That’s A Wrap: Nick Zeisloft

  • 04/07/2016 8:27 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Nick Zeisloft.

Zeisloft (35 games): 6.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 60.8% eFG, 90.5% FT, 41.7 3PFG% in 20.1 minutes per game.

Nick Zeisloft arrived in Bloomington with a reputation as a shooter.

He’ll depart having lived up to that billing, but also as a player who grew into a contributor with the ability to impact the game in other ways.

Any discussion about Zeisloft, however, must start with his prowess from the perimeter. After finishing his first season at Indiana with the second best offensive rating in the country according to KenPom.com, Zeisloft again filled it up from the perimeter as a senior.

His shooting percentages dipped a bit, but that might say more about the ridiculous clip he shot the ball at last season than anything else. Zeisloft hit close to 42 percent of his 3s for the Hoosiers this season and had the highest effective field goal percentage of any perimeter player on the roster. He finished the season with the eighth best offensive rating in the country.

There was perhaps no better representation of just how deadly Zeisloft could be from the perimeter than his performance against Minnesota at Williams Arena when he knocked in four straight 3-pointers, the last of which came as he was falling out of bounds in the right corner:

But as the season moved along, Zeisloft also proved himself a capable contributor on the defensive end. He was never the fastest, strongest or most athletic player on the court for the Hoosiers, but as a guy who played significant minutes on a team that finished with the Big Ten’s third best defense, he showed improvement on that end in his second season at IU.

Late in the season when Robert Johnson went out with an ankle injury, Zeisloft started alongside Yogi Ferrell in the backcourt as the Hoosiers reeled off wins against Illinois, Iowa and Maryland to clinch an outright Big Ten title.

In IU’s win over Kentucky in the NCAA tournament round of 32, Zeisloft spent significant time on Jamal Murray, who will be a lottery pick in June’s NBA draft. It was a move that many – myself included – questioned, but when the dust settled, Murray finished just 7-of-18 from the field and the Hoosiers moved on to the Sweet Sixteen in Philadelphia.

Zeisloft also completed one of the most ridiculous passes in recent IU history in the regular season finale as he intercepted a Melo Trimble pass and flung a 3/4 court pass of his own to a streaking Juwan Morgan for a basket on the other end of the floor.

Bottom Line: Zeisloft was one of Indiana’s leaders on and off the court as a senior and while he won’t be moving onto an NBA career, was another example of player development in Bloomington. He made tremendous strides as a defender in his final season and will leave with a Big Ten championship and as one of the best pure shooters to ever wear the uniform.

Quotable: “Nick Zeisloft has made so many strides as a defensive player that I can’t describe it to you. He’s out there guarding Jamal Murray. He’s guarding — when Rob — he’s done it all year, but when Rob went down, and Rob is one of our premier defenders, when Rob went down in the Purdue game and what Nick had to do to help us get us this (Big Ten) championship and what he’s done in this tournament is outstanding, and that’s the kind of improvement that we want in the program.” – Tom Crean on Zeisloft following IU’s win over Kentucky

Previously: OG AnunobyJuwan Morgan, Thomas Bryant, Harrison Niego, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman, Troy Williams

Filed to:

  • Fifer39

    Nick has made such a significant contribution over the last 2 years and a key part of our success this season. Kudos also to the coaching staff for having the foresight to see what he could offer. All the very best for the future Nick.

  • BL

    Great story, great shooter, great kid, great leader. Will be missed big time. No pressure JBJ.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    So much respect for this guy. Came onto the team and was immediately expected to be a leader with the Devin Davis incident. On the court he worked on his defensive weaknesses while maintaining his offensive strengths. All while earning a masters degree in at a quality business school. Thanks for everything Nicky Z!

  • Fivelefts

    Nick almost made me tear up a little.. Gonna miss that kid! I wish he sunk some 3’s against NC, but it didn’t go that way.. Oh well.. can’t hit’em all! I wish Nicky Z, all the Best! He represented us well! #Hoosiers

  • BL

    Off topic but losing Nick made me think of recruiting. I knew the Duke and UK recruiting classes were good but holy cow!

    Duke: Giles 6’10, Tatum 6’8, Jackson 6’4, Delaurier 6’8. Giles and Tatum consensus top 10’s, Jackson a consensus top 15, and Delaurier ranked close to DD.

    UK: Fox 6’3, Monk 6’3, Adebayo 6’9, Gabriel 6’10, Killeya-jones 6’11. Fox and Monk consensus top 10’s, Adebayo and Gabriel consensus top 15’s, and Killeya-jones top 25.

    I know one or more of these kids may be overrated and Giles is a risk with bad knees but that’s just ridiculous. Hell, Fox and Monk could be the best backcourt in D1 ball next year. Amazing, for us to truly chase banners, Coach, like so many other D1 coaches, has to hit on underrated top 50 kids and uncover diamonds-in-the-rough like OG and McSwain or we have no chance. Just like Nova with Ochefu and Jenkins.

  • LindemanLover

    If the Alec Peters rumor becomes reality, Hoosier fans everywhere will be extremely happy! Fantastic player! Crossing large Lineman-sized fingers!

  • pcantidote

    Those classes always seem so daunting, but then year in and year out there is always a Villanova, UCONN, Wisconsin, Butler and on and on, while the UKs of the world are still trying to figure out how to play together as a team.

  • pcantidote

    I think most people, myself included, were wondering why we were going after a kid that was averaging 5 points a game at Illinois State. NZ showed us exactly why. Great job Nick and great job by the coaches having the vision to see the potential.

  • Koko

    What is the Alec Peters rumor?

  • BL

    Yeah, I’m still jealous. If Coach is ever going to get the most out of a player, OG needs to take a big, big jump with his offensive game next year. He has top 10 recruit athleticism. Needs to catch up skill wise.

  • BL

    That would be nice. Hadn’t heard that. Thought he was hoping for an invite to the combine. If true, just another example of Coach shaking n baking. Actually makes me more worried about TB and TW.

  • Drew

    It has just been announced that Bryant is returning for his Sophomore season!

  • Arch Puddington

    I was one who openly questioned the decision to bring him on board, and WOW was I wrong. Not only a great shooter, but a gentleman and a leader in every sense of the words. He stood tall during some tough times, and is unquestionably one of the reasons the Hoosiers not only survived, but ultimately thrived. To me he belongs right up there with some of the really great character-guys of the CTC era, of which there have been many: VJIII, Jordan Hulls, Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, and others. I’m not one who believes in trying to turn guys into saints just because they went to class and didn’t get arrested, but NZ and others like him really have been good citizens as well as good players.

    Sorry to seem him go.

  • BL

    No kidding? Checking my calendar to be certain it’s not April 1st 🙂 That’s freaking awesome!!!

  • LindemanLover

    Heard from Valpo rumor mill that IU and Wisc are his favored potential landing spots. Rumor will circle the earth before truth gets its shoes on, but in this case, I hope there’s some truth there!

  • BL

    Where did you see that?

  • LindemanLover

    Well said.

  • Born&Bred2BleedHoosierCrimson

    Thomas Bryant coming back! Not even testing the waters! Let’s go!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    TB coming back!!!!

    back to this story…love NZ, was a huge get for CTC. would love to see him come back some day as a shooting coach

  • BL

    Duke visiting with Langford today. One of you southern Indiana boys please get over there and scare ’em away.

  • pcantidote

    I’m jealous of Duke because they have a great coach. I am not jealous of UK. Calipari can only win it all if he has a freak of nature like Anthony Davis.

    I don’t know that I ever see OG being a GREAT offensive player. Good, sure. I see him being more of a defensive nightmare like Ron Artest.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    and i love that he didn’t feel the need to have a special announcement ceremony.

  • BL

    Has at least two coming in this year in the backcourt.

  • BL

    Where reported?

  • pcantidote

    Sure, that’s what they always say.

  • BL

    Watch the video; just saying.

  • Drew

    Right?! Doing a little celebratory dance in my office haha.

  • Born&Bred2BleedHoosierCrimson

    I don’t live too far away…LOL

  • Koko

    I just checked my espn app and yes there is a piece stating “sources” that TB is coming back.

  • Born&Bred2BleedHoosierCrimson

    I didn’t even think about that, very good point. He’s coming back hungry, the kid hates to lose.

  • Koko

    I totally missed this….I assume you mean he is leaving or has left Valpo? If so is he eligible to play now or does he sit a year?

  • Koko

    One less thing for you to worry about BL….:)

  • inLinE6

    I remembered Anthony Davis said he’s done a lot for that school. Well I’m not sure fans appreciate that comment. I think our coach is recruiting the right kids for the program. They’re talented with good characters. And they’re competitive too.

  • Koko

    His comment after the UNC game….we won’t forget.

  • Hoosierkamp

    Amen. Great Kid. Everyone will always love NZ. Gonna miss this dude

  • Ole Man

    Except almost every year they’re in the Final Four.
    And if you’re there, you have a shot.

  • Ole Man

    pUKe’s incoming class will win 30 games without practicing.
    They’re that potent.
    The backcourt is monstrous.

  • Ole Man

    Eligible now.

  • pcantidote

    High school seniors…..Yaaaaaaawwwwwnnnnnn. This time last year OG was a nobody and Skal was the second coming.

  • BL

    Yes, that happens but when they get all five and four stars, they can afford to miss a few. I want my cake ….

  • That save-pass-catch-and score play just encapsulated the entire season for me–hard-working kids playing smart was what the entire turnaround was all about.