Vols Guard Zakai Zeigler on Top of His Game After Benching Earlier This Season
After Tennessee’s loss to Colorado in November, head coach Rick Barnes benched guard Zachai Zeigler.
No soup for you. You’re not starting.
Zeigler got the message.
Now coach Barnes can’t stop raving about his point guard, who is the reigning SEC player of the week.
How good has Zakai Zeigler been lately?
Simply the best according to head coach Rick Barnes.
Said Barnes:”And I’m not sure there’s a guard in the country that’s impacted the game as much as he has. Certainly in the month of January. He has been terrific.”
Zeigler threw down a double-double against Texas with 22 points and 10 assists.
Said Barnes:”Zakai is very unselfish. Tough. Hard-nosed competitor. He wants to win.”
Said guard Santiago Vescovi:”We never doubted ‘Z’. I think he has great potential. He is showing it now. Even when he wasn’t scoring the way he is scoring right now, passing the ball and everything. I think like coach said, he was still impacting the game.”
Since moving back into the starting lineup, Zeigler is averaging nearly 8 assists a game.
Said Barnes:”I think he’s seeing the court in a whole different way than he ever has. I think his vision. Seeing it. I think it has slowed down for him. Seeing all ten guys on the floor. Nine guys on the floor. Seeing what’s going on.”
Now that Zeigler is starting again…it’s hard to take him off the court.
Said Barnes:”You put Zakai and what he’s doing now. He’s playing more minutes than maybe he should be right now. He’s just. It’s a great testament to him that he’s willing to embrace what we’ve asked him to do.”