Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Zeller Back for UNC; Jenkins Out for Northridge

Before I get to some of the big news items of the past couple of days, I just want to let everyone know that I will have a complete BracketBusters preview later tonight, as well as a complete and updated Bubble Watch tomorrow.

Zeller Returning Tonight?

According to Jeff Goodman of, North Carolina freshman forward Tyler Zeller is likely to return to the team tonight against North Carolina State. "It’s 99 percent that he’ll play tomorrow night," North Carolina spokesman Steve Kirschner told Goodman. "Tyler wants to play and Roy just wants to see him practice one more time today before making a final decision." The 7-foot big man was expected to redshirt this season after breaking his wrist back in November, but there have been rumblings for several weeks about a potential return.

"It depends on how he goes through practice today. He would really like to help this team,” head coach Roy Williams said in a news conference on Tuesday. "He would really like to play. He thinks that it would really help him in the long term, and hopefully, he would help this team this year. So, he and I discussed it yesterday and I told him that was the decision we would go with, unless he went home and slept on it and came back and said he’s changed his mind." A school official told that Zeller had not changed his mind and wants to play Wednesday. Zeller scored 18 points in his debut against Penn before breaking his wrist.

Jenkins Hurt in Car Accident, Likely Out for Season

Cal State Northridge senior guard Josh Jenkins was hospitalized over the weekend after he was the passenger in a car accident that left the driver of the vehicle dead. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Jenkins was in stable condition on Monday. "Obviously, we're thankful that Josh is alive," head coach Bobby Braswell said. "This is a big blow to our team at this point of the season, but more importantly he's alive and we pray that he will have a speedy and full recovery." There is no indication of when Jenkins will be released or be able to play again.

"He was playing his best basketball, so he's really down and depressed about that," Braswell said. "Our first concern is that he gets healthy physically and mentally. That's his journey. He's one of the most competitive kids I've ever coached. He has a strong will." On the heels of six straight wins, Northridge had moved into first-place in the Big West Conference standings. Jenkins has been one of the leaders for the Matadors, averaging 10.2 points and 6.1 assists per game.

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