was kind of confusing. I wanted to get it (recruiting) over with, and I couldn't figure out what exactly was going to happen (elsewhere)," he said. "Like I said, I just felt more comfortable at North Carolina. With the talent level at North Carolina, you go in and every practice you're playing against the top talent level in the nation. That was probably the biggest factor."

Along with his comfort level with UNC, Zeller also chose the Tar Heels because of the program's sterling hardwood reputation and Roy Williams' coaching style, which will allow him to be versatile and help the Tar Heels out in a number of different ways.

"It's a big name. North Carolina is a school you always think of. Basketball; they're always a big name," Zeller said. "Coach Williams is a great coach. I love the way they play. Hopefully I can be a 'four,' like being able to step out and shoot some, post up (at UNC). I like the way Coach Williams coaches, and the way his teams play. I've watched quite a bit of North Carolina basketball in the past years, because they're always at the top. I like watching the top teams in the nation play."

Zeller, who received a scholarship offer from the Tar Heels just prior to helping his Indiana Elite AAU squad win the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill this past May, made major strides in his game between his second and third years of high school, developing into an elite center prospect with a very high ceiling. An advanced athlete with great height and mobility, Zeller is a natural fit for a fast-paced, transition style like that of North Carolina.

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