Zeller more than just a post player

Indiana freshman Cody Zeller has played against some of the best big men in the nation, and fared well.

He’s seen Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Illinois’ Meyers Leonard already this season.

When the No. 18 Hoosiers played Northwestern on Wednesday night, Zeller faced no such challenge. The Wildcats started the game without a true post player on the floor and attempted to guard Zeller with the 6-9 John Shurna.

Zeller had a clear mismatch, and he figured to get his. But Northwestern figured it would also have a mismatch on the other end with the Hoosier center forced to guard a perimeter player.

The Wildcats gained no such advantage. Zeller started the game on guard Reggie Hearn, and he proved to be anything but a defensive liability in Indiana’s 71-66 win.

“Cody is gonna show people that he’s a lot more than just a big guy and a guy that plays around the bucket,” said Indiana coach Tom  Crean. “He’s an athlete. He’s a basketball player that happens to be very tall. He was on the perimeter tonight more than he’s been on the perimeter in any two or three games combined.”

Offensively, Zeller was his normal self, finishing with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting and seven rebounds. The key for the Hoosiers (20-6, 8-6) was that he didn’t give up just as many points on the other end.

“How tall is he?,” Northwestern coach Bill Carmody asked facetiously, suggesting Zeller didn’t play like the 6-11 he is. “He’s very nifty in the post. We had him perfectly scouted, but he just goes by you or gives you a shoulder and he spins. He’s got a shot for most situations within 15 feet. Nothing fazes him that much. He’s got a lot of poise for a young guy.”

Carmody was asked, besides Zeller, how Indiana is different than the team that Northwestern beat a year ago.

“Besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the play?,” Carmody quipped. “The guy’s a really good player. He’s not just a good freshman player, he’s a really good player in this conference. He doesn’t have too many weaknesses. He doesn’t shoot the ball outside, but I’m not saying he couldn’t.”

SHURNA GOES OFF, BUT SOBOLEWSKI HELD IN CHECK

Shurna had his way with the Hoosiers for much of the game. The senior made almost every possible type of shot on his way to a game-high 29 points.

Indiana had trouble stopping him and Drew Crawford — who scored 18 points — but it didn’t matter. The rest of the Wildcats combined for only 19 points on seven field goals. Freshman Dave Sobolewski, who entered the game averaging 9.1 points per contest, had only three points on 1-of-5 shooting.

“If you allow all three to beat you, you’re probably going to lose the game.,” Crean said. “The job we did on Sobolewski was equally as important as the job we did at the end on John Shurna.”

CREAN LOOKS BACK

After the Hoosiers’ win, Crean was asked if this year’s team compared to any of his Marquette teams of old.

While he said this year has been unique because of what the current players have been through, Crean said this year’s team is somewhat similar to his 2005-06 Marquette team that featured freshmen guards Dominic James, Wesley Matthews and Jerel McNeal, and senior Steve Novak.

That Marquette team made the NCAA tournament and lost in the first round.

“We had some other guys that really had to really pick their roles up,” Crean said. “That team was really underestimated and undervalued, and they played pretty well. But that probably wouldn’t do justice to what everybody’s been through here.”

ETC.

  • Indiana is 12-0 this season when Victor Oladipo scores 11 or more points. He had 12 points against Northwestern.
  • Tom Pritchard and four points and five rebounds in only five minutes in the first half. Both of his baskets were tip ins.
  • In the last 20 years, only two other IU teams have reached 20 wins in fewer games than this year’s Hoosiers (1992-93: 22 games and 2007-08: 23 games).
  • MillaRed

     No doubt about the coaching. It just isn’t best for the team right now. We need him around the basket where he is most effective.

  • MillaRed

    How hilarious would it be if Cody started chucking three’s at Iowa while Hulls was demanding the ball in the post? The live chat would literally implode 400 laptops.

  • MillaRed

    How hilarious would it be if Cody started chucking three’s at Iowa while Hulls was demanding the ball in the post? The live chat would literally implode 400 laptops.

  • MillaRed

    Yes we are all Private Investigators on the side. I spend most of my time in Washington, Indiana with a magnifying glass.

    Or, could it be both of his brothers went to college for 4 years? You should check it out it’s been highly publicized.

  • Miamihoosier

    Anybody see that Oladipo stat about us being 12-0 when he scores 11 or more points?  As we have seen in the last 3 games, things need to be running through him on offense. If UK and OSU don’t have anyone who can stay in front of him, I don’t think anyone in the nation does.                  We run a dribble drive offense, and VO is our best driver……anyone notice how we have avoided those long dry stretches on offense when Vic is running the show? Hulls and Verdell get cut off a LOT when driving, which forces them to kick the ball out top and start the offense over so often, the shot clock just runs down to 2 and we force up a bad shot.

  • SCHoosier

    Well for one reason when they play an MSU..with two bigger stronger post players..it would be nice if Cody could step outside by the foul line and hit the jumper..would open up the dribble drive from the guards..and give Cody an option to take it to the hole and get fouled. The little turn around layups..no matter how clever his footwork is..are gonna get tougher to come by as Zeller is scouted..especially against tournament type big men. Would like to see him work on that isolation jump hook..needs to do it with his left hand also..then I’ll volunteer to be his NBA agent t 10% of course:)

  • SCHoosier

    I don’t drink that much scotch before or during a game..but I might after something like that.

  • SCHoosier

    I agree..next year with leapers like Perea and Holloway patrolling around the hoop..Cody’s foul line jumper becomes more attractive…causethere will be someboy athletic enuff to compete for the rebound.

  • SCHoosier

    Remember that guy who slapped Cody in the package earlier this year..got a 2 and an ejection. I thought about that will Leonard did his elbow take down during the ILL game. Maybe that’s how we can loosen up the MSU defense when they visit..eat out at Taco Bell before the game??

  • catronhoosier

    I am not saying he will average that i am strictly saying that if we ran our offense through him as much as we should he could put up those numbers often

  • RainCityHoosier

    I think that’s a really interesting stat about Vic.  That we are 12-0 when he scores more than 10 points.  Wow.  Hey Coach – how about giving Vic the rock a lot more!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Prichard/1305486384 John Prichard

    What the heck  was Hulls doing??????  Terrible game for a point guard.

  • dtfreed

    You have such a poor sense of humor. By the way oldest Zeller had no chance for the NBA and Tyler probably would have gone if not for the looming lock out, but maybe not. The less IU depends on Cody next year and year after then his stock might be at its high point now. Sent from my Kyocera Echo on the Now Network from Sprint

  • dtfreed

    You have such a poor sense of humor. By the way oldest Zeller had no chance for the NBA and Tyler probably would have gone if not for the looming lock out, but maybe not. The less IU depends on Cody next year and year after then his stock might be at its high point now. Sent from my Kyocera Echo on the Now Network from Sprint

  • dssnyder1

    shurna can flat out ball. i’m guessing he’s been a gym rat since he could walk. goofy shot, yes. want him on my team, yes.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Zellers jumper comments are spot on…I would throw in challenging shots high for blocks
    to cut down fouls and help shut down the lane(opp. high shooting %)..But with the help on the way next year and the hype around Cody being a top 3 pick in the Draft might make next year his last.

  • MillaRed

     I read that CTC asked the Big Ten if they were going to review the Leonard shove and they declined.

  • MillaRed

     I think we are going to LOVE Jeremy Hollowell!

  • MillaRed

     Uh Cody, just in case you are reading this, I will go 9 %.

  • MillaRed

     BLASPHEMY!

  • MillaRed

     Poor sense of humor? That hurts man! I was trying to be funny.

  • MillaRed

     Poor sense of humor? That hurts man! I was trying to be funny.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    IU will either be the deepest team in the B1G or somebody is leaving next season..Yogi and Hollowell will be hard to sit..CTC will be loyal to MoCreek..back court very crowded,and expectations will be very high…Let’s go.

  • dtfreed

    Cool. . .
    Sent from my Kyocera Echo on the Now Network from Sprint

  • Miamihoosier

    Did you see that documentary on Nolan Richardson’s title team at Arkansas?  He had a similiar situation, feeling he had 10+ guys worthy of major minutes.    Thus the birth of “40 minutes of hell”.     They show some game tape where he is subbing in 5 guys at a time.    In one clip they show them blowing away #2 Kentucky at Rupp arena, with the wildcats players exhausted before halftime.           We might very well have a situation like that next year.  Coach Crean might have to consider punishing teams in this way with just relentless pressure from a team of 11 men who’d start on any other team in the leauge.

  • IUMIKE1

    That ref made more than just that particular call that made me go HUH, are you kidding me, back that up and let’s look at that again cause I must have missed something.

  • IUMIKE1

    Or that is what he is TRYING to do but just can’t quite do it.

  • IUMIKE1

     I’m thinking that even if someone does leave we are very likely the deepest team in the B1G next year. Throw in the fact that Mo might be able to return and contribute and the fact that Roth could actually walk on next year and…..well you get the picture.

  • BornHoosierFan

    Dude I’ve seen Lyles play and I can say this if Cody stays 4 years and plays one with Lyles, then you will have your 6th if it hasnt already come by then. They would be one of the scariest Big Men Duos to have ever played college ball. Sure it’s a long shot and a lot can happen between now and then but if it happens….wow!

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

     When Zeller was deciding on which college to attend he was very concerned as to which schools had the best business programs. A player that is that worried about the right school for him academics wise is not just there to play ball and go pro as early as possible, he also wants a good education. I look for Zeller to stay all 4 years unless he earns his degree sooner and then jump to the NBA.

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

    All I can say is I hope Zeller stays for 4 years, which I think he will because he put so much emphasis on the school with the best business program. If he does stay 4 years we are going to be unstoppable with CZ, Trey Lyles, Jurkin and Parea underneath. Man that is an NBA team right there with those 4 and also Yogi handling the ball.

  • 888

    Yep. That would be my plan. At least against teams that arent very deep. Just runem till they drop. Press after every made basket.  Thats another way to make more possetions per game which seems to also help out with not enough minutes to go around.  Bring in a fresh 5 against their winded 5 and put it on them. NO MERCY!!!

  • Hoos13rs

    Kelley in three years AND D1 basketball is very improbable. Nobody in Kelley does it, it’s a four (3 1/2  is doable) year program. 

  • IUJack

    I believe the plan is to break it out in the B10 tournament and use it as a tool all the way to the championship.

  • 888

    Cody is the most versitle big in college basketball. In time when he continues to develop I think he could be a Dirk Nowviski.  He is so athletic. Like Anthony Davis he grew later and was able to develop guard like skills. I think hell graduate in 3 and be gone. Only thing that may get us a fourth year is if hes chasing a banner. Hes going to have every major award in the NCAA. Legendary status. Its hard to compare him to his brothers situations because hes gonna be way better. I think hes national player of the year next year. Hes going to be an absolute beast next year with Yogi running the show. Yogi will get him his 20 touches a game because Yogi knows how to run a team. Yogi makes the guys on his team better. Were  gonna be tough to beat any where we go.

  • HoosierPat

    I really like Oladipo with the ball in his hands be cause he is able to turn the corner off the ball screen and really make something happen. Also, if he is driving that will increase his number of shots in the lane, thus decreasing his shots from the perimeter. I’ve said it all year long, when Victor plays with an attitude, the rest of the team does as well.

  • SCHoosier

    Milla..there is a difference between an agent and a pimp..I mean undercutting me like that….

  • MillaRed

    I am a nun or a pimp? Keep em guessing I always say.

    How could I fail as a pimp if the guy’s nickname is “The Big Handsome?”

  • Kennydescombes

    I don’t blame Cody for that at all.  That 1-3-1 they was playing made it difficult to even pass around the perimeter.  Until Oladipo started attacking it we looked like we had no answer for it. 

  • Kennydescombes

    Please do not overlook the lapse on defense late in the 2nd half of the Wisconsin game that we lost by one possession.  A huge win in Madison was at their finger tips and it slipped away. 

    Hell, if Hulls or Zeller would have showed up to play in East Lansing the first game of the season, they may had a chance to take that big road win as well.  But who’s looking backwards anyway?

  • Kennydescombes

    Please do not overlook the lapse on defense late in the 2nd half of the Wisconsin game that we lost by one possession.  A huge win in Madison was at their finger tips and it slipped away. 

    Hell, if Hulls or Zeller would have showed up to play in East Lansing the first game of the season, they may had a chance to take that big road win as well.  But who’s looking backwards anyway?

  • Geoff_85

    Oh yeah. The win at Mackey was sweet. I can’t wait until the Hoosiers smack the Boilerdouches around at Assembly Hall because I have effectively kept my mouth shut after the Mackey victory to my pu friends UNTIL the beatdown happens at Assembly Hall (this because of IU’s slip-up against the stupid freakin Gophers in Bloomington). Then….it’s on.

  • Jkwenzel2002

    I think trying to get the program to include graduating all players, as Knight did, is the ideal situation. I was there in those days and it was so cool to embrace those kids for four years…Plus so many of them have gone to be a part of the BTN family! Go Hoosiers!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I was going to ridicule you for having “pu friends,” but then I realized that would be the ultimate version of the pot calling the kettle black [and gold].

  • b_side

    Did you just have a Cobra Kai moment?

    Crean: Fear does not exist on this court, does it? 
    Team:  NO, COACH CREAN
    Crean: Pain does not exist on this court, does it? 
    Team:  NO, COACH CREAN
    Crean: Defeat does not exist on this court, does it? 
    Team:  NO, COACH CREAN

  • DannerPerea

    i laughed out loud!!

    For some reason “The Fragrant 2″ made me think of Tom Arnold in the first Austin Powers movie (fitting since CTC and Tom Arnold look like they could be brothers).

    MMyers: “Who does #2 work for?”
    TArnold: “Yeah buddy, you show that turd who’s boss.”

  • DannerPerea

    Hey Milla, i’ve got a funny riddle for ya…a dork logs onto a basketball blog from his phone and rips one of the more intelligent posters. The rest of the community gives him the digital finger. How long before the witty riddle gets removed?

  • Mister Slippery

    I wouldn’t be surprised either way. You can always get a business degree. There are a lot of things that can get in the way of being an NBA Lottery Pick. I hope he stays all four, but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone pursuing their dreams.

  • dbmcubs21

    Bball players all take summer classes.  Graduating in 3 yrs is very possible (Yes even from Kelley) if taking classes each summer, and he started this past summer before his first full freshman semester. 

  • marcusgresham

    He’s shown a jumper….just not this year.  He hit several threes in high school.  He has the shot, he just hasn’t used it.

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