Last summer was a coming out party of sorts for Mt. Pleasant SG Trey Zeigler. The 6-5, 200-pounder scorched the nets in Las Vegas last July, upping his profile from regional recruit to national in process. Unfortunately, none of that individual success led to his team reaching its collective goals. This summer was a much different story. Flanked by talented newcomers to Team Detroit like Ray McCallum, Brandan Kearney, and Corey Petros, Zeigler saw his game complemented. The end result was all he could have hoped for.
"It went pretty well," said Zeigler of Team Detroit's summer showing. "We won the Reebok National Championship in Vegas and then we won the Milwaukee tournament. So we went and won three tournaments."
"Individually, I think was getting a lot of shots this summer," he continued. "I think I got to show a lot of people that I could play more than one position. I can play three positions. I play some point and I played everything throughout the July period. I think everybody got to see me do a little bit of something."
Versatility has long been Zeigler's most lauded attribute. The diversity of his game allows him to be effective even when he isn't scoring in bunches – a scenario that manifested itself at the Nike Skills camp early last month.
"At King James, because we had some guys like Dion Waiters that like to get a lot of shots up, there weren't a lot of shots to go around for everybody," Zeigler recalled. "I figured I wasn't going to get too many shots, so I figured I was just going to show people that I could do other things."
It's that kind of all-around display that convinced three more suitors – Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Syracuse -- to offer scholarships. It also caused the most tenured residents on his list of favorites to intensify their recruiting efforts even more.
"I notice who is in the crowd (during games) -- I'm not going to lie," Zeigler admitted. "I see the coaches that are there. Most coaches make an effort to let it be known that they there (laughter). I would say that if Coach Beilein and Coach Izzo weren't at my games, then (MSU assistant) Coach Monty (i.e. Mark Montgomery) and (Michigan assistant) Coach (Mike) Jackson were there if they weren't. I think (Michigan and Michigan State) were at every single game."
The in-state foes are ramping up their efforts at a crucial time. In the very near future the list of contenders for Zeigler's pledge will shrink.
"I'm thinking in the next two weeks I'm going to cut it down to five schools," he reported.
The Wolverines and Spartans are really good bets to make the cut. So too are his father's Central Michigan Chippewas. The internet was abuzz last week with rumors that the Chips had moved into pole position in the race for Zeigler's services. That sentiment stemmed from a foxsports.com article that discussed the possibility of him playing for his dad. Zeigler, however, insists that the notion that things have recently changed is a misinterpretation.
"I wouldn't get that feel from (the article)," Ziegler stated. "The whole topic was if me and Ray (McCallum) were going to go play for our dads. I guess it had that kind of twist to it but other than that, I mean… (the likelihood of playing for Central) is the same. It's a possibility, but I'm still weighing my options."
Now that Zeigler's recruitment is moving into the next stage, the most crucial aspect of the process will likely be the official visits. Coaches have already begun angling for their dates.
"I've talked to Arizona State, LSU, Arizona, Michigan... and Pittsburgh asked me… those are the schools that have asked me so far to come and visit," said Zeigler. "Now that August 1st has come they can call me twice a week. Basically I talk to Coach Beilein every week and Coach Jackson every week. I talk to Coach Jackson through email a lot. This week there has been a lot of focus on when I'm going to take my visit. They really want me to come in the week that they play Notre Dame. So that's what they have really been talking about. Timeline wise I think they understand what I'm trying to do. The main focus right now for this visit."
Regarding his timeline, at this point there's still a possibility that the four-star prospect's recruitment will last into the spring. That said, he clearly hopes it doesn't.
"What I would like to do is get (a decision) done as soon as possible," Zeigler admitted. "After I take these visits, just sit down with my family and make the decision before the senior year. I'm trying to get it done. Whenever I feel comfortable, we'll sit down and talk about it."
"I want to get it done (early), but I don't know if it is going to happen."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Zeigler in the coming weeks.