Tyler drawing contact. Tyler making shots inside that aren't always pretty. but usually go in. Tyler contorting his body around a defender to get off a crazy shot. Tyler slipping over on defense to cut off a baseline drive. Tyler making free throws.
Only this is Zeller instead of Hansborough.
After one particularly good sequence ending with a nice inside move from Zeller, you could see a big smile on his face as he headed to the bench after Marshall called a time out. Well deserved satisfaction.
About the only part of his offensive game that I don't like is that he doesn't quickly find the open man when he is hit with a double-team. Of course it took the other Tyler a few seasons in Chapel Hill before he started doing that.
No, he's no Hansborough and it's unfair to expect the same. But it was fun to watch his game tonight.
The more consistent threats inside, the better. In addition to Zeller, Ed Davis was solid with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Deon Thompson had a quiet 14 points.
I also liked the way that Will Graves responded to being left out of the starting lineup with his first double-double: 13 points and 10 rebounds. Love the way he hit the boards tonight, but I have one big request: Please tell Will to pass the ball rather than trying to dribble the ball down court himself!
Overall, if I can erase most of that first half from my memory, it was a fun game to watch. If the Tar Heels play consistently the way they did in the second half (except for that turnover flurry at the end), they'll do fine.