COLUMN: Trey Zeigler living up to expectations, but needs help for men’s basketball success
Six minutes and 44 seconds of basketball time stood between myself, and a column about how Trey Zeigler is disappointing the Central Michigan men’s basketball fans.
He shot 3-for-11 in the first half of Saturday’s 64-61 loss at Western Michigan. This was three days after shooting 3-for-12 from the field in a blowout loss against Ball State at home on Wednesday.
He is hovering around the 55 percent free-throw shooting range. At this point opponents should use the “Hack-a-Zeigler” strategy if it trails late in the game.
But then my perceptions changed, and won’t ever revert back to prior thoughts.
Zeigler showed me why he was a four-star recruit coming out of Mount Pleasant High School in 2010.
He went 3-of-4 from that point on in the WMU loss, making both his free throws, stealing the ball and creating layups with spin moves through defenders.
“Coaches have been on me about being more aggressive and trying to put the game in my hands,” Zeigler said. “It just depends what the game is and how the game is going.”
It was his game to lose Saturday.
And that’s exactly what he did, missing a 3-pointer at the top of the key off a broken play.
But that’s not the point. He can be what most CMU basketball fans expect. He will be what most CMU basketball fans expect.
He’s fifth in the Mid-American Conference in scoring, averaging 15.8 points per game. Zeigler is seventh in the conference in rebounds, averaging 6.8.
The Chippewas are no doubt a work in progress, but there are few sophomores in the MAC that I would rather build around other than Zeigler.
Fans put the blame on a star player when their team struggles, but look around. LeBron James bolted from his home state and team because he couldn’t do it alone.
Nobody can win a championship alone. The pieces around Zeigler are slowly coming. Sophomore guard Derek Jackson is a high-riser with speed and athleticism. Freshman point guard Austin McBroom is a floor general and gives added stability to a position that was in shambles because of the Amir Rashid-Antonio Weary project.
The inexperience that we all see as a negative will soon turn positive as this group matures.
And who will be at the top of it all?
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