Banner recruiting weekend in Bloomington

  • 10/28/2010 9:37 pm in

The recruitment of Washington forward Cody Zeller began for Tom Crean shortly after Indiana’s third-year head coach arrived in Bloomington in April of 2008.

Just five months before Crean coined the now famous catch phrase, “It’s Indiana” in his introductory press conference, Cody’s older brother, Tyler, an Indiana Mr. Basketball and McDonald’s All-American, had announced his decision to play for Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Indiana was a viable option for Tyler until NCAA transgressions began to surface and his official visit, according to an account by former interim head coach Dan Dakich, went awry.

Tyler’s decision, at the time, didn’t seem so discouraging as Eric Gordon was preparing to join D.J. White on a team with Final Four aspirations. And Kelvin Sampson had reeled in another five-star recruit, Devin Ebanks, a few months earlier, easing the blow of losing Tyler to Williams and UNC.

But the IU program began to collapse in the months ahead. Tyler’s feelings that he didn’t want to spend four years of life under the characteristics of Sampson’s program were validated.

As Tyler prepared in the late spring of 2008 for his departure for Chapel Hill, Crean simultaneously began formulating his plan to ensure that Cody wouldn’t make that same choice.

In the coming weeks, we will learn if IU’s most important recruit since Gordon and Jared Jeffries is sold on Crean’s vision to restore the program to national prominence.

This weekend, Cody’s official visit, is a big step in that process.

Zeller will attend Friday’s “Night of the Living Red” scrimmage. He’ll soak up the atmosphere of Assembly Hall one last time. He’ll likely hear his name chanted. And chanted. And chanted. And then chanted some more for good measure.

He and his parents, Lorri and Steve, will use their trained eyes to watch and evaluate the current product on Branch McCracken Court. They’ll also ask questions, listen carefully to answers and gather the final pieces of data necessary to assist in a decision. The final decision, as was the case with Luke and Tyler, will be Cody’s.

Crean, in 30 months, has done a remarkable job of restoring the expectation of excellence for the Indiana program.

It’s not yet reflected in his record of wins and losses, but his unwillingness to take shortcuts during the rebuilding process is refreshing in the current instant-gratification world of college basketball. The restored academic focus, evidenced by the fact that all players received a GPA of 2.9 or higher last spring, should appeal to the Zeller family. If Crean is to build a winner in Bloomington, and I believe he will, that accomplishment will be the result of his relentless work ethic.

But for now, the immediate focus is on a 48-hour trip to Bloomington that, if all goes well, could lead to more recruiting momentum and an acceleration of IU’s return to elite status.

Yes, Cody Zeller is coming to Bloomington on Friday. Will he stick around for the next four years? Stay tuned.

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  • jgongora86

    Korey Barnet is now shooting. Tom Pritchard also just walked in. This is awesome Halloween and Indiana basketball=awesome

  • jgongora86

    Watford is waving at the crowd. He is bigger this year. More muscles around the legs and a bit more on the upper body.

  • jgongora86

    Guy marc is posting Daniel moore LOL

  • adamlagrange

    Very true! I lived near the Ohio River at the very southern tip of the state and can remember watching channel 4 through a lot of static!

  • BaseballBuc

    thanks jg!

  • N71

    Great post cameronc023. I don’t necessarily want JH any less, just became a bigger fan of GH. Where is Garry this weekend? Where is his head with regards to IU?

  • jgongora86

    No recruits yet. I wonder if I should scream Cody Zellers name. I probably will.

  • jgongora86

    Is Alex going to be reporting soon? Verdell is wearing a large boot. Maurice is looking fine, but he really needs to grow some leg muscles.

  • jgongora86

    Everyone is practicing now. pritchard had large bandage on hand. Does anyone know what happened?

  • jgongora86

    Team is hudling up in the center court. They are light jogging around the court.

  • jgongora86

    I’ve been asked nicely to shut the computer, so I will. Sorry guys. Team stretches are going on right now.

  • jgongora86

    First cody sighting. He was quickly in and out. We cheered and a few Hey Cody’s

  • Anonymous

    Please, if you are there and reading this please use your phone to provide coverage if possible

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty sure ebanks wasnt like that at all. not sure how many WV games u watched but he played hard every night and didnt have much of a tude on court at all. ya he didnt really pan out as a stud but definitely not a turd.

  • Anonymous

    Ummm..BJY isn’t committed to IU…he’s going to Arkansas if I recall. But you’re right, CZ would already be committed like AE, RP (Buss), PJ, and all the future dominoes.

  • Anonymous

    Cooper, i have to disagree with you. Sampson had some playaz here..some of them “the best” players. And we had ALL SORTS of character problems then. I’ll take the “BEST FIT” players for IU. You know, the ones that:
    1) WANT to play for IU
    2) Attend class and work in the classroom and on the court
    3) Are NOT crack/pot/boozeheads (apologies to my friends)
    4) Do the right thing even when nobody is looking

    Some of us consider these “midwestern” values and therefore we want CODY because he represents all of that stuff coming back to our beloved IU.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, back when Benson, Buckner, May, Wilkerson, Green, Abernathy (6th man), etc were greeted by thousands of fans when the bus pulled in from away games…and they ALL had a shirt and tie on when they de-boarded. I’m sure that was Knight telling them, “Look, you want the respect of the fans here? It’s not just about winning. It’s about winning with class. Or losing with class. Either way, you’re men now so lose the boyish attitudes and get those ties on.” Maybe he didn’t say that, but he could have.?..

  • Anonymous

    I will NOT pet your monkey.

  • Anonymous

    I generally agree with what you’re saying here, but that Carmelo Anthony cat did OK for Syracuse.

  • Anonymous

    I’m just glad he’s not going to prom with the girl down south in royal blue because he’d have to drive a tractor and sit with the special ed kids.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, we were barely able to pick up 4 in Harrison County. Luckily 41 usually carried the games here, though.

  • Anonymous

    He won’t commit to anything by Sunday night except getting up to go to class at Washington High School on Monday morning. He’s said all along he’ll make his decision in November, and November isn’t before Sunday night, so I’d be stunned if he makes any announcement by then.

  • Bsc08

    rumor has it…..called unc today to say…adiso