Who is new Bucks center Tyler Zeller?
So just who is the newest member of the Bucks? Here’s a few facts and figures.
— Zeller was named Indiana’s “Mr. Basketball” in 2008 — following in the footsteps of his brother Luke. Another brother, Cody, would also win the award.
— Of the three brothers, Tyler is considered the “quieter, more thoughtful one.”
— All three brothers wore No. 40 in high school, to honor their grandfather, who wore that number when he won a high school state championship in Indiana in 1942. That number has since been retired by Washington High School.
— Zeller’s uncle, Al Eberhard, also played in the NBA and was a first-round pick (by Detroit in 1974). He played with the Pistons form 1974-78.
— Zeller’s mom, Lorri, played basketball at Division 3 Coe College. Lorri and Steve Zeller wrote a book — “Raising Boys the Zeller Way,” which was published in 2015.
— Played four years at North Carolina where one of his teammates was John Henson. In 2011-12, Zeller averaged 16.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 55.3 percent from the field and was named ACC player of the year.
— While at North Carolina, Zeller interned at Morgan Creek Capital Management and says there he learned how to better manage his time.
— Zeller was one of four North Carolina players (along with Henson, Harrison Barnes and another former Bucks player, Kendall Marshall, to be selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft. Zeller was the last of the four picked, at No. 17 overall.
— After his rookie season in Cleveland, Zeller lost a bunch of weight, due to the flu. He gained the weight back — and then some — thanks to a diet which partly consisted of eating a lot of donuts.
— Religion is an important part of his life.
— Zeller has now been traded three times. The first was a draft-day trade when Dallas sent him to Cleveland. Then, in July 2014, in a three-team deal, he was shipped off to Boston, where he played three seasons before being waived in July 2017 as the Celtics re-jiggered their roster to land Kyrie Irving.
— Tyler and Cody Zeller have played against each other 10 times in their NBA career. Tyler is 4-6 against his younger brother, but has won the last four matchups. Milwaukee doesn’t play the Hornets again this season, however.
— This season, Zeller has taken his shot back a little further, from 18 feet to the 3-point line. Zeller has been especially productive taking 3s from the right corner, making 61.5 percent of those shots. Coming into the season, Zeller was 0-for-6 on 3-point shooting. He’s 10-for-26 this season.
— Said Zeller: “I think I just understand where I can get shots. Just trying to extend my game to shoot the corner threes now. Obviously, the league has forced me to do that, whereas before, I never thought I’d do that. Just understanding in the pick-and-roll how to work with guys really goes a long way.”
— In case you’re curious about Zeller’s future with the Bucks, he signed a two-year contract with the Nets as a free agent this past offseason, however the second year of the deal is not guaranteed.