Basketball Prospectus examines the burden placed on Cody Zeller

  • 11/14/2011 12:56 pm in

Basketball Prospectus: One Burdened Freshman

The Washington, Indiana, product may also provide support in two other areas for the Hoosiers. His mere presence in the paint could generate more blocks for Indiana, which finished last in the league in block percentage last year. On the other end of the court, Crean will run some offensive sets through Zeller to generate more high-percentage scoring opportunities. After connecting on just 48 percent of their two-pointers a year ago, it will be a luxury for the Hoosiers to be able to feed a big man who can create offense close to the basket. And if he and his teammates can cut down on the fouls, Indiana may just end the season with some momentum heading into their destiny year.

No matter what becomes of the Hoosiers in 2011-12, there will be a microscope on Cody Zeller throughout the season. That microscope is focusing on him in a manner that no other top-25 freshman has seen in at least the last four seasons. The next time you read about the massive expectations awaiting Zeller this year, tip your cap to the young man. He’s a rare breed among elite recruits.

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  • Anonymous

    Since when is the dismissive modifier “just” appropriate when you shoot 48+% from the field: “just 48 percent of their two-pointers a year ago”? A FG % of 50% has always been a mark of very good offense in college basketball. Last season in the Big 10 OH ST was #1 at .494, IL #2 at .468, and IU #3 at .461, for all games. As you can see the correct % is .461 not .480 for IU in 2010-11.

  • Anonymous

    Good article and liked the graph he showed cause it showed just how much has been placed on this young mans shoulders and it also showed how much confidence CZ has in Crean.

  • IUJeff

    The “burden” being placed on Zeller is by the media – not us IU fans. To expect IU to go from 12 – 18 last year to much above .500 this year due to the addition of 3 freshmen is unrealistic IMO. We still have most of the same team that won 3 big ten games last year. Zeller will be fine though no matter how much expectations the media place on him.   

  • Anonymous

    Not just because of the addition of 3 freshmen, but really because of that along with the progression of players that are now sophomores and juniors. I think you can also add the fact that IU just wasn’t healthy last year. Watford was injured during Big Ten play and he was IU’s leading scorer. The team also had to adapt after losing Mo Creek. Coming into this season, they’re prepared for that. I don’t think 18 wins is out of the question, but Cody Zeller has to get the ball on the offensive end and this team needs to avoid injuries. I’m curious to know what your prediction of IU’s record at season’s end is…15-16? I think 18-19.