Per a release from IU Media Relations, here’s Tom Crean’s comments this early evening about his latest recruit, Cody Zeller:
“When I look at Cody Zeller, I see a great teammate. I see a young man that has mental toughness that is not normal. I see a young man that has endurance and a will about him that is going to pay dividends at Indiana and for many years after that. Obviously he is a year-round winner from the programs that he is in. He plays for one of the finest coaches in all of high school basketball in Gene Miiller and the proof is there in his record.
“But getting to know Cody and getting to know his family, much like Austin’s, it would have been an absolute shame to not be surrounded by those guys and what they mean as people. The basketball is going to be without question, there is no doubt about that. Cody will continue to improve and the rate of improvement that he has been in over the last year and then watching where he was at over the summer to where he is at now…when you use the phrase “the sky is the limit,” you can put Cody Zeller’s name next to it. I see no ceiling right now for that young man.
“Athletically, ability-wise, stature…but when you look at the entire package and what he has as a human being that is what makes him stand out for us. He is as good of a defensive rebounder as I have ever recruited, not just because of his size but because of his tenaciousness. He has improved his range, he has improved his skill set. He is outstanding at the elbow area and is very good around the post. But what he is getting now more than ever is the ability to shoot the ball from range.”
Oh, and Austin Etherington, too:
“I remember the first time I saw him play in an open gym workout, he had been injured his sophomore year, but there was no doubt that we saw enough inside that first workout to go back the next week. From that, we got hooked on this young man’s athletic ability, on his ability to shoot the ball, on his ability to built a physical nature, even though he was not that physical-type of kid.
“But the thing I love is that he loves basketball. He has a high-level of athletic upside and this summer is when he really started to take shape. One thing that is big in our recruiting is that we want to recruit year-round winners and certainly Austin is that way. Whether it is the winter time or the summertime, he is a year-round winner.”