Zeller, Washington repeat as Class 3A champs

  • 03/26/2011 9:56 pm in

(Photo Credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports)

INDIANAPOLIS — Cody Zeller is a state champion for the third time. And this year, Zeller and the Washington Hatchets didn’t need overtime to win the Class 3A title.

The IU signee and McDonald’s All-America scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as Washington beat Culver Academies 61-46 on Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.

It was the 17th consecutive win for the Hatchets (24-4).

“He’s just a great young man. A high character man,” Washington coach Gene Miiller said of Zeller, who received the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award. “A great student and a very good basketball player. He’s the total package. He does everything well.”

The victory gave Washington its fourth state title in seven seasons.

Unlike last year’s meeting with Gary Lew Wallace, the result was never in doubt after the opening eight minutes. After trailing by one at the start of the second quarter, the Hatchets reeled off an 18-6 second quarter to take control.

Zeller, who scored 20 points and pulled down 26 rebounds in last year’s championship game, reflected on the repeat and his time at Washington afterward.

“It’s definitely fun winning it,” he said. “It’s better every time. I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches. In 2008, I don’t think I would have won it without that one teammate of mine.”

Watch the entire Washington postgame press conference after the jump.

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  • Marsh21

    I know this is an IU site but man someone needs to run the story on Butler. What a run that program is on and I don’t mind putting it on this site. Zeller is great and Crean is building something special but at the end of the day I love Indiana basketball and was standing up going nuts for that team.

    When Crean gets this program turned around all of this stuff which adds to the pressure will be great chapers in his book. I would like it if our coach would at least tweet on Butler for another final four run.

    It’s great that Purdue with all of that talent couldn’t even accomplish what Butler has.

  • IndianaFan

    The Butler sites can run their own story. This is an Indiana site. Indiana fans are about 50/50 Butler hater or lover. How do you run the story? Positive for those who like Butler, or negative for the other half?

  • #1IUFAN!

    I am from Princeton, so all Washington fans know who I am. (Proud of my Princeton Tiger boys, Ron, Don, Jalen, Caleb, Matt etc.) What I would like to point out is I am a HOOSIER born & bred and I am happy to see what Cody and the rest of his teamates have accomplished. It seems to me that the Big 8 confernce is where the best basketball is played and this is why we keep winning state championships.The Butler run is great, but as Marsh21 pointed out this is an I.U.!!! site. So we talk about I.U.!!! players (or future players) so head on over to the Butler site and see what they have to say. I’m not saying I wasn’t cheering for them, but why should an I.U.!!!! site need to talk about what another team is doing.
    In closing way to go Cody (future HOOSIER!!!) & the rest of the Hatchets. Not disrespecting what Butler has done but I am proud to be a HOOSIER!!!

  • Anonymous

    Nice job, Cody…and may your big brother feed off of your momentum to get his own victory tomorrow.

  • Anonymous

    According to the site I found, his name is Chier Ajou. 7’0″ 215, and headed to New Mexico to play for Steve Alford.

  • Anonymous

    He has been reclassified as part of the ’12 class, though. He is going to take more classes at Culver next year, but he will not be eligible to play in the IHSAA.

  • IUeconAlum

    Nice to see a fellow Indiana school do something this year in the tourney, but you must be kidding. I’m sure Butler will be mentioned once Stevens leaves for another program like Matta and Lick. I’ll be rooting for both UK and UNC to lose at some point and VCU to win.

  • Anonymous

    Besides the talent we need, Cody may bring two intangibles that could influence this whole thing for good.

    1. He knows what it takes to win, and expects to win. This has been a missing piece on this team.

    2. His focus and concentration, which Tom Crean says is the highest of any player he’s recruited. This has also been missing some.

    You can probably think right now of times at work or in your family where one person’s attitude and example and determination spread and made a difference (good or bad). This might be as important as the talent Cody brings.

    And I’m thinking of MO in this: Cody’s brother, Tyler, started off his college career missing 33 games the first 2 years. First a broken wrist and then a stress fracture in his foot. He became a role player. But, he’s gotten stronger and stronger as a junior. In his last 3 tourney games (before today), he’s averaging 27 points, against the best competition on the biggest stage. His teammates now call him the backbone of the team. You never know.

  • Luke72

    No question that Cody is a class act! To give credit where credit is due , great job by his parents being motivators and guides to three outstanding young men! So now I find myself
    rooting for NC based on seeing more success for another Zeller, of course the fact that they are playing UK helps as well! Rooting for NC still seems a bit stange though. Way to go Cody! Here’s hoping this is the first step to yopu winning a championship at the next level too!

  • Q95

    what a difference cody will make on this program. no question about it. did anyone see where sullinger claims he is returning to osu. i will believe it when i see it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m all for Butler-love. It’s a great story. Soon, we’ll want people to be on-board with our ashes-to-beauty, rise-of-the-Phoenix story. I’ve heard with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, so Go Dogs!

  • ldiu

    I was at the game and Cody was indeed all I expected. He will be a force from day one and get better and better. Such good hands and runs the floor extremely well. Does need to gain some weight and work on free throws.
    Even though Ajou was outplayed by Cody, he has tremendous potential and the upside to him is unlimited.

  • So_Cal_Hoosier

    Is it realistic to say that there’s a good chance Cody has Mr. Basketball locked up?

  • stonaroni

    So were you pleased? Sounds a bit negative. I am sure he will add 20 lbs by fall and no matter what, he will be our best interior option from day one; pluse he is a McDonalds All American.

  • stonaroni

    Great post. I appreciate your sportsmanship. I too totaly respect what Butler has done and I am proud that Butler is from the state of Indiana.

  • stonaroni

    Stevens has no reason to leave and money doesn’t man anything to hm, especially when heledt a six figure job to be a voluntee asst. Hewill be at Butler for many years.

  • HoosierDavey

    Anybody else think that we will probably be playing NC in the B10/ACC Challenge next year? I can totally see that being engineered to take advantage of the Zeller matchup. Hopefully it will be at the Hall.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I saw some really good things out of Cody (I was there as well) and a couple things I felt I should probably mention.

    The Good:
    1) He does not force the issue at all! He plays very smooth, lets the game come to him, never forces shots or passes, and almost expects and waits for a double team to find an open man.
    2) He has a real nose for the ball on the glass.
    3) He has a very nice shot.
    4) He was obviously the team leader.
    5) The game looked very easy for him.

    The Bad:
    1) I agree that he got out of position on defense quite a bit and because he wasn’t working a few times he gave up an offensive rebound.
    2) He still has to fill out and I hope he gets Tyler’s size and strength because he’s not real strong at this point.

    Here it is guys . . . we really, REALLY, need to adjust our expectations because I’m afraid many IU fans are still expecting him to come in and be the savior and average 15/10 and that’s just not the player he is right now. He’s more of a team player and I do think he’ll make others around him better because he’s an excellent interior passer and lets the game come to him. I would be ecstatic if he averaged 12/7 or even 11/6 if he plays like he did last night.

    That’s what we need to expect and if we can expect that then we will be thrilled with what he brings to the table.

  • Anonymous

    Very helpful. Right on, Ace.

    If next year he averages 11-12 points, a half-dozen rebounds, and makes those around him better, that will be a huge contribution.

  • Dave

    I think he’ll be a great addition but like others have said this is not John Wall at the “4.” I guess this game just helped me put him in the proper perspective.

    I just looked at Ty Zeller’s stats in HS when he was listed as the 33rd rated player in the class of 2008 and he was 215 lbs. Now he’s 250 lbs. Cody is listed as 215 lbs also.

  • Diesel

    Did AE participate in an all-star game this weekend? Any update on his performance is welcomed.

  • Not that I’m aware of. Believe he was at Conseco yesterday, but I could be wrong.

  • I’m hoping for D.J White-type of numbers from his frosh year: 10/5

  • Anonymous

    Butler = indiana basketball; so be it

  • oldred1976

    I have always heard that both Cody and Austin are good passers so hopefully when their on the floor the whole team will benefit.
    Congratulations Cody!

  • Brian_h_whitaker

    Alex or anyone ….. Is there any more info on Jamari Traylor ? I think he would really help us.

  • ldiu

    He was in church this morning.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, that kid had a nice shot and looked like he had a decent amount of coordination. That might be a steal for NM down the road.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I think that’s very realistic. He may end up having slightly better numbers than that after playing cupcake central in the preseason but I would be very happy with 10/6 in the Big Ten!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Jeez Stoni, how much had you been drinking when you typed out this comment? Or was it a mobile phone entry gone bad?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I would root for the Indiana State Penitentiary team if they were playing pUKe! SUCKS THAT pUKe WON!!!

    Dangit!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Believe it. It doesn’t surprise me at all.

  • Diesel

    Was going off Demling’s post from Friday:

    Some of the top basketball prospects from the state of Kentucky, along with Indiana University signee Austin Etherington, will be competing on Saturday at the Dr Pepper Midwest All-Star Classic at Meramec College in St. Louis.

    Four games are scheduled, including the East vs. West main event at 7:45 p.m.

    Eastern High School stars Remy Abell, Kameron Woods and Lyonell Gaines, along with Mason County’s Treg Setty and Clark County’s Vinny Zollo, will be on the East team. Etherington is also on the East team.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve said it before—I’d root for the University of Hell if they played Kentucky.

    I’m just glad I wasn’t home to watch it.

  • Anonymous

    I am not too worried about it. If they win the title, they will have to vacate it in about 3 years anyway!

  • IU13

    12/7, 11/6, 10/5 any way you put it those numbers sound incredible. I think (at least I hope) that no one is expecting him to come in and average 15/10 or something like that, because that would be ridiculous. But still, when I watched the game last night, I saw a 6’11” kid that does all of the things you talked about and also, if I may point out, runs the floor incredibly for his size, and those are the holes this team needs to fill. I know I’m not the first to point that out, but that’s what stuck out to me. You’re right, people expecting him to be the immediate “savior” of our team probably have their expectations out of whack, but you’re also right in that the things he can bring to the table from day 1 (smooth demeanor, solid rebounding on both ends, good shot, team leadership) will be a thrilling contribution. I suppose that’s a long way of saying I agree with your post, but I figured I’d put my two cents in.

  • Anonymous

    That’s three too many years of listening to hordes of numbnuts.

  • Anonymous

    The University of Hell, I like that. They are officially on my list now. LOL

    My list also includes any Russian team if they were playing them but then again I’ve yet to find a team I would not root for if they are playing the Big Blue Cesspool

  • Anonymous

    Was on the road when the JH announcement was made and had to find a radio station to find out the outcome. The station that I found was also a call in and comment program. A pUKe fan called in and said ” down the road everyone would find out that rules were for sure broke for IU to be able to get the kind of class that Crean had put together for ’12 and other upcoming classes cause there was no way that IU could pull in those kind of recruits without cheating.”

    My thumb instantly went over my pointing finger and the finger next to that one went straight up as my hand was put up against the radio.

    Typical pUKe fan behavior. God I hate them to the point that it is almost unhealthy.

  • CreamandCrimson

    If you wanted to run the story, you wouldn’t slant it positively or negatively. You would simply write the facts and let people decide how they feel about it. The facts are fairly simple, Butler is the first team from Indiana to make back-to-back Final Fours. Brad Stevens is the youngest coach to make two Final Fours. They knocked off ODU, Pitt, Wisconsin and Florida to make it. They won four games by 13 points.

    I don’t think we need a story about it on this site but you wouldn’t worry about it being a positive or negative story, you would write the story and let people decide how they feel. That’s something Alex and the rest of the ITH writers do very well.

  • Anonymous

    Aceman- couldn’t agree more. Kid needs to bulk up..get settled into a tougher..faster paced environment where he will be facing big athletic kids every game. That said..it has killed IU not to have an offensive option in the post..Zeller will give them that which means it opens up a number of plays that Crean could not get executed in the past. Problem is..I’m still questioning if we have a point guqrd who can INITIATE those plays without dribbling for the first 20 seconds .ofpossession

  • Plane1972

    I appreciate the first-hand review of CZ, Ace. The only time I have seen him play was the Adidas Nations tournament that was televised last summer and I came away with the same impressions of his play. Bigger guys can knock him off his spot without much problem, but he never gives up on plays and runs the court. He will struggle at playing the 4 or 5 defensively, but he has a little range that could pull his man out of the lane on the offensive end. Gaining strength will definitely be the key for him.

  • Plane1972

    I’ve had this crazy idea in my head since Butler’s run last year, but with this second march through the bracket it has made it seem even more relevant to me: I think Brad Stevens may end up being Duke’s next coach.

    It may not happen for a few years, and I know Coach K has his own coaching tree at Duke, but eventually he will retire and none of his own guys are tearing it up right now (Amaker, Dawkins, Snyder, Capel, Wojo, Collins, etc). Stevens is an intelligent guy who obviously knows how to maximize talent, how to game plan, has experience at a small institution, is cool under pressure, and will have a very healthy resume.

    Just put that one in your memory banks and remember me fondly when it goes down. :>)

  • marcusgresham

    God I hope not. I want to continue to like Brad Stevens and hate Duke.

  • RobD

    four years of a nearly 7-foot smart player who can hit his free throws still sounds pretty good. Tyler starts for UNC. If Cody can simply match his brother (as opposed to surpass him, which is not an unrealistic expectation) he’ll be a mainstay.

  • Anonymous

    That is one of the best examples of the pot calling the kettle black that I have ever heard of. Amazing. Can’t stand them!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    It’ll be interesting to see if he sees double teams as a freshman at IU because of our current roster or if he’s just guarded one on one. The couple times I saw him it was almost like he knew the double team was coming and would actually wait on it before finding an open player for a shot attempt. He played so under control because he knew he was going to be doubled and tripled.

    At IU he may actually have to adjust his game a bit because he’s not getting doubled so much. It may make his more of a scorer and less or a passer, or he may just go by his man, attract the non-conventional double team, and then still find the open man?

    I’m really looking forward to seeing how much improvement he makes between now and when he steps on the floor at the Hall!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    We do. His name is Yogi and he will arrive the season after. MAN, that kid plays under control for someone with so much speed and athleticism! I loved watching him play the other day. I’m definitely going to make the game next year when Yogi and Buss square off!