Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quit whining about Zeller, Tar Heel fans

OK, UNC fans. You’re going to need to have to stop the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the loss of 7-foot freshman center Tyler Zeller.

Yes, Zeller will be a very good college player – someday. You know what he was on this UNC team, though, once everyone gets healthy? About the eighth or ninth man. Yes, Zeller would be valued for his height and the fact he has five fouls to give, but let’s be serious. The Tyler that really matters on this team is Hansbrough.

If you’re rating Zeller’s season-ending broken wrist on a calamity scale of 1-10 – with a 10 being something like a season-ending injury to Hansbrough or Roy Williams quitting in midseason and a 1 being an ankle injury to a walk-on – I’d give the Zeller injury a 4.

Yes, it leaves the Tar Heels a little thin at the post, but c’mon – Hansbrough is the best post player in the country. And have you seen Ed Davis? The 6-10 Davis is a much better rebounder than Zeller right now (he’s averaging a team-high 12 per game), and that’s what the Tar Heels need most in the post. He’ll be the first post player off the bench.

Hansbrough, of course, can do everything -- and he’s close to returning from his shin injury. Deon Thompson, the normal starter at power forward, can score but is an on-and-off rebounder. Davis just needs to rebound and play defense as the Tar Heels’ third big guy.

UNC also can go to a smaller lineup anytime it wants, which is a popular NBA trend, because Danny Green is a jumping bean and can shift to power forward. This squad is still incredibly loaded. Hansbrough will be back soon, Marcus Ginyard not terribly long after that, and it will be even more loaded.

At this point, complaining about Zeller not being around this season is a little unseemly. It’s like complaining that an opulent buffet only has four kinds of dessert instead of five.

So don’t whine. The Tar Heels will be fine – more than fine – without him.

13 comments:

Justin said...

Dumbest thing the Observer has printed lately.

PantherHeels said...

Scott Fowler, WOW!

There is a difference between whining, and expressing regret for losing a McDonalds all-american whom the coaching staff appointed a starter over Davis. I was at the home opener where he just so happen to lead the team in scoring. IN HIS FIRST GAME!! See, unlike you I will enjoy this season and the teams march toward a championship. I also look ahead to next years team and the progress of our freshman talent. This will postpone Tyler Zellers progress. At Carolina we expect excellence and when we lose a talent like Zeller, we will express our sense of loss. You are right about one thing, the team will be fine without him, as we go undefeated this season and cap it off in Detroit with ANOTHER title! Scott you need to stick to your crappy Panther predictions and those cute little insignificant anecdotal stories that would get you fired at a decent news publication.

Have a great day
Brian S.

Graham said...

I have to say Scott, I'm a big fan (of yours) but this was just a poorly written post.

Actually, I'd say it was more a poorly titled post. You did a good job putting this injury in perspective, as far as what it means to the Team and to the season.

But the whole "quit whining" thing? Brian S. is right on this one. People were excited about this kid, he looks great, and despite the trend towards 3-man post rotations and small ball formations, being able to sub out both Deon and Tyler and still expect both rebounding and scoring would be awesome.

I'll try to post something positive soon, so I don't follow the old rule of only complaining (dare I say, "whining"?) when things go wrong and staying silent when things go right.

Brandon said...

I liked it.

Bates said...

whine AND cheese.

Kenneth said...

What whining? To express regret over a season ending injury for any player is understandable, especially now that a whole season of eligibility is flushed after only 2 games. C'mon Scott, I read all your columns, and agree with the basic tenants of Zeller's potential and current value to this years Tar Heels...but whining?? Your article deserves a better title.

Jason said...

Nice job feeding the ABCer's, Scott. I thought you were more of a writer for grown-ups, but it seems that you've decided to take a walk on the childish side today.

jaboo said...

Is it possible that we could get some articles on some of the other schools in the state? How is NC State this year? Wake Forest seems to be off to a good start. As well as Duke. At least you have been writing about Curry. Scott, I will give you credit for calling out your fellow alumni for incessant whining. Thanks.

Scott Fowler said...

Guys: I appreciate the comments. I always read all of them on this blog, and whether we agree or not, I appreciate the feedback. You are posting some valid points here, for sure. As for stories about the other teams, believe me, we will have a ton of those as well in our newspaper and online, both from our writers and from our partnership from the Raleigh News and Observer. Thanks, as always, for reading.

pb&crack said...

As some of these blog responses demonstrate, Carolina fans are absolute jerks. What's all this "the Team" crap?

doublet007 said...

Come on Scott...

First impressions in life set the stage for whatever comes after...

I'm a Carolina fan, so I'm a little biased, but I almost didn't read your article based on the fact that you call out the fans for whining. I would equate your title and subsequent article to calling my wife a name like, say ... whiner, and then telling her I just got a promotion at work. I should not be expecting her to hear a word I have to say after "whiner"...

kidk612 said...

"Yes, it leaves the Tar Heels a little thin at the post, but c’mon – Hansbrough is the best post player in the country. And have you seen Ed Davis? The 6-10 Davis is a much better rebounder than Zeller right now (he’s averaging a team-high 12 per game), and that’s what the Tar Heels need most in the post. He’ll be the first post player off the bench."

A litte thin? When Hansbrough comes back, Davis will be the ONLY post player off the bench. With senior reserve Mike Copeland and Marcus Ginyard both out until around ACC play, UNC will go through the rest of 2008 with those three post players. Danny Green can play some four, but he's already starting on the wing. After that, everyone else is a huge stretch to play down low, the biggest players left being 6-6 reserve wing Will Graves and 6-4 Wayne Ellington.

Hopefully tonight is the last game he misses, but whenever he comes back, it's going to be tough to limit Hansbrough's minutes over the non conference slate without a 4th big, which given the nature of his injury, SHOULD be cause for concern.

Uncle Bass said...

a post about carolina fans whining... how do they respond? more whining... typical