Yet Another Example of Stellar Journalism[UPDATED]

UPDATE: This article by Mike Beas at the Anderson, IN Herald Bulletin serves as an excellent counterpoint to the sour grapes whining of Tyler Wilson. Beas correctly points out that UNC(and Duke) are national brands in basketball whereas Purdue and Indiana are not and also that Indiana is bleeding recruits left and right everywhere. He also does right by Zeller in saying:

Don’t blame Zeller for choosing Chapel Hill as where he would most like to spend the next few years growing as an athlete and, more importantly, human being. Applaud him for doing what makes him the happiest.

Well said.

The example I am referring to is the sour grapes filled missive written by Tyler Wilson, assistant sports editor of the Purdue student paper The Exponent. Now maybe I should leave it alone but the premise set forth by this guy is so abjectly ignorant it deserves a response from someone in Tar Heel nation and that might as well be me.

Bench awaits Zeller at North Carolina

Nice start there Wilson. The age old sour grapes cry of the team that lost out in the recruiting battle is “Well he won’t see the court there and he should have come here where he would have been a STAR!!!!” Good work getting that out of the way in your headline.

Tyler Zeller showed his true colors on Monday.

The No. 22 high school men’s basketball prospect of the class of 2008 chose baby blue and white (North Carolina) over black and gold (Purdue), crimson and cream (Indiana) and blue and gold (Notre Dame). At around 2 p.m. on Monday, Zeller showed everyone what he’s all about.

Now.

In saying “Now” you mean Zeller chose to go to a school which almost always has a fighting chance at winning their conference, going to the NCAA Tournament as a protected seed and routinely sees the second(and sometimes third) weekend of the Dance then yes I can see why he would choose UNC. Especially considering Purdue never went to a Final Four under longtime coach Gene Keady, Indiana has a serial NCAA violator running the program and will likely end up on probation sooner rather than later, while Notre Dame has not been consistently successful since Digger Phelps was head coach there.

Instead of selecting Purdue and becoming part of a resurfacing basketball program, playing a huge part in its rebuilding process, he would rather go all “Pardon the Interruption” with his skills and “Role Play” his way to a national championship.

At least that’s how I see it.

Let me tell you how I see it. I think Zeller probably took more into consideration than the state of the programs. I am willing to bet his comfort level with the coaches and the school had more to do with his selection than whether or not Purdue is rebuilding. Also, what in the name of everything Carolina blue does it mean to “go all “Pardon the Interruption” with his skills and “Role Play” his way to a national championship?” I have no idea what that is about and I seriously doubt Wilson does either, he probably heard it on Jim Rome. And let me point out that role players still get championship rings, not that I think he will be a role player. In fact if he follows the same path as fellow Indiana natives Eric Montross and Sean May he will be winning a national title in his junior year.

With Purdue bringing in a nationally recognized recruiting class consisting of past teammates of his, I don’t see why he would pass up the opportunity to play right away for a Big Ten school with his buddies.

Because he was more comfortable at UNC as he has said? Because the ACC, year in and year out is superior to the Big Ten as proven by the complete domination by the ACC of the “Conference Who Cannot Count” in the challenge they play each other in every year? Because you have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to what goes into making a decision on which school to attend for basketball?

Instead, Zeller chose to go to a team that, yes, is rich with tradition and has plenty of championships, but already has a plethora of skilled players and proven athletes, which will cause him to become more aquatinted with the wood on the bench than the hardwood playing floor.

When Zeller hits campus next season there potentially will be five big men vying for the PF and C spots on the court: Tyler Hansbrough, Deon Thompson, Alex Stepheson, freshman classmate Ed Davis and Zeller. It is entirely possible based on how this season goes that Hansbrough and Thompson might be in the NBA but even if that is not the case Hansbrough will be a senior and Stepheson/Thompson juniors. So in Zeller’s freshman season at UNC he might play more limited minutes behind the upper class trio. By his sophomore season Thompson could be gone and Stepheson the starting center with Zeller and Davis rounding out frontcourt for UNC. And even if Thompson stays, Zeller plays a different type of game and will see plenty of the floor regardless of who is left. I also would point out given his size and frame, Zeller will need to do a lot of work his freshman year to get stronger so not playing as much the first season is not the end of the world for him but probably more beneficial. You also have to look at his skill set. Zeller runs the floor well and can face the basket which are two things Roy Williams loves in a big man. And if he can play defense worth a lick Roy is liable to adopt him. The point is playing time is not necessarily a big deal during the first season, especially if a player is a little on the raw side and in need of strength training. Zeller is probably at minimum a three year guy in college and will see his share of the court in due course with a heck of a lot better chance of winning a national title than he would have at Purdue.[Note:On the initial posting I for some reason decided to bump Thompson and Stepheson up one year. Must be the lack of sleep worrying about the rise of Purdue basketball. Anyway, I have corrected it and it still does not detract from the argument that Zeller will see plenty of playing time]

His choice told me that he is more concerned about now than he is about the future. But the future at Purdue, unlike at North Carolina, is now, which makes me think he chose UNC over the campus in West Lafayette for the name recognition, not the playing opportunity.

I think this is a contradiction. I thought the “now” was at UNC because Purdue was rebuilding. Now(hehe) Wilson is saying that Purdue’s future is “now” and Zeller simply went for name recognition in choosing UNC. Truly he has a “dizzying intellect.”

His chance of getting as much playing time and experience at North Carolina as he would at Purdue is as likely as Britney Spears’ new album going platinum.

Nothing like a utterly weak cultural reference to resound with the readers eh Wilson? A little advice, it did not work for Mike Patrick, it is not going to work for you.

Although, maybe he thought the style of play of coach Matt Painter wasn’t the right fit for his thinly-framed self. It’s widely known that Purdue and the Big Ten are not for wimps. It’s rough and tough basketball where defense has always been the key.

Maybe that’s not what he wanted.

If you are paying attention, the writer basically tossed a backhanded insult at Zeller which is always the classy thing to do when you are trying to make a point. He asserts the Big Ten is rough and tumble i.e.”not for wimps” and Zeller’s decision to attend UNC may have been because he could not handle the physicality of the conference. Obviously Wilson has not spent much time watching ACC basketball which admittingly is less physical. You know why? Because the teams that routinely rule the ACC pride themselves on playing finesse and skilled basketball not that gorilla basketball the Big Ten likes because there seems to be a clear issue in transitioning from football to basketball so they make the latter more like the former.

Now, I know I’m picking on a high schooler here, but when you hold your own press conference to announce your college choice, putting yourself in the public eye even more, you’re asking for it … just a little bit.

Now, I know I am picking on a college student here, but when you write this kind of dreck and publish it on the internet, putting yourself in the public eye even more, you’re asking for it…and more than just a little bit.

And some advice to Wilson, if you happen to be majoring in English, be sure you pick up that teaching certification while you are there. You might need it.

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10 Responses to Yet Another Example of Stellar Journalism[UPDATED]

  1. sring says:

    Usually, you are dead on with your facts, but I have to catch you on this. Deon and Alex are a year behind Hansborough. They will be juniors next year, not seniors. Other than that, great article.

  2. sring says:

    In addition, what do you have against teachers? 🙂

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Fixed it…not sure why I got that so badly wrong..drives me crazy to make a factual error of that nature. Perhaps a little humility for me?

    Nothing against teachers as my brother is a prof of english but I have a BA in English without the teaching certification and that kind of degree is basically worthless unless you go into journalism school or some other grad program.

  4. Wayne says:

    Maybe Tyler Z. doesn’t like being snowbound four months of the year.
    Maybe Tyler Z. recognizes UNC puts more player into the league (NBA) than Purdue & Notre Dame combined.
    Maybe Tyler Z. knows exactly what he wants and chose the best road to get there.
    Maybe sour grapes articles by the sports editor of “The Exponent” bore Tyler Z. as much as they bore me.

  5. Wayne says:

    P.S. Maybe there are no Purdue or Notre Dame players in the NBA right now . . .

  6. Josh Bowling says:

    I disliked his assessment as a “role player” as well. That term is meant to demean someone by saying if you are not a star, you’re a “role player.” I say this, out of our championship teams, I cannot tell a “star” from a “role player”. They are just good teams with good players. Just so you know that “role player” is not demeaning to everyone like me, I will gladly take the 93 and 05 teams over any one with a major star. Our “role players” win National Championships and become “Stars” because of it! I just hate this terminology. I guess on our 82 team, Perkins, Worthy, Black would have been “role players” to the “star” MJ. Come on over ZELLER, your in a good camp at UNC being a “ROLE PLAYER”

  7. Josh Bowling says:

    By the way, our role players that have less than stellar playing time still find themselves in the NBA.

  8. Dan Schwind says:

    FYI: The “Role Play” comment refers to a segment (albeit a stupid one) during Pardon the Interruption where Tony and Wilbon trade off “role playing” as an athlete in the news while the other interviews that individual. It was basically Mr. Wilson’s lame attempt at making a funny.

    Also, Mr. Wilson’s comment that Zeller has as a good a chance as playing as Britney Spears has of going platinum may have been premature. It should be noted that Ms. Spears had the number two album in the country last week. (I’m ashamed I know that, but my fiancee’s niece listen to Britney).

    I personally think this should be grounds for UNC to get Purdue in next years ACC-Big Eleven challenge. (And yes, I know I said Big Eleven).

  9. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Ah…thanks for clearing up the PTI thing, not that it makes his use of it any clearer or funnier than it was when I had no idea what he was talking about.

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