Interview: Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell at adidas Nations

  • 08/07/2010 4:21 pm in

Just walked back up to my place after brief chats with IU recruiting targets Cody Zeller (2011) and Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (2012) at the Swissotel here in Chicago in conjunction with adidas Nations.

First up: Mr. Zeller.

Let’s get this out of the way first. You’re down to three schools now: Butler, IU and UNC. What are liking about each of them?

Butler: Butler is known as a mid-major, but I don’t think they get recognized for how good they are. This year, they obviously went to the National Championship which put their name out there a bit more. Coach [Brad] Stevens is one of the best young coaches in the country. I’ve known him since they were recruiting Luke [Cody’s older brother]. It’s a great university.

IU: Coach [Tom] Crean is one of the best coaches. He seems to be turning around the program right now. They just built the new Cook Hall, which is a great practice facility. They got one of the best business schools in the country.

UNC: At Carolina, they have one of the best coaching staffs in the country with coach [Roy] Williams and his staff. The tradition down there is unreal.

What’s the experience like for you coming into a tournament like this where it’s not your AAU or school team and you’re not as familiar with your teammates?

The talent is unreal here. I just try and do whatever the team needs. You’re not going to score 20 points like [you would on] your AAU team. It’s a lot different role but it’s fun playing with such talented teammates.

Does the rest of your summer start winding down after this with school looming soon? Is this your last event?

This is the last one. School starts on the 16th. My brother [Luke] gets married next weekend, so that’s what I’m doing with [my time]. The summer’s gone by fast.


And here’s Yogi.

How was your game against the Latin American team yesterday? (United States 2012 won 78-65.)

We were down the whole game, but came back in the fourth quarter. It was a very good run with Shabazz [Muhammad] and Alex Murphy and it really helped us.

As a point guard coming into an event like this where you aren’t as familiar with your teammates, is it a more natural transition because you’ve got the ball in your hands?

The thing I tell them is to run with me. I’ll get them the ball. Wings on the wings, the guys low on the block, I penetrate and kick to the big men.

There’s a lot of talent in the state of Indiana the next couple years. Is there anyone that sticks out to you that you’ve either played with or against?

One of the guys is Hanner [Perea]. He’s a good player. Just the way he’s a force down low and his athletic ability. He’s good.

I’ve heard a rumor that Austin Etherington is here this weekend. Have you talked to him at all? Is he still bugging you about coming to IU?

Laughs. He always is. He’s always trying to be the recruiter. He came down yesterday and I talked to him for a little bit.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    Yogi names one other player and it’s Perea. Getting him will do as much for IU bball overall as getting CZ will IMHO. CZ solidifies that we can keep the top instate talent in state at IU. Perea solidifies that we can bring in top talent from outside of Indiana (kinda) and also makes the statement that we are able to not only make it onto the short list for top flight talent but be on the most important part of the list, the last name on the list.

    Anybody know who their other teammates were ?

    How do they decide who is what team ?

  • marchus

    i agree getting perea would start a domino affect. however, we need to get his commitment first. The key to that is getting peter jurkin’s commitment. At least thats how i see it

  • Young Kelin Zeller

    Cody in these interviews is very tight lipped, very well polished, and has his minimal information scripted response. Gotta love the kids maturity and mindset about this entire process. There is nothing that seems phony, egotistical, or selfish about the way he has handled this. His family should be commended.

    Yogi is the type of PG we need that is just a very good steering wheel for a team. He ‘fits’ wherever he needs to be. I like that they just bond together and Austin is recruiting them across the country.

  • Young Kelin Zeller

    IUMIKE1 the finals of these games come on tv Monday night I believe ESPNU starting about 6ish. There are two games and I would expect both of their teams to be in them.

  • HoosierNshaker

    Get ’em Austin

  • Pasolis

    This to Cody, I’m just an ordinary fan of the Hoosiers. While I have never gone to IU as a student, I have been a Hoosier for 50 years. During this time I have become an avid IU basketball fan,I do like many of the other Hoosier schools. But IU basketball is my passion, to see you in pin stripes is a real hope of mine. To discuss with my neighbors and friends about the game Cody Zeller had after a big game, is how legends are made. These are discussions I have had about many young men in pin stripes over the years. There are many of these home grown young men I could name, too many to disrespect by not naming. So it is my hope that you be inspired to select IU basketball, I can hear the conversation now all over the great state of Indiana of a legend named Cody Zeller, Did you see that game he played last night? Wow those Hoosiers are really good this year! That Cody Zeller is your calling!

  • Roninjeffersonville

    First like the new name Kelin ( hope it works). What I thought was strange is how Cody mentioned Cook Hall, and the best business school. But no mention of the other two schools practice facilities or business school. A Oman perhaps?.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I’m really beginning to like Austin Etherington. I was already an immediate fan because of watching his dad play in high school but he seems to be a heck of a recruiter as well as a player. I’m still picturing in my head a team with players like Zeller, Yogi, Creek, Watford, Perea, Jurkin, DSR, Buss, etc. and I can’t help but think that the potential is there to badly sprain another ankle!

    Okay, the story behind that is simple. I remember leaping in the living room when Keith Smart hit the jumper from the corner in ’87 and coming down on one of my family members’ foot spraining my ankle for what I remember as my first real sports injury! HA!

    At this point I may injure myself again if one of these guys just commits to IU!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I too hope this is an omen. Every interview I read or see boosts my confidence a little more because the signs seem to point towards an IU decision, but as we’ve all learned before, signs and wonders can be deceiving.

  • Young Kelin Zeller

    Good call on those comments ron….Oddly enough those are two of the three things Cody said he would consider along with the players.

    Everyone seems to be so thrilled with Cook Hall. I didn’t realize how important something like that was until now. At this point I may get my 4yr old to commit to IU and I wouldn’t charge as much as Anthony Davis dad….

  • Diesel

    Anyone know Yogi’s time table for making a commitment. Of course we’d love to have him, but perhaps maybe an early commit from him would but the squeeze on Cody. Would be a bigger coup than MSU getting Dawson and Trice on the same day.

  • Diesel

    Interesting new Hoop Scoop 2011 rankings, players of note:

    B Dawson #9
    BJ Young #15
    Zeller #19
    Etherington #106
    J Davis #190

  • Anonymous

    I knew Yogi was one of the better PGs in the sate but I didn’t realize until this tournament just how good he is. From what I’ve gathered, this tournament has teams from different countries and 2 from the US (2011 and 2012) so to be just be selected for one of these teams is quite an honor. Add to that that Yogi has been on the court at important times for the 2012 and leading comebacks. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the reports I’ve gotten and at this point would rather have him in 2012 that BJ Young in 2011.

  • Fred

    Google adidas nations chicago. There’s a roster, you’ll also find some good stuff on Yogi. Seems like he made a good impression.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Ohio Hoosier,
    I too would rather have hime in 2012 then BJY in 2011, but I think there is room for both.
    From what I gather Young is more of a 2 and can drive the lane, whereas Yogi is a true point guard.

    I also spoke with another IU writer yesterday and he said that Young is coming to IU as long as he passes the SAT’s. And he is also very confindent that Zeller will commit to IU.
    But he also said that he wasn’t impressed with Guy and he won’t be much of an impact.
    He based this off of the let down by Jobe and Bawa. I explained to him that we really didn’t get a chance to see Bawa’s real potential due to his lack of time at IU plus he has not seen Guy play. He did mention that he has seen Perea play several times and said he is the real deal. He also has seen Jerkin play and is not as polished.

    I would like your feed back on his Young comment about his SAT’s and him coming to IU?

  • Dkarell

    if only he actually read Inside the Hall

  • GFDave

    That IU writer sure had a lot of bold and exciting things to say. Care to share who it was, or were the reporter’s comments off the record?

  • Anonymous

    Kelin…ah rather Young Kelin Zeller, please forgive me, LOL, I was on the adidas nation chicago site and it said that the 3rd place game and the championship game would be shown on CBS college sports network. Is ESPNU just picking up a feed off of that or is it going to be shown on more than one outlet ? They had it starting at the time that you stated.

  • Young Kelin Zeller

    You right about CBS college sports….not espnu…too many channels on direct tv. Looking forward to seeing it tomorrow. Hopefully we will see Perea, Yogi, and Cody.

  • Anonymous

    If your source really said: “But he also said that he wasn’t impressed with Guy and he won’t be much of an impact. He based this off of the let down by Jobe and Bawa,” then he can’t have watched IU for the last 2 years. No one at IU ever thought that TJ was a basketball player, not fans, coaches nor players. But he was a great person/teammate. So there can not be a “let down”. Bawa is a different matter. A good coaching staff, given a 5 year period, 4 years plus a redshirt, should have been able to develop an NBA pick with Bawa’s obvious athletic skills, strong work ethic, and great personality. But CTC did not feel that he had the time for this very reasonable project. We will see how that plays out. If IU gets Zeller, Panera, and another BIG, it will be good!

  • Anonymous

    What about Cook, Behanan, Chandler, A Thomas, and Tharpe?

  • Diesel

    Behanan was 12th and Chandler tied at 106 with Etherington. By the way, these were off a blog from Demling. The other guys you had questions about weren’t mentioned in his blog post.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    GFDave, Just out of respect I rather not say but he is well respected and it was off the record.

    Outoftheloop, he base his assumptions off of our previous bigs and used that more of an option then anything. That is why I questioned him. I totally agree with you comments and think Bawa would have been a beast for IU in year 3 and 4. He was raw but did move well at times with the ball and seemed to have pretty good hands. I was able to attend a closed practice last year and he seemed to becoming into his own. On a different note…when someone on the team was punished for whatever reason coached did put them on the stair climbing machine and Capo had the most minutes by far.

  • Young Kelin Zeller

    How much hope are you holding out on A.Thomas and IU or have you thrown in the towel? On a side note, I think those who scheduled a game with A. Thomas high school team here in Indy were anticipating him being a hoosier to draw more of a crowd….that may have back fired now….but I will still go to see him play this winter.

    Personally I give it a 20% chance and I base that on him being a spring signing and Mo Creek blowing up this year assuring his Junior year is his last at IU….

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the good info.

  • Anonymous

    I hope it is your 20% but I think that it is 0%. If IU does get both Zeller and BJ Young, then all ends well. If we don’t sign both, then we will really miss not being able to add Thomas as the third member to that class. If neither becomes a Hoosier, we will be in a world of hurt.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the good info.

  • fkim

    One thing that’s made me a bit concerned about the Zeller recruitment is the savior status that has been conferred on him by many posters on various forums. I have no problem telling you that Zeller would be a very nice recruit for IU and would be a real contributor to IU’s success. At the same time, I’ve heard it said more than once from reputable people that know Cody’s brother Tyler, that Tyler was not really a fan of all the hero worship during his on-campus visit (“TY-LER ZEL-LER” at the football game, etc.) That is not what the Zeller brothers are all about, They are surprisingly humble people and a little adulation goes a long way. Yes, you should welcome Cody to campus, but acting like he is one of the Beatles on the first trip across the pond may very well backfire and push him toward a smaller more laid-back campus (Butler, for example).

    Let’s keep our heads here, people.

  • guest

    You want him to play for the Yankees?

  • stonaroni

    A Thomas is history! And, we do not need him! He plays the same position as AE and Sheehey. There is no room.

    Hoosier fans will have much to cheer about when Jurkin commits tomorrow. I have it on good standing that this will happen. I saw this tweated as well. From there the 2012 dominoes fall with IU landing, Perea, Harris, Yogi, etc. AE is tight with these guys too. He isn’t just workin CZ and the 2011 class.

    Zeller needs to wake up. This program will be back very soon. I am at the point to start passing on the guys like JDavis and CZ who seem to not be Indiana kids who do not buy in to the program and bring in the boys from elsewhere who want to be at IU.

    2012 class is loaded and we have options.

  • stonaroni

    JD and CZ seem to be IN kids who do not buy into the program……my bad on the typo

  • Casey

    You don’t think he’d be treated like a Beatle on Butler’s dinky campus? While he may not actually receive the “savior status”, he’ll definitely be treated with high regard and appreciation when he makes his visit. That’s how basketball players are treated at IU. Always have been.

  • millzy32

    I don’t get the Guy comment. How can he say that he won’t be much of an impact and then follow it up with the fact that he hasn’t even seen him play? Comparing him to Bawa and Jobe simply based on size? Heck I can do that, they’re all tall.

    I hope he’s wrong and Guy does have an impact. I also have never seen him play and would think that he may not be an impact player only from his less than stellar JUCO stats but I’m hoping for the best.

  • Plane1972

    I love the scoop, stonaroni, and I hope it pans out as you have reported. Would make for a Magnificent Monday.

    On your other point, though, I don’t necessarily lump CZ and JD together. I think CZ is making a more calculated decision because his stock is on the rise and we have watched Davis slide considerably. I think they both buy that IU is resurrecting itself, but Davis seemed to miss his window of opportunity. We are all outsiders looking in on the recruiting process. I think there may be more to the story than Davis just being woefully undecided. Something tells me he has either read the writing on the wall, or learned something from the IU staff that told him to keep his options open.

  • Anonymous

    We shall see. As I said if we get Cody Zeller and BJ Young, all is good. If not, then not so good. Zeller is doing just fine. He is fully awake. He is a very classy kid. He tells you exactly what he is going to do, and then he does it! I love his game and his self-direction.

  • Anonymous

    As to CD we will see in October if he buys into the program. As to JD I don’t think that he CAN buy into the program right now.