Coaching your son is easier when he's good

Beth Bragg

College coaches sometimes liken themselves to surrogate fathers to their players, but in the case of Central Michigan's Ernie Zeigler, you can leave out the "surrogate."

Zeigler's star player is son Trey, a guard whose 21 points and 10 rebounds led the Chippewas to a 65-48 victory over Dartmouth on Saturday.

The younger Zeigler chose Central Michigan -- and his dad -- over teams like UCLA and Michigan State, the coach said early in the week.

Zeigler says he tries to treat his son like any other player, although clearly Trey isn't any other player -- he was the nation's third-leading scorer among freshmen last season with 16.1 points per game.

"As a parent, I've been watching him play his whole life," Zeigler said. "I would spend two or three hours with him talking about his games when he was 8, 10 years old, but now he knows those things. I kind of try to talk to him in more general terms."

Zeigler was thrilled when Trey chose the Chippewas, and not just because that gave his team one of the nation's most sought-after recruits.

"I'm with him every day. I missed out on a lot of that being an assistant coach and always being off recruiting,'' the coach said. "Just being able to see him on a daily basis is special for us as he gets ready to become a full-fledged adult."

Canada connection

Are the Aggies, who captured third place in the Shootout, a basketball team or a hockey team? From the looks of the roster, they could be either.

New Mexico State has six players from Canada, four of them from Toronto. The players are part of a team with plenty of international influences -- two players come from France and one is from South Africa.

Coach Marvin Menzies credits the Canadian migration to assistant coach Paul Weir, who is from Toronto. Among Weir's biggest catches -- and we do mean biggest -- is Sim Bhullar. Bhullar is a 7-foot-5, 330-pound center who, sadly for Shootout fans, won't play until next season.

Menzies said it's no coincidence the Aggies are loaded with international players.

"We want talent and we'll go where we need to go to get it," he said. "And sometimes when you go outside the borders, sometimes the recruiting isn't so heavy."

Jayhawk connection

San Francisco's coaching staff is straight out of Kansas.

Head coach Rex Walters helped the Jayhawks to the 1993 Final Four and spent several seasons in the NBA before becoming a coach. Now in his third year with the Dons, his staff includes two more Jayhawks.

Michael Lee was part of Kansas's Final Four teams in 2002 and 2003. The next season, he and Justin Bauman -- who joined the San Fransisco staff this season -- played on the Kansas team that made it to the Elite Eight.

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