Citing a source, Herald-Times IU beat reporter (and our friend) Dustin Dopirak is reporting that a decision from five-star Washington forward Cody Zeller will likely come in the middle of next week:
A source indicated tonight that Washington forward Cody Zeller is likely to announce his decision mid-week, but there is no clear indication of what school he will decide to go to and that Zeller himself may still be deciding. There was talk that he would announce his decision on ESPNU, but that now appears unlikely to happen.
Mid-week, presumably, could mean Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
Interesting in Dustin’s report is that Zeller could still be in the process of reaching his decision. This corroborates information Inside the Hall received from a source earlier this evening that another school involved in the recruitment had not yet been notified of a decision as of tonight.
The good news is that the absence of ESPNU should mean that media, including us, will be able to cover the announcement whenever it’s made. Looks like this one could be going down to the wire, folks.
2011 commit Austin Etherington took his official visit to Bloomington this past weekend with his friend and Hoosier target Cody Zeller. Inside the Hall caught up with the Hamilton Heights senior on Thursday evening for a weekend recap, his reaction to the recent commitment of Hanner Perea and his thoughts on the upcoming decision for Zeller:
On the official visit and how it was different from previous visits:
“The visit went good being with my family, the coaches and the Zeller family. It was just good to get that bonding and being with Cody because I haven’t been with him for a while. We had a good time. The only thing that was different was that we stayed the night there. That was pretty much the only difference.”
On his reaction to the ovation he and Zeller received when they walked into Assembly Hall and the size of the crowd:
“I was really surprised about that (the size of the crowd), seeing that many people there for something like a scrimmage. When we walked in I figured the fans would do something about Cody being in there, but then when they all stood up like that, it was a great feeling. I could only imagine what it will feel like when there’s 17,000 people there doing that. I think it made Cody feel good. It was just something really cool. I wasn’t really expecting it to be like that.”
On his reaction to the Perea commitment on Sunday:
“I hadn’t heard that he was thinking about it. I just knew that he was down to two schools. I always felt good about Hanner. Just being around him all the time, he’s always been around Bloomington and I know he feels like it’s home. It was really good news to hear.”
On the effect of the Perea commitment on the 2012 recruiting class:
“Hanner helps huge with other guys that IU is looking at. That was just the key commit that made other players know that IU is for real and that IU is going in the right direction.”
On why he’s taken on the role of recruiting his friends to IU:
“I just do as much as I can for my sake because I want to have the best four years that I can. I want to play with guys that I know and talking to guys and becoming good friends with them just helps with them deciding on a school and knowing someone at that school. That’s a big key in their decision making.”
On what advice, if any, he gave Zeller about his decision over the weekend:
“I don’t say much to Cody. I just tell him to make a decision that’s best for him and no matter what his decision is, he’ll still be one of my good friends. But I’d really like for him to come play with me and I know we’d have a good four years together.”
Lost a bit among the Hanner Perea commitment and the official visits of Austin Etherington and Cody Zeller this past weekend was the fact that IU’s primary point guard target, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, snuck in a quick unofficial visit on Saturday.
The 2012 Park Tudor guard, who said a prior obligation prevented him from attending Friday’s “Night of the Living Red,” joined the aforementioned prospects at the IU-Northwestern football game.
“It was a lot more fun with Hanner, Austin and Cody down there,” Ferrell told Inside the Hall of the experience in Bloomington, adding that it was “pretty much all the same” as his previous trips.
In an interview last spring, Ferrell’s father Kevin told Zach Osterman that Indiana wasn’t recruiting Yogi quite as heavily as a few other schools. That’s no longer the case and it’s become clear in recent months that Ferrell is IU’s most coveted recruit at the point guard position.
“They’re just showing a lot more love,” he said. “The coaches are coming out, seeing my open gyms, talking to me about being a leader if I come to Indiana. They’re definitely recruiting me more than they used to be.”
Like many who follow the program closely, Ferrell will be keeping an eye on the Zeller decision, which is expected to come sometime next week with the early signing period beginning on Wednesday, November 10.
He admitted that Zeller’s announcement could play a factor into his decision, which he’s doesn’t expect to make until sometime next year.
“It would affect me and where I’m going,” he said. “But I’m just going to look at what’s best for me, really.”
For now, the immediate focus for the five-star floor general is the upcoming high school season and another trip to the Class 2A State Finals at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Park Tudor fell in last year’s title game, 41-38, to Wheeler and should get a boost from two newcomers.
“The two freshman, Trevon (Bluiett) and Troy (Spears), are definitely going to help us on the offensive end,” Ferrell said. “We’re really small right now. We’re actually a really fast team. Those two guys should definitely help us.”
(Photo credit: Jack Arent/adidas)
Joe Eberhardt is a high school sports blogger and contributor to Inside the Hall. You can follow him on twitter at @IndyHoopsBlog.
The first time I watched Hanner Perea play, I knew how good he was in a matter of seconds. Ironically, it was in Indiana University’s Assembly Hall. In one sequence, he blocked a shot and recovered the ball, threw it to a teammate, sprinted down the floor, and literally jumped over an opposing player to throw down a vicious two-handed alley-oop dunk.
Most Impressive: The first thing that stands out about Perea is his natural athletic ability, strength and length. He uses his great leaping ability to score in the paint with an array of thunderous dunks. Hanner’s athleticism also stands out on the defensive end where he blocks plenty of shots and alters many more. He can block shots when his man goes up for an attempt, or rotate over to the weak side to block a shot by a penetrating opponent. Perea can run the floor as fast and hard as any big man I’ve ever seen, whether racing down court to catch an alley-oop pass, or to block a shot on the defensive end. Hanner’s athleticism and strong hands help him as a rebounder, especially on the offensive end, where he uses great timing to often thrown down put-back dunks. Although big men aren’t usually known for their great free throw shooting abilities, Hanner has a nice stroke from the foul line and is able to convert free throws consistently.
Needs Improvement: The majority of Perea’s offensive production comes from offensive rebounds, alley-oops and wide-open dunks. He’s occasionally shown a nice short-range hook shot, but it needs to develop consistency. If he could add a consistent mid-range jump shot or go-to post move, his offensive game would become even more dangerous. Becoming comfortable with the ball in his hands would also be a great step towards expanding his offensive game. If Perea could create his own shot off the dribble or get to the rim, he would be a nightmare to defend. Another area Hanner could improve is his decision making when going up for a shot near the basket. Often he will try too hard to dunk a shot that could be easily converted as a layup.
UPDATED: 2:43 p.m.
Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class just became significantly better.
The news was broken by Evan Daniels of Scout.com: Five-star forward Hanner Perea has given a verbal pledge to the Hoosiers. Perea joins Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin in IU’s 2012 recruiting class.
The commitment followed a weekend during which IU hosted some of the state’s most talented prospects, including Perea, Cody Zeller, Austin Etherington and Yogi Ferrell. For Perea, it was time to pull the trigger.
In Perea, Indiana adds a player with solid NBA potential and the kind of measurables scouts drool over. A 6-foot-8 forward, Perea possesses great athleticism and enough talent for Rivals to tag him the No. 10 overall player in his class. He is the highest-ranked commitment Tom Crean has reeled in at Indiana, and it was the coach, Perea said, that made his final decision easy.
“That’s why I committed, because I know he’s going to help me make my dreams come true and is going to help me get to the next level,” Perea told Inside the Hall by phone shortly after leaving Bloomington Sunday. “He was really happy.”
Perea hit town Friday night and took in the Night of the Living Red scrimmage seated next to Zeller and Etherington. The trio was joined a day later by Indianapolis point guard prospect Yogi Ferrell at the IU-Northwestern football game. The four recruits, all part of the Indiana Elite program, took in the game from the east side of Memorial Stadium, seated with members of the team and sandwiched between Tim Buckley and Crean.
In his North Carolina postcard, published yesterday on SI.com, Seth Davis has a bullet on the Cody Zeller decision with a little insight from his older brother, Tyler.
Williams has already put together a fine recruiting class for next season, but it would be even better if Zeller’s younger brother, Cody, a 6-10 forward from Washington, Ind., would join Tyler in Chapel Hill.
Cody is also considering Indiana and Butler, and when I asked Tyler where he thought Cody was going to end up, he said he honestly did not know.
“I don’t think he knows, either,” Tyler told me. “Obviously I’d love for him to come here, but it’s his decision.”
I’m sure it’s a tough call, but I still think Cody’s gonna stay home and play for IU.
Add Davis, a studio host for CBS Sports, to the growing list of media members that are calling Cody to IU.
2012 Indiana commit Peter Jurkin takes a breather at the 2010 adidas Nations at Attack Athletics in Chicago Illinois. Jurkin was the first player to join IU’s 2012 recruiting class. (Photo credit: Jack Arent/adidas)