That’s A Wrap: Cody Zeller

  • 04/08/2013 9:01 am in

Indiana-72,-Michigan-71-10

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2012-2013 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Cody Zeller.

Zeller (36 games): 16.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 bpg, 1.0 spg, 56.2% FG, 75.7% FT in 29.5 minutes per game.

Few players in college basketball this season were discussed and dissected as much as Cody Zeller. Coming into a year where Indiana was the nation’s preseason No. 1 team, Zeller was showered with various accolades and preseason player of the year awards. If the Hoosiers were to make a run into late March and early April, the belief was that Zeller would be the guy leading the way.

Indiana’s run ended in Washington D.C. in the Sweet Sixteen, and, viewed through a lens of such lofty expectations, Zeller’s season was unfairly characterized by some as a disappointment in part because he was overshadowed at times by a teammate, Victor Oladipo, and didn’t play well against Syracuse.

The truth is, it was far from a disappointment.

Whether Zeller opts for the NBA Draft or returns for his junior season, he’s already established himself as one of the best big men to ever play at Indiana. His sophomore season was once again efficient as he shot better than 56 percent from the field, posted a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 73.2 percent and was the best transition big man in the country. His shooting percentage took a dip from his freshman season, but he also used more possessions as the focal point as one of the nation’s best offenses. When that offense was operating at its best, it was playing through Zeller first, which created opportunities for others on the floor.

Zeller also showed improvement as a rebounder, increasing his per-game average by 1.5 and bolstering his offensive and defensive rebounding percentages. He had 11 games with 10 or more rebounds, up from five as a freshman.

But beyond the statistics, there were moments where Zeller stepped up and made plays when Indiana needed him the most.

Most notably, his six points in the final 52 seconds of a 72-71 win at Michigan on March 10 lifted the Hoosiers to an outright Big Ten title for the first time in 20 years. He also took a key charge late in a win at home over Michigan State and chased down a pivotal loose ball rebound in front of the IU bench in a win over the Wolverines at Assembly Hall. In five games against teams ranked in the top 10, IU finished 5-0 and Zeller averaged 20.6 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Those performances and his season as a whole should define Zeller’s campaign more than the NCAA Tournament loss to Syracuse, where he finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, but struggled with the length of Syracuse and had five of his shots blocked. That game, viewed under a microscope on the March Madness stage, opened the door for criticism of Zeller’s ability to finish against athleticism and questions about his future at the next level.

Bottom line: Ultimately, it’s hard to overstate the impact Zeller has had on the Indiana program. His recruitment was a major turning point and his play backed up much of the hype that built him up as a savior for IU basketball. Projected as a lottery pick for the second straight year, that opportunity to further his career at the NBA level might be too much to pass up. Regardless of what he decides, Indiana basketball owes much of its rebirth over the past two seasons to Zeller.

PreviouslyHanner Mosquera-PereaPeter Jurkin, Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell

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  • Ole Man

    Despite what we arm chair coaches think, Cody is ready for the next level.

  • Ole Man

    Indiana players will continue to get shafted on B1G awards and national awards.
    Just how it is.

    I think Cody played as he was coached, and as a team player above everything else. Personally, I think we would have all liked to have seen him be more selfish at times.
    Remember, behind him we had very little in the middle; so he had to be not as aggressive as we might have liked on blocking shots and rebounds.

    I’m not sure if he stays, he would improve that much. Hard to say.
    CTC needs to hire a B1G man coach as an assistant. He’s great with wings and guards; but has too much on his plate as it is.
    Going forth, whether Cody stays or not, we need that big man coach.
    Just my two cents.

  • hoosier1158

    Do you mean the media / fans criticizing him, or the ref’s letting the other other teams big men hammer him with no calls, or both?

  • DLH

    Definitely thought about MI potentially having better success against Syracuse than IU before that game because of McGary’s ability AND willingness to shoot a jumper along with Hardaway and Robinson being taller guys who could get into the middle of the zone and shoot (same with Staukas although he was a nonfactor as it turned out)

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Jeff Rabjohns?@JeffRabjohns

    Sources tell xxxxx they expect Zeller to announce for the draft this week.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Wisconsin believe it or not. They lose Berg and Birkowitz and Ryan cant hit a free throw but make every luck shot against IU Evans.

  • Kevin Tolliver

    OSU also loses Ravenel

  • Ole Man

    I meant our media and fans.
    Although the second one is quite true!

  • Ole Man

    No. I think if the right team drafts him, Cody starts next year.

  • Ole Man

    IF you’re an Indiana fan, then your a band wagon fan.
    Cody Zeller stepped in and stepped up from day one; and changed the culture and direction of this program.
    I’m sure that he did everything and more that Crean wanted.
    With “fans” like you, who would blame him for leaving!

  • Ole Man

    Thank God you’re not a scout for an NBA team; because all you would do is repeat things you’ve “read” or “heard” on ESPN.
    There is certainly nothing original, nor very true about your criticisms.

  • Ole Man

    Cody’s almost out the door and there are still “fans(??????)” posting on here criticizing him.
    He changed the culture of this program. He gave everything to this team every time out. One of the greatest players to ever wear the candy stripes.
    NONE of you critiquing him, by re-posting ESPN thoughts or Indy Star drivel, has any idea how to play the game. Nor do you have any idea of how he’ll play in the NBA.
    With fans like some of you, if you ever read these boards, Cody, RUN, don’t walk.
    Get as far away from these no-nothings as possible.
    They don’t appreciate you.

  • IUMIKE1

    First off so that no one feels like I haven’t recognized and appreciated the fact that CZ did soooo many things extremely well from the minute he set foot on campus let me say that we would never have been even close to as good as we were without him and what he done for us, this year and last. Having said that tho I am like you in that I can’t for the life of me understand why he didn’t utilize the shot fake more than he did. On the rare occasion that he did he almost always got some kind of positive result out of it. This is something that I payed very close attention to over the season as a whole and even more so over the last 6 or 7 B1G games, the B1G tournament and the Big Dance. It was not unusual for CZ to go 2 or 3 games in a row and never use the shot fake. Add in the fact that he shoots the percentage from the line that he does and it makes it even more puzzling to me why he wouldn’t use the shot fake more. Would pay good money to know if Crean just didn’t stress it, didn’t stress it enough or if he did stress it and, for whatever reason, Cody just didn’t use it more.

  • IUMIKE1

    Would have to agree on the 60 – 40 thing and if anything differently I’d say it was 70 – 30 that he goes.

  • IUMIKE1

    Agreed. No way in hell should we give up on HP. If for no other reason just cause Crean has the rep he does for polishing the exact type of player HP is until they shine rather brightly. Towards the end of the year I felt like we started to get short little glimpses of what he is going to be capable of doing in the future. Give him 9 extra games against the kind of teams we played in the pre-conference part of our season and IMHO we would have seen a player capable of contributing more than 2 or 3 meaningful minutes a game.

  • HoosierDD

    Apparently blood, sweat, and tears isn’t enough these days. Those “fans(??????)” are the same people who didn’t recognize IUBB 4 years ago.

  • Ole Man

    Yep. Got crowded on the bandwagon this year.
    But most of us who stood by IU through those years recognize just how special Cody is.

  • HoosierFromCt

    Amen to that. Look at us before Cody got here. He made going to IU cool again. Good luck in the NBA, Cody. I’ll be at the draft to support him and Victor. And finally, more Hoosier NBA players then coaches!

  • calbert40

    Honestly, I don’t care, but who the heck is voting down our comments?!?! What is there to disagree with in those? hahaha! We have some “fans,” Milla!

  • calbert40

    Haha! I wasn’t suggesting that next year’s version of the Hoosiers will be better than this past season’s without Vic or Cody. I can see how you would have gotten that from my comments, though! Not what I meant!

    I believe when you look at returning rosters for all of the B1G schools and then add in each recruiting class, I think for next year IU has a very talented roster. I don’t believe it is as good as this year’s team talent wise, but it is still a darn good team.

    I haven’t gone over each roster yet, but off the top of my head, I think we will be more talented than NW, PSU, Neb, PU, Minny, Wisky (hopefully we can beat them finally) and Illinois. Obviously depending upon early departures for the NBA, I think MSU, UM and OSU will be good again, and I think it would be foolhardy to sleep on the Hawkeyes too.

    My comment was basically suggesting that a team that is young and talented is better than an experienced team with limited talent. I think we will be the former next year, if Cody and Vic both bolt.

  • DeltaTauHoosier

    I haven’t read all 89 comments so I don’t know if this was asked but can someone explain why Cody NEVER attempted a 3? I mean didn’t he win the 3 pt contest at Hoosiers Hysteria? Correct me if I am wrong but I he was rarely guarded beyond the arc and I think it could really have changed how the tourney went. I always dreamt of a game I would get to see Cody sink one from deep but alas, he never even attempted one.

  • MillaRed

    I noticed that too. Mama said ya can’t please everyone.

  • Jc

    Zeller was very a stage this season. He started off well, but once defenses figured him out he couldn’t adjust. In fact, Crean couldn’t adjust either. In the Syracuse game we struggled against the match up zone. Creams answer was to put Zeller at the free throw line and drive. And just like every other game this year Zeller lowered his shoulder and got caught with an offensive foul. We should have put Will there instead. Zeller was obviously frustrated and kept going to his same moves. There was no adjustment. A pro team will obviously draft him in the first round, but he will struggle a lot. If he comes back, trusts his shot and takes more 12-15 footers, he will fair a lot better in the nba the following year.

  • I think the officiating had alot to do with Adidas and who chose to wear their shitty uni’s. Look at that Hancock no foul call last night, It would have given him 4 fouls with 17:00 left in the 2nd, they didn’t even go over and check. They always make sure the foul is on the right person but not in this game? It is obvious. Same thing happened in the Wichita game.

  • Ole Man

    CZ isn’t a good player; he’s a great player.
    So Zeller-type players do not come and go.