The curious case of Zeller and Nix: Who’s at fault?

Disclaimer: I find it pretty ridiculous that I am writing these words. I find it even more outrageous that I spent a good portion of my afternoon watching a nine-second video over and over and over again to try to determine if Derrick Nix did or did not hit Indiana’s Cody Zeller on purpose Tuesday night.

But with that being said, it’s an interesting topic for debate the day after one of the best college basketball games of the season.

The play in question, of course, occurred during the second half of Tuesday night’s game. Zeller and Nix were standing side by side in the post, and suddenly Zeller leveled over holding his mid-section and looking to the official for a call. The play was reviewed, but no flagrant foul was called on Nix.

So, what happened? Well, if you watch this video, you’ll see that Zeller has a hold of Nix’s left arm and seems to lightly pull it toward him. Some have called it a “dirty move” by Zeller and perceived that Zeller hit himself in the midsection with Nix’s arm to draw a foul.

My reaction: Seriously? Why would anyone in their right mind (and Zeller’s mind is pretty good) hit himself in that spot?

“If you’re a guy and you’ve ever been hit in that area, you’re not going to want to hit yourself in that area,” Zeller told Doug Gottlieb on CBS Radio Wednesday afternoon.

I’m not necessarily saying Nix did anything terrible on the play either. The contact didn’t look like it was that severe. But from my perspective, Nix is still the one who initiated the contact, despite the fact Zeller’s hand was on his arm.

“I guess that stuff happens,” Zeller told Gottlieb. “I’ve just come to expect it because I’m kind of the marked guy.”

Your thoughts on this ridiculous topic?

  • dbmcubs21

    I think some of the most telling evidence is Izzo’s reaction. They show him in the huddle while the refs review the play and he is laying into Nix. He would have no other reason to be pissed at him at the time because the kid just scored two big buckets. Nix is just standing in the huddle with a guilty, “yes I got caught doing something dumb” look on his face.

  • Hoosier89

    Occam’s Razor, if you will.

  • HoosierPat

    Most of us here are men, so we know that you don’t want to get hit in that particular spot. I think it’s safe to say Zeller did not plan to take a shot to the boys, but it does look like he initiated some contact. That being said, there’s no way Cody wanted to get hit there.

  • STL Hoosier

    48 comments (now 49) on an incident that everyone agrees was a minor deal. Who cares? The bigger sin is that Ted Valentine is still a “referee”.

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    Dan Dakich is to blame

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    Word

  • HoosierCruz

    Cody was pulling on his fore-arm, which is normal practice in the post. Not only did he hit him with the back of his hand, if you watch closely you’ll notice that the movement starts at Nix’s shoulder. Classic sack-tap, quit the bullshit…

  • http://twitter.com/ARockingHoosier Allie Hildebrand

    Alright, I’m a girl, I’m a post, I’ve been hit in the groin too. It hurts man, I can’t imagine how guys feel; and, really? Who would want to hit themselves in the groin anyway?! In post position you’ve gotta watch for the post you’re guarding or the post that’s guarding you, you have your arm on them, it happens constantly(arm on arm thing). But getting punched in the groin doesn’t. It’ll happen, I’m taking from experience(it makes me feel weird that I’m typing how I felt but whatever). It would cause less damage to a female athlete because of OBVIOUS reasons. But when I first saw that on my TV, it hurt me. SO, I screamed flagrant.

    On a side note this is probably around the twentieth time I’ve watched the same nine second video regarding Zeller getting hit.

  • iuoiu

    “The contact didn’t look like it was that severe.” – Well, we all know it only takes a grazing of the jewels to put you down for the count. As a matter of fact, I’d probably choose an elbow to the groin over a grazing – isn’t this a great topic?

    I really don’t care who did what, but I will say that Cody, being the youngest of 3 incredible big men, has certainly picked up some “tricks” along the way. He looks very harmless but when he’s angered he has quite a bag of tricks he can pull out to get even. Don’t sleep on Big Handsome, he’ll lite you up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blair.mckee Blair McKee

    Zeller’s goals are (1) win the game, (2) the Big Ten title (3) a national title and (4) a top five NBA draft pick. I don’t think he was really bent on crafting a devious stunt like this. (It would’ve been mighty devious!)
    Nix on the other hand, had a motive, a means and an opportunity. Think: if Nix had spent more time focusing on possibly winning the game instead of “getting back” at Zeller, MSU might have had enough good plays to hold onto a four point led with 100 seconds to go!
    But this is the mind-set of a loser.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blair.mckee Blair McKee

    Zeller’s goals are (1) win the game, (2) the Big Ten title (3) a national title and (4) a top five NBA draft pick. I don’t think he was really bent on crafting a devious stunt like this. (It would’ve been mighty devious!)
    Nix on the other hand, had a motive, a means and an opportunity. Think: if Nix had spent more time focusing on possibly winning the game instead of “getting back” at Zeller, MSU might have had enough good plays to hold onto a four point led with 100 seconds to go!
    But this is the mind-set of a loser.

  • SCHoosier

    I still contend that Cody was maintaining defensive physical contact with Nix..by having his right hand inside Nix’s arm near his wrist. Nix felt the pressure and tried to flip Cody’s hand away…(with more than required force) much like a point guard tries to swat away a defenders reach in hand on the dribble. )Unfortunately..Cody’s package was in the way of the Nix forceful push away..did he do it on purpose..only Nix knows. I don’t think the video is conclusive in any way. Nutgate for sure..let’s move on. When Cody scored on Nix rolling over him and putting him to the ground..you knew something was going to happen altho that was a 100% legal play. Nix is a nut case anyway..

  • SCHoosier

    Yea I don’t think even the Marquis de Sade wrote a chapter on that pleasure!

  • deedubbadoo

    My thoughts on this ridiculous topic, is that Cody Zeller should have turned down Gottlieb for an interview to begin with. There are a few people in the sports world that I absolutely cannot stand, Gottlieb is my overall number one, Ted Valentine, Skip Bayless, and Colin Cowherd are in a 3- way tie for second. On to the play, either way, heady play by Zeller… Willing
    to tag himself in the stones for the good of the team. Hell, you give
    me one Cody Zeller, one Victor Oladipo, one Yogi Ferrell, one Jordan Hulls, and a Christian Watford and I’ll win
    you a damn semi-state!

  • GrahamFor3

    The officials aren’t going to come close to calling a perfect game. See Sheehey’s “foul” on Harris as Example 1A. Might as well play on and Cody did just that. He said it himself… he was fighting for position and wasn’t sure if Nix did it intentionally or not. Who cares if it was intentional, we’ve all been hit in places playing basketball and it’s part of the game. It’s still not near as physical for contact as football is.

  • chiswede

    Awesome, I’m even getting downvoted here. MSU fans must have snuck in.

  • calbert40

    Exactly! What Harris did wasn’t dirty…just part of the game. He got bailed out by a lousy call, but I think that was pretty much what he was trying to do anyway. He got by with it, so give him credit.

  • cjd2in

    with Valentine as the ref – who knows what kind of call to expect – usually a no call if Indiana

  • marcusgresham

    Eventually some ref is going to call that for what it is and call a charge (not in that instance, as there was virtually NO contact,) and people will still complain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.harvey.9237 Mark Harvey

    Why was Nix taken out immediately after that by Izzo. I think he knew.

  • CB

    What is Dakichs problem? Does he dislike IU? Or is he trying to be objective and not be seen as a homer? I asked my dad about him and he said people in IN think his head has gotten a little big bc of the radio shows success. I listen to him sometimes and he seems somewhat hostile.

  • CB

    I’ve watched this more times than I should. Only computer it looks like Cody did it, on my phone it looks like Nix did it. I thought Cody did it yesterday. Bit now I’m not so sure. Nix’s arm suddenly shoots out, and Cody seems soley focused on Yogi. Also Nix covers his own junk. I think maybe Nix did afterall.

  • KoreaSpartan

    Whichever way you look at it, nutgate stopped the Spartan momentum. The crowd was taken out of it. Watford stepped up and made a play. Props to IU for taking control of the game from that point.

  • IUMIKE1

    Ab So Loot Lee ! TV Teddy is the poster child for how refereeing should NOT be done and I’m not saying that just over Nutgate. He was, as usual, bad both ways for pretty much the whole game and a freakin’ drama queen to boot.

  • MillaRed

    I am not a criminal lawyer, but when a guy basically berates our entire team in the press and then someones balls are slapped, the word premeditated comes to mind.

  • MillaRed

    Deviant enough to smack himself in the balls? That’s just weird.

  • KennyEee

    Redick!!!!

  • Douglas J. Bender

    Razors should be used exceedingly carefully when dealing with these kinds of issues.

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