’s Dana O’Neil on Zeller sparking IU’s turnaround

  • 01/11/2012 12:45 pm in Unassuming Cody Zeller keys Indiana Hoosiers’ turnaround

With the Zellers, competition never bred contempt. The boys are extremely close — Cody and Tyler speak on the phone frequently, especially now that they share the common war story of college basketball.

Instead, competition bred excellence.

Cody may very well wind up the best Zeller, but that could be due as much to his backyard education as to genetics. Luke, older by five years, took no mercy on his kid brother, and his constant beatdowns only made Cody tougher and more comfortable in the body-smashing world of the low post.

Tyler, taller and heavier than Cody, forced him to find ways to shoot over his bigger brother, helping Cody to develop some finesse moves. “Cody has never had a problem asserting himself,” Tyler said. “He’ll go play against anybody and compete against anybody. When it comes to basketball, he’s done just a fantastic job of learning from us, trying to become the best basketball player he can be.”

It is that combination of brawn and touch that attracted so many coaches to Cody. They loved that he had great hands and mobility for a big man, came armed with a nifty jump hook, and could score with his back to the basket and rebound.

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