What Was His Name? Notre Dame Edition
Hey, Tar Heels. Chill out. I start this “What Was His Name” feature and you suddenly decide to play four games in four days for the first time since 1931. I’m not a robot, guys. Fatigue sets in at some point. Not that I’m complaining, though.
The ACC Tournament, particularly when held in Greensboro, always seems like a family affair. I’m sure I speak for many across North Carolina and ACC country who recall getting together on a Saturday afternoon in March to watch the ACC semifinals with friends and family. With the semifinals now on Friday night and the final on Saturday night, the event has lost a bit of its communal atmosphere. That’s OK though, because “What Was His Name” always puts family first. No big TV contract of conference expansion can change that.
You know this particular player’s last name, but maybe not his first.
Luke Zeller played at Notre Dame from 2005-09. His college career was more befitting a middle child than the oldest in a trio of Zeller boys who played high-major college basketball and eventually in the NBA. Luke was a McDonald’s All American like his two brothers but that’s about where the similarities end. Youngest brother Cody was named second-team All American in his sophomore season at Indiana. Middle brother Tyler won a national title and ACC Player of the Year at North Carolina. Both were first-round picks in the NBA Draft.
Luke averaged 4.2 points per game and started 32 games for Notre Dame. He did earn Notre Dame’s most improved player award his junior season and score seven points before fouling out against his brother and North Carolina in 2008. To his credit, Luke managed to find a spot on the Phoenix Suns roster for a year before floating around in the D-League. Not a bad gig. Luke is to his brothers what Cooper Manning is to his. Still, not a bad gig at all. I hope he got his shots in on Tyler and Cody when they were growing up.