Late Bloomer Andrew Zelis May Yet Develop

Big men are at a premium in college basketball recruiting. If you have them in your backyard, you better keep them. One big man who is emerging on the 2013 scene is center Andrew Zelis. His size and skill set are an intriguing combination that should make him a name to follow over the next couple years.

Andrew Zelis is a 6'-10" center from Wheaton North High School in Illinois. He had a solid sophomore campaign, where he averaged 12 points per game.

"I think I did all right. The offense we had wasn't as much for me as it was for a point guard. That is going to change some next year."

He is looking forward to the upcoming season and has high expectations for himself and his team.

"We are going to be good next year. We were pretty young, so I think we will continue to improve and go pretty far in the state playoffs."

Zelis describes his game.

"I can play well in the post and come out for a shot too. I think I have a good mid-range jumper and run the floor well."

This is a fair assessment. He is effective in the post and can also step out and hit a jump shot. His skill set is very high for a big man. Zelis is mobile, can be effective in the pick-and-roll, and runs the floor well.

Zelis transitioned nicely to playing with a high-profile AAU team. The Illinois Wolves continued to have success last summer.

"We did well. We beat the second best team in the nation in the Eric Gordon All-Stars. We all worked together. We played up at the 17U level part of the time."

The junior is looking forward to impressing future onlookers.

"I think I have played pretty well. I keep improving. This was my first year with the Wolves, so I needed to adjust. I am getting a lot better. I have to keep working to show colleges what I can do."

Several schools have already shown interest in Zelis.

"I have talked to Michigan and Indiana. I have been getting letters from other schools like Providence, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, and Xavier."

Before it is all said and done, Illinois will most certainly be in the mix with a big man the caliber of Zelis. He talked about what he likes in the Illini program.

"I like Bruce Weber and how they use their big men like (Mike) Tisdale recently, and I know Nnanna Egwu. I want to see how well he does there."

He has even visited the campus on his own.

"I went down to their campus last year. I like their campus. My dad took me down during spring break. We were looking at different colleges like Illinois and DePaul."

What will he be looking for in the school he eventually chooses?

"I am looking for a school that fits my offensive skills. It has to be the right fit socially, academically, and how I will fit with their basketball program."

Zelis played a backup role with the Wolves this past summer. Like Frank Kaminsky before him, he is still developing and could yet evolve into a high-major player.


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