Athlon Sports tabs Zeller as Big Ten freshman of the year

  • 09/25/2011 8:54 pm in

The third preseason college basketball preview magazine of the fall is out and Indiana forward Cody Zeller is the preseason pick for Big Ten freshman of the year by Athlon Sports.

As we mentioned back on September 6, Athlon has the Hoosiers finishing ninth in the conference with a bit to the N.I.T.

Here is the complete order of finish for the league, according to Athlon: 1. Ohio State, 2. Wisconsin, 3. Michigan State, 4. Michigan, 5. Illinois, 6. Purdue, 7. Northwestern, 8. Minnesota, 9. Indiana, 10. Iowa, 11. Nebraska, 12. Penn State.

Christian Watford also received some accolades as he was selected preseason third team All-Big Ten. Athlon’s first team All-Big Ten is Jared Sullinger, Jordan Taylor, William Buford, Trevor Mbawke and John Shurna.

The two other hoops previews on newsstands see the Big Ten as follows:

Sporting News: 1. Ohio State, 2. Wisconsin, 3. Michigan, 4. Michigan State, 5. Purdue, 6. Indiana, 7. Northwestern, 8. Minnesota, 9. Illinois, 10. Iowa, 11. Nebraska, 12. Penn State.

Lindy’s: 1. Ohio State, 2. Michigan, 3. Michigan State, 4. Illinois, 5. Wisconsin, 6. Purdue, 7. Northwestern, 8. Minnesota, 9. Iowa, 10. Indiana, 11. Nebraska, 12. Penn State.

If you average the finishes of all three, here’s a look at how the league could shake out:

Composite: 1. Ohio State, 2. Michigan, 2. Wisconsin, 4. Michigan State, 5. Purdue, 6. Illinois, 7. Northwestern, 8. Minnesota, 9. Indiana, 10. Iowa, 11. Nebraska, 12. Penn State.

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  • Anonymous

    I stopped reading at “finishing ninth in the conference”

  • HoosierDavey

    Only a rash of injuries causes us to finish 9th or worse…we are WAY underrated. 

  • Anonymous

    the real question is improvement.  Teams can add shooters but touches may not be available due to returning players. Size can be added to team but if that isn’t a weakness there won’t be much improvement.  IU needed size  { Zeller }  and hopefully along with some defensive improvement the change from last year will be really significant.  Three extra stops and three more buckets is a ten to twelve point swing  from last year .  The real question is do we have  a real go to player yet ?

  • Anonymous

    I agree, this is the year that we should finally break through.

  • Anonymous

    At the very least, the basketball team won’t lose to North Texas

  • Wow why even watch this season-we know how we will finish and who the players and freshman of the year will be.   Hey Gurus – how did Zeller do vs OSU?

  • WestCoast Hoosier

    My optimism is tempered by the blows that reality has delivered to our overly positive assessments of the basketball team last year and the football team this year.

    While it appears that this team will be significantly better than last year’s team, there are still issues:

    1.It appears likely that Mo Creek is not going to be what he briefly was in his freshman season – a dominant force. And if he plays, he may become a defensive liability. I fearfully see, and sadly recognize — and  I hope that I am wrong, that he is not half the player he used to be.

    2. It appears again that we are lacking depth and strength in the front court, despite the wonderful addition of Mr. Zeller. Unless Mr. Pritchard is going to improve markedly and Me. Elston was, as has been suggested, nursing a hidden in jury last year and is ready to re-emerge.

    3. Also, if the defense is as bad as it was last year, regardless of what anyone does, things could be ugly again.

  • MPmike

    The only way to prove the naysayers wrong is to win. Just shut up and win!!!!

  • CoachB

    Its interesting how Illinois is all over the board finishing anywhere from 4th to 9th.  What is it about Illinois that has some writers nervous, besides the obvious fact that Weber is their coach.

  • Please continue to under rate Purdue and Coach Painter.  IU has proved nothing to date that they can do anything with talent up to now.  I’m glad Crean has put together a top class but his inability to coach will be his down fall this season as with the proceeding 5 seasons or so.  The hype is really ridiculous.  IU is NOT under rated and you silly IU fans need to lower your expectations or should I say manage them.  Being delusional only disappoints you.

  • Plane1972

    I was thinking the same thing. Last year? Sure. Not this year. If CW gets to play his more natural position, he should take a huge step forward and put Shurna’s ugly (yet effective) shooting form on the 2nd or 3rd team.

  • Plane1972

    Is that what you call “tempered optimism”? I wanted to go throw myself off a tall building after reading your post, WestCoast. Stay away from sharp objects today, man.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I think we’ll all be pissed if we don’t finish at least .500 in the B1G. 

    They are just running the numbers and not taking into consideration that IU was plagaed with injuries for most of the season and no 7ft’r.  I would have been a different season but it is what it was.
    If everyone stays healthy we should finish 7th or higher.

  • MillaRed

    I agree its quite dark Plane. But he does speak the truth does he not? All 3 points are valid. And I would throw in a 4th in terms of CTCs ability to make this team click.

    The team is better personnel wise. That cannot be denied. But our friend on the west coast is right, if this “emphasis on the defensive end” does not come to fruition, 9th place it is.

  • MillaRed

    See ITH peeps, we don’t have to put any pressure on Cody. Everyone else is doing it for us.

    If there is a kid out there that can handle all of this, it’s CZ. His parents have been through it twice, his brothers once each. He’s a smart kid.

    I could care less about these pre-season awards. I just want Cody to progress like Tyler, who was an absolute BEAST in last year’s tournament.

    Just seeing Cody out there gives me hope and reason to stay on top of our Hoosiers.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about you Steve, but i watch IU Basketball because I enjoy the sport (college basketball) and I’m a diehard IU fan. We’ll see how the season goes, but i predict CZ will play 32 minutes vs. OSU and have a respectable night of 14pts and 8rebs. He’ll also help limit Sullinger to 12pts and 10rebs…so…write it down;) 

  • Plane1972

    Good points, all.