Watford, Zeller named to Naismith Award watch list

Less than a week after being named to the preseason top 50 list for the John Wooden Award, Indiana senior Christian Watford and sophomore Cody Zeller find themselves on another preseason award watch.

The Naismith Award, given annually to the top player nationally in men’s basketball, announced Tuesday morning that Watford and Zeller are two of seven Big Ten players receiving early consideration for the award.

According to a press release from the Naismith Award, the 50-player list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors. The criteria for selection includes performance from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-2013 college basketball season.

Michigan’s Trey Burke, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas, Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe and Penn State’s Tim Frazier were also selected.

Indiana’s last Naismith Award winner was Calbert Cheaney in 1993.

Scott May also won the award in 1976, the same year the Hoosiers went undefeated and won their third national championship.

In addition to being named to the Wooden list, Zeller has also been named a preseason first-team All-American by The Associated Press, CBSSports.com, Sporting News and the Blue Ribbon Yearbook.

The IU sophomore was also named the preseason Big Ten player of the year last month at the conference’s media day in Chicago.

  • psvirsky

    Well that’s the straw that breaks the camels back. Now we all have to eat some crow and admit this kid really might be legit.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Watford has the ability… He just has to stay focused. I think that’s it? It’s so hard to tell with him. I’m no basketball guru, so I don’t know how he’s disappearing in these first few games. Not driving enough? Getting himself open enough? I really don’t know. What I do know is that I’d love nothing more than to see him lead us in scoring against Sam Houston before returning to his regular dominant self against a quality opponent in Georgetown/UCLA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.harpe Joseph Guy Harpe

    I am sick and tired of people talking poorly of christian…he has stuck with this program through thick and thin and I havnt heard of him complaining about it once…he does whatever is asked of him whether it be guarding a pg or guarding a C being as undersized as he is for the job…he is vital part of this team and deserves to be treated better by some of us hoosier fans that seem to forget some of the great moments he has given us.

  • Mop Lady

    I don’t know…I’m still not sold on Zeller…he’s really got to improve to gain my confidence…

  • Mop Lady

    I don’t know…I’m still not sold on Zeller…he’s really got to improve to gain my confidence…

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    He had 15 and 15 in the season opener. I’d hardly call that disappearing.

  • marcusgresham

    My guess would be that he’s smart enough to realize that, given the disparity in the level of talent between IU and the first two teams, there’s no reason to try to do too much when there are tons of other guys on the team who are capable. Take what you get, work as a team, get out with a relatively easy victory. There are other guys on this team who are probably in bigger need of a confidence boost than Watford is. When we need him, he’ll be there. I’d also give him credit for not hoisting up shots every time he gets the ball, as he’s been a bit off. You wait–when he starts off with a couple going in he’s going to go off on someone for about 25 and everyone will say, “there he is? Why doesn’t he do that every game?” He’s like Eric Clapton; just because he can play the solo doesn’t mean he detracts from the melody.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.harpe Joseph Guy Harpe

    lol…funniest thing ive read today

  • Evansville Hoosier

    sorry, disappearing isn’t the operative word. He obviously showed up on the boards and on the defensive side that first game. What I’m referring to is his 5-15 start from the floor. not very Watford-like. But he started slowly last year as well, so I’m not that worried about him. He’s immensely talented and I’m confident that’ll show when we need it to.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    sorry, disappearing isn’t the operative word. He obviously showed up on the boards and on the defensive side that first game. What I’m referring to is his 5-15 start from the floor. not very Watford-like. But he started slowly last year as well, so I’m not that worried about him. He’s immensely talented and I’m confident that’ll show when we need it to.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    if you’re referring to what I commented earlier, all I was saying was that he’s started poorly from the field, I’m not insinuating he’s not a team player or something. Can we agree he hasn’t played like himself the first 2 games? He’s MUCH better than a 5-15 start from the floor. What I think he has changed, positively from last year, is that he’s still showing up in these games where he isn’t leading the charge on offense. 15 boards the first game and some very solid defense in both games has been evidence of that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/salvatore.b.amadeo Salvatore Amadeo

    If I may put in my $0.02. I think the reason he is shooting 5-15 through two games, is more about his pysche than anything else. Regardless of what Zeller does this season, he is almost a lock for a top-5 pick. (maybe not regardless, but you get the idea). Watford however has to show that he can score AND defend to be considered for the next level. I think he is psyching himself out and not letting the game come to him. he is a good player, but i think he is worried about not putting up enough points day in and day out to get a decent shot in the draft. He has taken some poor shots thus far, and is forcing the issue too much. Also, at least in the first game, it looked like he had a hitch in his jumper. Maybe not, i was sitting in row 35, but thats my perception.

  • SCHoosier

    Well dear I can understand how his leaving multiple scuff take off marks makes it hard for you to keep the Assembly Hall floor Spic N Span. Ask for a better Mop..think what will happen against the “Tar” heels!:)

  • SCHoosier

    I want to see Cody shoot more shots facing the basket..and the NBA wants to see him MAKE them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.harpe Joseph Guy Harpe

    no I was not just referring to you I was referring to all the comments (and some very scathing) about him…last year would not have been near as successfull without him and people are on here killing him over his play in two games one of which he had a career high 15 rebs to go with 15 pts and both were blowout wins…if he continues to struggle all year thats a whole different story but I highly doubt that he will…the kid is humble, works hard and deserves much more respect than he is getting two games into the season.

  • calbert40

    Nine players from the B1G (though I wonder how Brandon Paul was one of them). I can’t wait for the conference part of the schedule. My wife will wish we didn’t have the BTN, because that is all that will be on TV from January through early March!

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.coghlan.50 Matt Coghlan

    Not really really related, but I was wondering when Crean’s contract would be updated on ITH.

  • aztrip

    different subject, but how about pUKe going down tonight…out here in arizona and loving this website so i cn feel like home…thanks ith for keeping everyone informed you do a great job…and on the subject, watford started slow from the field last yr as well…he is trying to find his role and once he does, he will kick butt…not that he isnt already with the bounding and team play he is showing…i think it will take several games for the team to really come together which is good scary considering they averaging over 90 so far…just wish hanna perrea and jurkin could be a part of things now

  • Miamihoosier

    Anybody check out this guy Dwayne Morgan from the 2014 class? He is a top15/20 ranked player, has IU on his final six, is also from Baltimore, and if you look at his list, we are the only blue blood program on there. With the success Kenny Johnson has been having, I’d say we have a pretty good shot with him. With he and Blackmon Jr, alone that’s another top 15 recruiting class! Now that the season’s started, recruiting would normally of taken a back seat for me, but I guess this NOVO signing just has me so pumped up for the program’s future

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    After watching the replay of the NDSU game last night, I think Zeller is starting to get the “star treatment” from the refs (a la Michael Jordan) — sometimes it looked like a non-call, but the refs blew their whistle and sent Zeller to the line.

    I’m not complaining; instead, this is a sign that IU has finally arrived. Whether we like it or not, big teams and their best players often get the benefit of the doubt. For the past three years, we’ve generally gotten hosed by the zebras, but the NDSU game was different. IU seemed to get nearly every call it wanted. I love to complain about the refs as much as the last guy, but the NDSU game left virtually no room for complaint.

  • marcusgresham

    That was the intention, but when you’re down 3 frontcourt guys, it becomes more pertinent that the biggest one of the bunch stays as close to the basket as possible. When they all get back I’d venture to say you’ll Cody move around the floor a bit more.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Congratulations to both Cody and Christian. Do your work and everything else will work out. What an amazing honor to be considered for the award, and I am proud to witness two Hoosiers with a chance to win something very few Hoosiers recently have.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Have you been walking around with your bucket on your head again? Just jokin :)

  • millzy32

    UK looks pretty raw (and by raw I mean pretty average) You can see they have some talent but they lack a true point guard even when Harrow is healthy. Man O Man O Man O Man I wish we were playing them this year. Paybacks would be nice. Maybe the NCAA tournament would be a nice time to repay them for last year. They purposely put us in UK’s bracket last year to get that sweet 16 matchup they wanted. They can do it again. Come on NCAA let us at ‘em again I promise a different result this time around.

  • millzy32

    UK looks pretty raw (and by raw I mean pretty average) You can see they have some talent but they lack a true point guard even when Harrow is healthy. Man O Man O Man O Man I wish we were playing them this year. Paybacks would be nice. Maybe the NCAA tournament would be a nice time to repay them for last year. They purposely put us in UK’s bracket last year to get that sweet 16 matchup they wanted. They can do it again. Come on NCAA let us at ‘em again I promise a different result this time around.

  • IUMIKE1

    Not that we need another example of why them being out hurts more than some realize, but it is just that. The, “It’s not a big deal HP & PJ are only out for 9 games and they’ll be back right before we start B1G play”, train of thought is so wrong IMHO. It’s not that I think that we can’t beat most or all of the teams pre-conference without them, but rather the multitude of other things that are inter- connected with this BS decision.

    Like anyone would have a hard time figuring out what the result of the appeal will be, but does anyone know when what we’re thinking will be confirmed ? I’m guessing it will be after our 7th or 8th game. Gotta love the mafia, er, I mean the ncaa.

  • IUMIKE1

    Not that we need another example of why them being out hurts more than some realize, but it is just that. The, “It’s not a big deal HP & PJ are only out for 9 games and they’ll be back right before we start B1G play”, train of thought is so wrong IMHO. It’s not that I think that we can’t beat most or all of the teams pre-conference without them, but rather the multitude of other things that are inter- connected with this BS decision.

    Like anyone would have a hard time figuring out what the result of the appeal will be, but does anyone know when what we’re thinking will be confirmed ? I’m guessing it will be after our 7th or 8th game. Gotta love the mafia, er, I mean the ncaa.

  • IUMIKE1

    Marcus, only you could work up a comparison that had Eric Clapton & IU bball as it’s two main components. Careful using him in anything related to IU cause the ncaa will find him guilty of shooting the deputy as well as the sheriff.

    Love me some Clapton.

  • marcusgresham

    It’s also probably a violation to practice “After Midnight.” Not only that, but it would be a scandal to “Lay Down Sally”.

  • IUMIKE1

    The possibilites are endless are they not. lol

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