Banner recruiting weekend in Bloomington

  • 10/28/2010 9:37 pm in

The recruitment of Washington forward Cody Zeller began for Tom Crean shortly after Indiana’s third-year head coach arrived in Bloomington in April of 2008.

Just five months before Crean coined the now famous catch phrase, “It’s Indiana” in his introductory press conference, Cody’s older brother, Tyler, an Indiana Mr. Basketball and McDonald’s All-American, had announced his decision to play for Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Indiana was a viable option for Tyler until NCAA transgressions began to surface and his official visit, according to an account by former interim head coach Dan Dakich, went awry.

Tyler’s decision, at the time, didn’t seem so discouraging as Eric Gordon was preparing to join D.J. White on a team with Final Four aspirations. And Kelvin Sampson had reeled in another five-star recruit, Devin Ebanks, a few months earlier, easing the blow of losing Tyler to Williams and UNC.

But the IU program began to collapse in the months ahead. Tyler’s feelings that he didn’t want to spend four years of life under the characteristics of Sampson’s program were validated.

As Tyler prepared in the late spring of 2008 for his departure for Chapel Hill, Crean simultaneously began formulating his plan to ensure that Cody wouldn’t make that same choice.

In the coming weeks, we will learn if IU’s most important recruit since Gordon and Jared Jeffries is sold on Crean’s vision to restore the program to national prominence.

This weekend, Cody’s official visit, is a big step in that process.

Zeller will attend Friday’s “Night of the Living Red” scrimmage. He’ll soak up the atmosphere of Assembly Hall one last time. He’ll likely hear his name chanted. And chanted. And chanted. And then chanted some more for good measure.

He and his parents, Lorri and Steve, will use their trained eyes to watch and evaluate the current product on Branch McCracken Court. They’ll also ask questions, listen carefully to answers and gather the final pieces of data necessary to assist in a decision. The final decision, as was the case with Luke and Tyler, will be Cody’s.

Crean, in 30 months, has done a remarkable job of restoring the expectation of excellence for the Indiana program.

It’s not yet reflected in his record of wins and losses, but his unwillingness to take shortcuts during the rebuilding process is refreshing in the current instant-gratification world of college basketball. The restored academic focus, evidenced by the fact that all players received a GPA of 2.9 or higher last spring, should appeal to the Zeller family. If Crean is to build a winner in Bloomington, and I believe he will, that accomplishment will be the result of his relentless work ethic.

But for now, the immediate focus is on a 48-hour trip to Bloomington that, if all goes well, could lead to more recruiting momentum and an acceleration of IU’s return to elite status.

Yes, Cody Zeller is coming to Bloomington on Friday. Will he stick around for the next four years? Stay tuned.

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  • Anonymous

    As dorky as this may sound, I get chills just thinking about the possibility of Cody committing. I believe CTC’s going to make things work regardless of the decision, but if only the ball can bounce our way this time…

  • Jacobdetroy

    Do you think hell will freeze over if he doesn’t commit to IU?

  • Anonymous

    nice article Alex. well done…

  • Praying to the basketball gods tonight that they have seen seen the hard work put in by IU.That they see we have done this the right way with honesty, integrity and sweat.
    If we get Zellar and then the other recruits follow, then IU will be kicking in the door of the NCAA Mens Basketball saying “Remember us? Weee’rrrre Baaaaack!”

  • Anonymous

    STAY TUNED?!! Alex, seriously dude..have you been watching your page views and the traffic reports on your site? We’re all here (at the risk of being fired) a hundred times a day!

  • Mouse0599

    II hope he stays.

  • Baseball Montgomery Buc

    Again, big thanks to ITH, I’m loving that every time I’m returning to this site there is a new thread. Zeller is the single most important recruit Indiana has had at least since i’ve been alive. Not because he’s the best recruit IU has ever had, but if he commits he will have the biggest domino effect of any recruit I can remember anywhere. You got to think that if Cody commits, Yogi won’t be too far behind. I think Perea commits regardless, then you have Hollowell sitting back watching, might trigger his commitment. I can’t wait!

  • Anonymous

    Indeed. Perfect job summing up the situation, the deal with Tyler, etc. Nice work.

  • Abby

    Dude, you’re like freaking me out! I started reading and immediately skipped to the end – was hoping you were going to go through all that talk to say that he committed. Man, what a letdown.

  • LTTelamon

    I will welcome Cody with open arms, but I’m not giving up the ship if he doesn’t. In the end Cody should and will do what’s best for Cody. I remain, as I have been since the day he was hired (and before then, when he was rumored the first time round), utterly convinced that Tom Crean will bring this program back to national prominance, and I am proud to say he’s the coach of the Indiana Hoosiers.

  • It gave me Christmas Eve jitters…

  • Baseball Montgomery Buc

    Turn on your favorite rock song and read the article again. Gives you chills and pumps you up.

  • Baseball Montgomery Buc

    Austin Etherington tweet: “Takin my official this weekend along with my man Cody Zeller. We gonna get him on lock down after this weekend I can feel it!!”

  • Rivers2Creek… Splash!

    It’s really hard to keep my expectations under control when I keep coming back to the ITH board. Regardless of the outcome, thank you Coach Crean for bringing the excitement back.

  • Marsh21

    I’m as nervous as the night before my wedding. If we get Cody I will go out in front of my house and cream as loud as possible and I live in the heart of North Carolina!

    I’m feeling pretty good about this and believe he will go to IU. Crean has set it all up and the red carpet is rolled out. Come on Cody and lead Indiana to the promiss land again.

  • Max M.

    Is he the only one who might commit this weekend?

  • Clinton Mills

    Rumors are swirling over on the Scout board that Zeller called Roy WIlliams tonight and told him he isn’t coming. I hope it’s true. Alex can you confirm this?

  • BaseballBuc

    This stuff just makes me laugh. Not at you, I believe you, but at the people down at peegs that constantly start these rumors. This is why ITH doesn’t have a message board.

  • Clinton Mills

    Yeah I agree, message boards can get crazy. Sorry if I wasn’t suppose to post something like this but I just thought it was interesting.

  • BaseballBuc

    I’m not subscribed premium to peegs but don’t mind the people on the boards, but If I do look at something there. There are a few people that are very respected over there that I pay more attention to than others. I think your allowed to post things out of the site if they haven’t been confirmed by Pegrem, as long as its still a rumor. It is interesting though.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    i hope you meant “scream” as loud as possible. either way, i understand.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    i also heard that roy is stepping down from unc to take an assistant job at duke.

  • BaseballBuc

    11th and Done: you made my day lol

  • RainCityHoosier

    In the immortal words of Dieter on Schprokets (aka Mike Meyers), “I’m as excited as a little girl!”

  • Casey B.

    I think he meant what he said.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a good thing Marsh was the one to make that typo, because if it would have been YKZ he’d have to change his name to “Yogi Kellen Ron Jeremy Zeller”

  • Anonymous

    He shoots; he scores!

  • MillaRed

    Totally a type-o, still yet, Marsh gets my vote for “Post of the Year.” I am laughing my _ss of over here.

  • MillaRed

    I ripped off Cody’s phone at a Burger King yesterday in Washington and made the call myself. Hey Roy, at least IU had an excuse for being a crappy team last season. What is your story?

  • cameronc023

    What about Gary Harris!? Hollowell has less potential then Harris and would be a fill for Mo Creek when he leaves. Hollowell is at best a SF but nothing more. Think of the 12’s if we got him, Yogi a true point with 2 shooting guards in Harris and Buss with Hanner and Jurkin down low. Do you people realize how UNSTOPPABLE that would be during there Sophomore season!? Jurkin would come off the bench for Zeller, with 3 good perimeter shooters, who could just as easily drive to the hole for a slam (Harris and Buss) or dish it out and set it up again. Hollowell is OVERRATED, Harris is the player we should be pursuing.

  • Marsh21

    Ha!!!!! Hey guys I get tired at the end of a day and I’m likely to say anything. Yes, it was scream, but I might just do the other as well.

  • Marsh21

    I don’t think Hollowell will be coming to IU. If Yogi and Hanner pull the trigger then we will have one oversign possible which I’m sure will be reserved for Harris. I highly doubt Crean takes two oversigns as removing two off a team might send waves around the Indiana recruiting world. Harris probably isn’t there this weekend because of a football game.

    I agree with your post, IU would be freakish for sure.

  • N71

    Harris is a 2, Hollowell a 3…need both.

  • N71

    INDIANA…that’s what you get the wear on your chest. Indiana is our school of course but it’s our state as well and in Indiana basketball is more than a game. What an honor Cody, Yogi, and the others are going to have representing the 6 million or so of us here in Indiana who love the game they are so gifted at. In today’s economic times they will be loved because they will help bring pride back to a people who have had a tough time in recent past. Brick by brick this is being built, what a wonderful thing to be a part of it. Welcome to Indiana recruits.

  • Anonymous

    Coach Norman Dale: “… You have special talent, a gift. Not the school’s, not the townspeople, not the team’s, not Myra Fleener’s, not mine. It’s yours, to do with what you choose. Because that’s what I believe, I can tell you this: I don’t care if you play on the team or not.”

    Not QUITE on the money, but close. IU basketball IS coming back, with or without Mr. Zeller. Butler & UNC are fine schools, and Cody will no doubt be successful wherever he goes, but he has a chance to be part of something once-in-a-lifetime special at IU. He has an opportunity to be part of a legend. To BE a legendary. I think it comes down to if he’s wants that, if he’s up to the responsibility, or not. Because there is going to be an enormous amount of responsibility, but it will be so, so worth it.

  • mdn82

    Actually one of the UNC insiders came to congratulate us and started the CZ to IU thread on HN. 2 of the top insiders have confirmed on IC that is the case and they are putting on full court for Baru this weekend. There is a lot of smoke, but I would be surprised if he commits early. Nov 8 – 10.

  • Guest

    For those of us out of state, will there be any TV coverage of the Night of the Living Red?

  • stonaroni

    AE is constantly promoting this program and has believed in CTC from day 1. It is his depth of loyalty to the tradition and history of IU that will make him a pilar of the program forever.

    Maybe AE is giving us a little foreshadowing since they are such good friends?

  • stonaroni

    Hilarious Marsh21…hilarious!

  • I live out of state and I spread this gospel message all the time. Basketball in Indiana is different than anywhere else because of passion and what it represents. Well said, N71.

  • Kari_tyler

    If you can get to Assembly Hall represent!

  • Outoftheloop

    Let’s never forget the importance of Austin Etherington! He has been a Hoosier cheerleader and recruiter for over two years-and you know the record during those two years! We love you Cody, we really want you at IU, but Austin loved Indiana before it was COOL!

  • Outoftheloop

    Cody is too solid to make an emotional commitment this weekend, but he is also too conscious of everyone’s feelings to hold back once he is sure. Give him the rest of the weekend to think and talk to his family, then a day or two to make his decision, then a day to call the “other” two schools first to thank them for all of their attention and time, and then he will call Indiana to let them know that HE IS A HOOSIER! The next day will be the local “press conference” at Washington HS for the media..Today is just the beginning of a great week or 10 days. Savor it!

  • RobD

    it would be so cruel if it was all a ruse.

  • jgongora86

    I’m going to be there at 630pm. I’ll be the hispanic wearing the A.J. Moye Jersey. Saving my lungs for the cody chants.

  • Outoftheloop

    Give me a break, both Hollowell and Harris are incredibly talented recruits and IU would be happy and lucky to land either one! This nonsense that one is great and the other horrible is too foolish for words.

  • Outoftheloop

    Give me a break, both Hollowell and Harris are incredibly talented recruits and IU would be happy and lucky to land either one! This nonsense that one is great and the other horrible is too foolish for words.

  • Outoftheloop

    Cody’s was the only scholarship that was “reserved”, not even Yogi has that. If you can get a commitment from a top 50 guy-you take it and smile! I want BOTH Hollowell AND Harris!

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Just ran into VJIII. He said that his ankle is doing well and he will definitely be ready to go for the season opener. He was wearing the soft cast but was walking perfectly normal.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s just say if Cody commits and brings his friends along this weekend I think the ITH community will collectively scream and cream. And honestly I don’t even want to know what would happen to YKZ. On a side not how great is it that Kellen has become so infamous on this site that I just naturally acronymed him like I would CZ or AE.