It was the end of a VERY long day here at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in the Triangle. Saw lots of basketball (too much), with many stories, but ultimately the biggest change of the day for me was simple. Tyler Zeller has completely won me over as a UK recruit. I watched two of his games today and I left both of them thinking, “that is a that UK needs.” Zeller can at times look unimpressive. When he comes in the game, he sometimes looks a step slow and takes a few plays to get going. But then all of a sudden he begins to run the floor quickly, get on the boards, make a good pass, hit an open jumper and you look up and he is getting a double-double and he looks like a player that can be a man on the court.
Zeller’s stock is surely rising. He came away from this tournament with an offer from North Carolina, who now joins the UK-IU-Purdue, etc competition. Everyone I talked to said that UK, UNC and Purdue are at the top of his list, but that it is still evolving over the next few weeks. Everyone believes that he wants to stay close to home and the combination of UK’s distance and facilities (which Zeller told me “are the best in the nation”) could be what takes the cake for the Cats. Today I spoke with Zeller for a few minutes and found him very engaging and VERY funny. Tyler is exactly the kind of guy UK should try to get and I have officially been (while originally a bit skeptical) won over.
(2) Equally as impressive to me was the play of Chris Singleton. The kid runs the floor well, is able to rebound and attack the basket. He plays on a stacked team (along with great Georgia commitment Harold Thompkins), but his athleticism is what truly stacks him apart. UK, Tenn and UL are his leaders at this point, but he is coming to the “Elite” camp and I think UK is in a very good position with him. At this point, my selection for the three guys I would take from next year’s class is some combination of Zeller, Singleton, Warren and Miller…..and possibly all four in a perfect world. I like Osby too, but as for my preferences, that is my group as of today.
Today we also had the first player say he listened to the Sports Mob. While talking to Tyler Zeller, his teammate (Brayden Hobbs)who was standing with us interrupted me and said, “do you host a radio show in Louisville?” He was from New Albany and told me he listened everyday calling it, “really funny and odd” which I guess is a compliment.
More to come tomorrow as we see the big guys one more time……..