Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Tyler in, another Tyler out for UNC?

North Carolina's Tyler Zeller is consoled by Kentucky's Ramon Harris after Zeller injured his wrist late in Tuesday's game. Harris fouled Zeller on the play. (AP Photo by Gerry Broome)

Some thoughts from Chapel Hill after seeing the Tar Heels play in person for the first time since Kansas put that whipping on them in the 2008 Final Four:

** I think if this game had mattered -- the Tar Heels blew out Kentucky, 77-58 -- UNC would have played Tyler Hansbrough. He is antsy to get in, he is able to dunk in practice and I think he'll play in the Hawaii tournament (starting Monday) if not before. UNC has one more game, at UC-Santa Barbara Friday, and he might even get some time in that one. But they are being really careful and they should be -- Hansbrough passed up millions to return for his senior year, and his legs are his livelihood.

** The other Tyler, freshman center Tyler Zeller, I expect will be out for awhile. It looked like he broke his left wrist late in the game on an attempted dunk when he got fouled and fell hard. No announcement forthcoming on that until Wednesday, probably, but it didn't look good. Losing Zeller won't be a good thing, but realistically, once Hansbrough comes back, the Tar Heels can get by until he returns since freshman Ed Davis has been quite a rebounder underneath so far. Davis looks a bit like Sam Perkins when he's good -- a smooth lefty who's a force under the boards.

** Deon Thompson is obviously stronger than he was last year. Watch how he plays when Hansbrough gets back, though -- Thompson sometimes defers too much to Hansbrough, and it causes him to fade out of games at times.

** Roy Williams doesn't sound like he's going to enjoy a win very much all season to me. Lots of coaches would love to have his problems, but think about this: it's going to be a disappointment everywhere if UNC doesn't win the national championship. That's a pretty difficult road.

** Even in Chapel Hill, in the midst of a big early-season game, Stephen Curry mania was in evidence. There are two TVs in the UNC pressroom -- both usually tuned to the Tar Heel game in progress, of course. On Tuesday night, one TV showed UNC-Kentucky, and the other showed Curry going for a valiant 44 against Oklahoma in the Wildcats' four-point loss.

1 comment:

younger said...

Just read on Fox Sports that Zeller is done for the year with multiple fractures in his wrist. Might speed up the return of the "other" Tyler.