An update on 2011 Washington forward Cody Zeller

  • 05/13/2010 2:11 pm in

It’s already been a busy and successful AAU season for Cody Zeller and Indiana Elite, and May isn’t yet half over. Zeller and his teammates — several of whom rank high on IU’s wish list for the 2011 and 2012 classes — already notched wins in two tournaments, including a revenge win over St. Louis Gameface at the Fort Wayne Run-N-Slam earlier this month.

Individually, Zeller is also using the summer to refine several parts of his game that he might not so easily improve during high school season.

“In high school, I was always being guarded by two and three guys,” Zeller told Inside the Hall. “It gives me a chance to work on post moves and drives and things like that against a different player, a different type of defender.”

Of course, there are plenty of Indiana fans who probably wouldn’t care if Zeller skipped his last season at Washington High (where he will be defending a state title) and just came to Bloomington in the fall.

Zeller, like his brothers Luke and Tyler before him, is an incredibly appealing prospect, particularly with his special blend of size and ability. Getting a commitment from Zeller would represent a benchmark recruiting win for coach Tom Crean, who has made few bones about focusing on closing Indiana’s borders when it comes to in-state high school talent.

That said, Zeller isn’t rushing his decision. He said since the end of the season, when several schools underwent coaching changes and staff turnover, he’s been getting interest from new schools, including Texas, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.

For that reason, he said, he’s not ready to narrow a list down to five schools and is instead trying to keep an open mind. But that school just a little over a hour northeast of his home in Washington, Ind., still sits well with the 6-foot-10 prospect.

“Now that others have gotten involved, they’ve picked it up a little bit,” Zeller said of IU’s interest. “I could definitely see myself playing there.”

How he’d get there is a question that has some fans worried. With the recent commitment of junior-college post man Guy Marc-Michel, the Hoosiers have no open scholarships in the class of 2011, with highly-rated prospects like Zeller and Elite teammate Jeremiah Davis still in play. Another Elite player, Austin Etherington, has been a solid verbal with the Hoosiers for some time.

Zeller said no one from IU has specifically mentioned “anything other than I have a scholarship offer.”

Whatever the situation, Zeller still appears one of IU’s primary targets for the immediate future, though Zeller himself admitted staying close to home wasn’t much of a priority.

“We figured out with Luke and Tyler that you’re not gonna get home much no matter if you’re an hour or two hours away or 11 hours away with all the school and practices and games and everything, you might get only get home Easter and Christmas,” he said.

For now, as just about any prospect will tell you, Zeller’s focus is on this summer, on improving, and on working with his teammates to “win every tournament that we play in.”

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  • JerryCT

    I never heard of a satisfied coach , have you ? They always want to play better, win more , get better players etc

  • HOOsierDaddy

    on JD's facebook profile picture is him and Izzo, that worries me considering he is extremely interested in MSU and what i have read on this site “he makes fun of IU” that isnt encouraging and what i thought at time a for sure commit to be a lost….i really hope we get him but im loosing hope with Crean signing unknown JUCOs and missing on all our wishlist players…but go IU!!!!

  • Kelin Blab

    Davis has been doing stuff like that for the longest….Pics of him and izzo…in Michigan gear….etc etc… expectations are 50-50….

  • cooper

    As much as everyone talks about getting 3 new recruits next year and 2 the next blah blah blah…Lets see if IU can get one guy for 2011 or 2012 who can be a game changer. People keep saying we will get 2 or 3 great guys, its starts with getting one. MJ, Magic, and Bird can be in the class but it doesn't matter how good the class is unless you get a player from it.

  • marcusgresham

    Or maybe he pulls a fast one on everyone and signs with TCU so we can all sing, “Jeremiah was a horned frog…”

  • marcusgresham

    I agree, but even if they were somewhat satisfied there was a lack of depth that had to be addressed.

  • marcusgresham

    Not quite, but I bet he's come damn close in his own driveway with his brothers.

  • Kelin Blab

    Kids go ahead and put this one in the books for the 2011 class….you can give me all the credit later…

    Aaron Thomas is COMING to Indiana. Not a doubt in my mind. Sported an IU t-shirt during warm ups tonite(via many tweets) Says Indiana is way up there on his list, plans to make a decision at the end of the summer….he is Mo Creek 2.0 Has offers from IU, Xavier, Depaul, and L'ville and Ky are calling…..

    I believe the scoop will have video on him tomorrow…demling had some today…

    I could care less about schollys, I could care less he is not from Indiana, IU gets Thomas before new rankings come out it will be a steal………similar to etherington…

  • FWHoosier

    JerryCT, I wouldn't worry about individual scoring. The Hoosiers certainly have people who can score in double digits. I expect that Creek, Jones, Watford, and Elston will all average double digits. Some other guys could put up big numbers on any given night like Roth, Pritchard, Hulls, Rivers, and maybe even Michel.

    I am more focused on the aggregate team effort rather than individual players. Last year, the team averaged 66 pionts a game. The top teams (MSU and PU) averaged 71 and 72 respectively. That is only a five or six point difference, which tells me that the line between good and bad is pretty narrow. First, the team has to cut down on turnovers. IU avergaed almost 16 turnovers a game. I hope that more maturity, added experience playing together, and simply having shooters like Creek/Roth back in the line up will help to cut that number by 3. If the Hoosiers convert on 2 of those 3 extra possessions then IU has increase its average to 70 pts per game.

    Interestingly, MSU also average a significant number of TOs (14/gm) , but they were +8 over their opponents on rebounding. So, rebounding is the second key to getting more possessions and more points. Adding 3 rebounds a game and converting on 2 would give us another 4 points. Plus, those rebounds potentially take possessions/points away from the other team.

    To win games, the defense will be the key to success. Last year, the Hoosiers allowed almost 72/game, so scoring 70-72 pts a game will only get them close to winning. The team will need defense to close out wins. PU only allowed 61/gm and MSU 64/gm. A couple of blocks or altered shots from Guy or Oladipo could cut the oppoenents possessions by just enough to muster some wins.

    The greatest thing about this team is its flexibility. CTC finally has enough quality players,with unique abilities to match up against just about anybody.

  • slikyslim222

    Great examples, millzy32, I LOVED Coverdale's game & Cheaney's too! Fierce competitors who bleed IU crimson. (Don't forget Dane Fife and A.J. Moye too.) Dang I miss those days, but I see some fresh ones around the corner soon for IU!

  • bluegrassHoosier

    Kelin, I hope you are right. I really want to see more of this kid, but it seems like the prototypical CTC player with huge upside.

    VO, Will S., Christian W., Austine E…….. he fits the profile.

    Athleticism and versatility across the board. These are the type of players that can bring IU back. CTC, I think, has a knack for finding these diamonds in the rough. It doesn't have to be a selby, Knight, Kyrie, or any other AAU stud to bring us back.

    Step by step.

    I like what I hear about Thomas so far. Is he such a step down from all these other guys we are so hung up on? Sure he's not a PG, but if the talent is anywhere near what we are hearing, how can it be a bad thing?

    And if he feels IU as much as he has said in the past, I say bring the talent and enthusiam.

    Similar to things I have heard AE, Will S., and VO say about IU. I want kids with that passion.

  • JerryCT

    Love the stats… good work

  • marsh21

    This kid is solid from what I've seen and heard. Hopefully we get him!

    We really need an impact point guard for the 11 class as well.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Growing up in Madison–right across the river from Hades–there is no other team in all of sports–not even the New England Patriots–that I hate more than UK. An IU win is the only thing better than a UK loss. At least Tubby Smith was a good person, but there doesn't seem to be any doubt about Calipari being a complete slimeball. Something will eventually surface about his time at UK and it will take the wind out of their sails.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Hoosier Scoop also reported that Ron Patterson (2012 class) is close to committing … everybody on here seems to say DSR all the time, but I think RP is just as good and would make a fantastic addition. Also, he's from Indiana!

  • marcusgresham

    I just hope THIS time they catch him before he leaves town. It's like “Where in the World is John Calipari” with him. He's like chasing Carmen Sandiego.

  • Kelin Blab

    I read that also. Patterson potential is probaly higher than anyone in the 2012 class. He really improved this year with their new coach. Maybe it is that class we should look for our impact players.

  • aceman07

    I've seen Patterson and I totally agree!!! I would love to see IU land Patterson. His athletic ability is off the charts and he has something that most college recruits don't have, adult strength at a young age. He has a large body and other high school players just bounce off of him. He has Eric Gordon type size and strength and IU desperately needs some strength like that along with his talent and athleticism.

  • Thanks for the update. CZ, you had better win Mr. Basketball.? 🙂