Drew, Zeller Prep for Derby Classic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After playing against each other a few weeks ago during the McDonald's All-American game, Larry Drew and Tyler Zeller are excited about teaming up at the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic.

"They finally put us on the same team," Drew said. "Since we are the same team now we can finally play together."

"We talked quite a bit at McDonalds and now we get to play together so it'll be fun," Zeller added.

Both Carolina signees made it to Louisville Thursday morning and by 4:15 p.m. were at the training facility for the first practice session. During the two-hour practice both players showcased their games.

Zeller matched up with emerging big man Ater Majok in what turned into a competitive big man battle. As usual, Zeller used his ability to run the floor to get easy buckets, but he also showed his jump hook and stroked a few mid-range jumpers.

Drew on the other hand matched up with Jerime Anderson and Korie Lucious. The Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft standout used his quickness to get in the lane and dropped in a few floaters throughout the session.

"It's a blessing," Drew said about the experience. "I'm just glad to be here. It's nice to be recognized for my hard work. It feels good."

A few weeks ago Zeller and Drew participated in the McDonald's All-American game and each came away with a good outlook on the festivities in Milwaukee (Wisc.).

"I just had a lot of fun," Drew said about the McDonald's A-A experience. "Giving back to the community, hanging out with the players and just playing basketball. I'm glad that I got to do it." "I loved it," Zeller, of Washington (Ind.) High, said. "It was fun. I enjoyed the Ronald McDonald house and everything else we did. Getting to know all of those guys was fun."

Both prospects are trying to prepare themselves for college ball. Zeller said he's been working out "all the time" while Drew is still participating in another high school sport.

"Actually I'm still running track," he said. "I do go to the gym to get shots up and everything, but I haven't been lifting a whole lot of weights because honestly the majority of my time has been spent running track."

Zeller and Drew will head to Chapel Hill in mid-June. Once on campus they hope to help make an impact on the team right away. Despite all of the depth in the frontcourt that he'll be joining, Zeller is hoping to bring a different element to the table.

"Hopefully I can come in and give them something that they don't have right now," the 7-0, 220-pound center said. "I'm just going to go in and give them as much as I can."

The 36th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Classic is set for Saturday, April 19th. Tip off is at 7 p.m. in Freedom Hall.

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