UNC Tar Heel Tyler Zeller Should Be Run-Away ACC Player of the Year


Editors Note: Keeping It Heel is proud to bring you it’s 500th column

North Carolina senior center Tyler Zeller isn’t getting much, if any attention for National Player of the Year like he should.  His name has been in the ACC POY conversation seriously for at least the last month or so.  It’s hard to stand out on such a talented team, a roster with four players who will be serious contenders for All-ACC team.  What separates Zeller this year from not only his UNC teammates but the rest of the ACC is consistency.

Zeller has been the most consistent player in the conference this season by a long shot.  You could even make the case for him as the most consistent player in the nation this season.  Tyler’s game has been rock solid on both ends of the floor, all season long.  The senior has been the Heels rock, even when they were getting slaughtered by Florida State, Z played hard and he played well.

Aside from consistency, Zeller is the best defensive player amongst all the candidates.  He’s also the top rebounder and shot blocker.  Shot blocking machine John Henson may get more glory for the Heels stingy inside defense.  But it’s Zeller who has won UNCs Defensive player of the game the most this season.  Zeller is one of the most efficient defenders in college basketball and takes a considerable amount of charges for a big man.

Tyler Zeller Stat Summary:


Let’s look at the other ACC POY Candidates.  I’m only listing candidates I deem as legit.  I’ll spare you what you already know about the Heels other candidates.

Mike Scott Virginia: Starting off with consistency, Scott disappeared against the Heels.  He’s often in foul trouble and makes head scratching plays on the court too much for a POY.  Carolinas critics will point to Scotts slight edge in scoring and FG%.  I like to point to Carolinas record and the fact that Virginia doesn’t have much else on offense aside from Scott.  Imagine Zeller on a team without Harrison Barnes and John Henson, that’s how many times Scott gets the ball.

Mike Scott Stat Summary:


Terrell Stoglin Maryland: The conferences leading scorer at 21.2ppg, and one of its best athletes is an easy candidate.  But how can you really be a POY on a 16-12 team?  I hate to take anything away from Stoglin, I like him as a player and his story.  Shooting just 41% from the field is another knock against him.  And playing on a team like MD, absent of many scoring threats, you have to wonder if some of that is product of him just carrying so much of the offensive load.  Stoglin’s been pretty good in terms of consistency, he’s put up double digit points in all but one game this season.  He’s also shot below 40% on nine different occasions.  The MD Terrapin is a very good player, but he’s not a conference player of the year.

Terrell Stoglin Stat Summary:


Austin Rivers Duke: God I hated putting this punks name here.  But I’m telling myself it’s only so I can point out his flaws and highlight why Zellers better so here we go. Trying my best not to just hate on him and Duke here.  Rivers has been good, great at times and yes the shot against Carolina was probably the shot of the year in the college basketball regular season.  Rivers has been too inconsistent for one to warrant serious POY consideration.  Another part of Rivers season that cannot be ignored in this debate has been his stupid comments made about being benched.  The freshman displayed obvious attitude towards Coach K’s decision, those and a few others don’t stand out as actions of a true conference POY.  In my personal opinion,Rivers is the weakest of all the candidates and I would put him behind UNCs Harrison Barnes as well.

Austin Rivers Stat Summary:


This is Z’s senior season, so like many, whenever the Tar Heels last game is this season I’ll instantly start missing him.

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