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.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    You know what I just realized. The season opener is in two weeks. TWO WEEKS until IU basketball is here!!! Heck ya!

  • Anonymous

    You know what I just realized. The season opener is in two weeks. TWO WEEKS until IU basketball is here!!! Heck ya!

  • Anonymous

    You know what I just realized. The season opener is in two weeks. TWO WEEKS until IU basketball is here!!! Heck ya!

  • BaseballBuc

    We are pursuing Harris. He has talked about it before, but if you go back and watch the video of Crean at the Big 10 media day he talks about getting year round winners. He loves if they play more than one sport. Thus Gary Harris is a football star. Tom Crean really wants Gary Harris. If Cody falls to IU, there will be a domino effect and you got to believe that it’s first come first serve for the rest. I think your selling Hollowell short, he’s 6’8” and can really shoot it. Ohio State was comparing him to Evan Turner, whether or not he turns out to be that good remains to be seen. But because there have been complaints of Hollowell not playing hard, in the past and if he got that motivation that the sky was the limit for him. Now what coach do you know that is a great motivator?

  • Jmfriedman

    Man, I haven’t been this jazzed up about IU hoops in a long, long time. Everything is looking good for Zeller to commit to IU, and with that, possibly help out with Yogi and Hanner. The word on the street is looking good and I can’t imagine the amount of disappointment we will have if it doesn’t go our way! I hope to heck Cody makes his decision for IU and soon. I don’t think it will be this weekend, but it is SO nice to be excited for the Hoosiers!!!!!! Can’t wait to take it all in!!!

  • Jmfriedman

    Man, I haven’t been this jazzed up about IU hoops in a long, long time. Everything is looking good for Zeller to commit to IU, and with that, possibly help out with Yogi and Hanner. The word on the street is looking good and I can’t imagine the amount of disappointment we will have if it doesn’t go our way! I hope to heck Cody makes his decision for IU and soon. I don’t think it will be this weekend, but it is SO nice to be excited for the Hoosiers!!!!!! Can’t wait to take it all in!!!

  • Hoosier89

    Ha I’m wearing my A.J. Moye jersey tonight as well.

  • Hoosier89

    Ha I’m wearing my A.J. Moye jersey tonight as well.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I’m bursting at the seems here! I can’t wait for this weekend to be over! How great is that? I can’t wait for a weekend to be over just because I can’t wait to see what happens with a recruiting weekend at IU!

    2 weeks and counting until the start of the season and yet the season could begin before it ever gets here if we here back from Cody, Yogi, or Hanner!

  • oneseeded

    I’ll be there tonight in my candy stripes and the Yo Gabba Gabba (DJ Lance Rock) costume my daughter picked out for me. I’m gonna look super fly for my guys Cody and Hanner.

  • oneseeded

    I’ll be there tonight in my candy stripes and the Yo Gabba Gabba (DJ Lance Rock) costume my daughter picked out for me. I’m gonna look super fly for my guys Cody and Hanner.

  • nice…if he goes to butler – than he will always be compared to Hayward and anything short will be a disappointment. At NC he would just be another cog in a wheel and expected to do what others have already done…..at IU he would be special – gota luv it

  • HoosierDavey

    As much as I hope he walks to center court tonight and flashes the IU sign (like Victor does) along with Hanner, Yogi, and Austin, I think you are probably dead on with how this will play out, Outoftheloop. It completely makes sense with how methodical the Zellers have gone about this process. And, hopefully, it is IU that he chooses.

  • BFowler

    1) If this thread had a theme song, the Pointer Sisters would be singing it (yes, I am that old).
    2) That would be one heck of a recruiting haul for a weekend if they all decide to play together.
    3) The “big Domino” (thanks again, Sallad) would not do for the program what the Zeller domino would.
    4) All I want for Christmas, Chaunnakah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice is a big recruiting haul this weekend.

  • cooper

    Why is he so important? Neither of his brothers have become great players. It should be about the best player not best player from Indiana. Forgeting Sampson who would you’ve rather had Ebanks or Zeller? Ebanks was the much better player

  • Outoftheloop

    Zeller !!! Did either die? What is with the “was”. We are talking about either Tyler Zeller or Devan Ebanks playing at Indiana aren’t we? If IU had Tyler Zeller at Center the last 2 years we would have won 6 more games in 2008-09 to finish 12-19 and 8 more games in 2009-10 to finish 18-13 and play in the NCAA. Further, this year we would be in every poll at 15 or better! Tyler is a true Center which IU absolutely needed and may still need. Ebanks plays a tall wing like Watford and Elston. PLUS Cody would already be with Austin and BJ Young, committed to IU!

  • BaseballBuc

    Tyler was out for the year his freshman year with a wrist injury. And last year he was playing behind Ed Davis and Deon Thompson. So I don’t think you can write his career off yet. I would take Zeller over Ebanks. If Zeller commits, he will lead a domino effect of recruits that includes Yogi, Perea, maybe Hollowell and maybe Harris. You can have Ebanks and I will take Zeller and a top 10 2012 recruiting class.

  • BaseballBuc

    I thought you meant who would you rather have Cody Zeller or Ebanks, not Tyler. My bad, although my point still stands for anyone else. lol

  • Jmfriedman

    Here is my take on Zeller. It is like he is picking his date for the prom. He could pretty much take any girl in school, but he has narrowed it down to 3 choices. 1)The girl who he grew up next to (IU). He has known her forever. She comes from a great family, his family is very familiar with hers , and, unfortunately, his relationship with her has been up and down over the years. His older bros had been asked to go on dates by her older sisters, but they just weren’t what his bros were looking for, so they declined. In the past few years she has let herself go a bit, but the last two she has done well in school and has gotten into really good shape and is looking good. It is certain that he will be prom king with her and her commitment to him will be pretty strong. 2) More recently, he met a girl from another school down the road (UNC) She too comes from a good family and he knows her pretty well because his older brother is dating her older sister. It would be fun to double date for a while, but the commitment from her to him is a little bit more “business”. She wants to definitely go with him to prom, but after that it is tough to see as great of a future with her. She has a lot of other dudes dating her at the same time, so his quality time with her may be limited. 3) There is this other girl who is cute. (Butler) She is smart and last year she started to get more popular because she was on a reality show. The show is now over and her “fame” is sure to be short lived. He kind of likes her, but she just isn’t all that exciting and she runs with a different crowd of less popular kids, which means at prom he will be hanging with a B class crowd. Still fun, just not as much and even though he may be prom king, most of the people in school aren’t going to care as much.

    So, what is he gonna do? If you really think about it, it has some similarities, no? I know this is a bit skewed, but eerily similar thought process and I thought may give some of you a laugh.

  • IUbballguy3585

    Ebanks was a “one and done.” We all know how well “one and dones” do for a program.i.e. Memphis, Kentucky, Indiana(Eric Gordon). They’re great for selling tickets, but not for winning championships. With the Zellers their track record of BUILDING a program, via 4 years of hard work pays off more dividends than the proverbial “one and dones.” So yes Ebanks is the better player, but not for a college team looking to build a program. Zeller is who you want, because you can DEPEND on him for 4 years to build something worth being proud of.

    GO IU!!! Good luck tonight CTC with the recruits.

  • IUbballguy3585

    Ebanks was a “one and done.” We all know how well “one and dones” do for a program.i.e. Memphis, Kentucky, Indiana(Eric Gordon). They’re great for selling tickets, but not for winning championships. With the Zellers their track record of BUILDING a program, via 4 years of hard work pays off more dividends than the proverbial “one and dones.” So yes Ebanks is the better player, but not for a college team looking to build a program. Zeller is who you want, because you can DEPEND on him for 4 years to build something worth being proud of.

    GO IU!!! Good luck tonight CTC with the recruits.

  • stonaroni

    Tyler will be strong this year. He was in the 8 man rotation as a freshman before he got hurt. Last season the whole team struggled. Tyler was on the US team last summer as a soph. i am guessing that he will be an all conference type the next two seasons.

    Ebanks and TZ are 2 totally different scenarios.

    I would take CZ over Ebanks any day of the week if it helped secure future recruits from the state.

    Also, Ebanks is a turd. Recruiting him led to …..no one else! Recruiting AE leads to CZ which leads to Yogi, which leads to HP, which leads to JH or GH, etc etc.

    Cooper I am doubting you grew up in Indiana because any true Hoosier would know the significance of CZ to IU…even a Purdue fan could see it.

  • IUbball3585

    Agreed.

  • IUbball3585

    Agreed.

  • Dumbfounded

    let’s not act like there will not be any unreasonable expectations place on Zeller commiting to IU…do we not have great players in our past he will be stacked up against?…do we not have 5 banners haninging upon which he will be judged whether he hangs up #6 or not?

  • Dumbfounded

    oops…post above was directed at iubase

  • stonaroni

    Yep, interesting take. To me it boils down to this and let’s not make this too hard……Playing Time!

    At UNC he has to share minutes with McAdoo, the #1 PF in the country. At IU he is the tallest and most talented option to play #4 or #5 from day 1 on campus.

    At IU he is #1 in class of 2011, not #3 behind Hairston and McAdoo at UNC.

    That’s it. Those things seal the deal.

    Here are some other factors that sweeten the pot:

    +IU is close to home
    +He could be a legend
    +He is close with AE, PJ, HP, Yogi, etc
    +His brother has yet to be a star at UNC
    +He loves the style of CTC’s system
    +After Basketball CZ can do whatever he wants and get a cush job
    +IU is a great university
    +CTC has shown he can recruit now and in the future with 2012 and 2014 classes

    CZ will be a Hoosier in 2 weeks!

  • Casey

    Agree with your comment, but I’m not sure how that makes Ebanks a “turd.”

  • Anonymous

    He said “November,” so it will be November. That’s Monday, though, so it’s coming soon.

  • RobD

    Ebanks is one of those guys that always reminds you he’s doing you a favor. You know, he’s doing it for, “you guys.” You can’t have guys like that on a team, let alone a vacation.

  • Marsh21

    Crean should have appointed someone from ITH to trail Cody around this weekend for live updates on conversations, meetings, parties, you name it! I need instant information as it happens this entire weekend or I might drive eveyone around me crazy.

    In fact a little camera right on his IU hat plus electrode pads on his head to record his thoughts would have been great. Where is the progressive planning around here man???

  • Cameronc023

    I went to school with GH and I know what type of player he is, I watched him play for 2 years at HSE. As a freshman GH was a high flying circus act that could take over any game. He slammed on numerous occasions as a freshman! Sophomore season was 10x better than his freshman season. GH slammed every game it seemed like and was dropping 15+ a game, he ran point and played shooting guard as well as anybody in the HCC if not the toughest conference the second toughest behind the MIC. I went to the game at Hinkle Fieldhouse last year too, when GH played JH. GH shut him down and won the game for HSE, im not saying JH wouldn’t be a good fit for IU im just saying that GH with Buss and Yogi seems like a much better fit than JH, Buss, and Yogi, especially if Hanner and Zeller commit.

  • adamlagrange

    Anyone live blogging the event tonight? Or better yet, UStreaming?

  • You are absulotely right -IU has a great tradition. I was there with the 1975 team. I played baseball and was a big fan of RMK and how he conducted the program at IU. He got stellar players, they attended class, were humble and impressive. I do not think any team in college will reach the status of the 75 and 76 teams, but I do feel we can put up another banner. The difference between then and now IMHO is that Cody would be an important piece to help ressurect the program from where it was 2 years ago. Doing that – i.e. putting IU in its proper place will make people remember the critical cogs responsible for that – and Cody is a critical cog to make that happen.

  • VS13

    that’s exactly what Dakich said would screw everything up. Let him enjoy the weekend—don’t be all in his face. Give him his space and everything will come to fruition.

  • icousins5

    Pretty sure Ebanks played 2 years at WVU

  • Southern Hoosier

    Hanner
    COdy
    YOgi
    BusS
    AustIn
    JerEmy
    GaRy

  • IUbballguy3585

    You’re correct. Not sure how much you can accomplish for a program in 2 years that leave a lasting effect for years to come. Point is still valid.

  • LTTelamon

    Completely agreed. Either guy would be huge. Don’t fall into the ratings trap. One is rated more highly than the other now, but both have the ability and desire to make an impact, and both would be welcome in a Hoosier uniform.

  • Dtfree

    If he doesn’t commit by Sun. nite, it ain’t happening.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    You know what’s sad is when we were all younger IU’s Cream and Crimson scrimmage was shown on WTTV4 and Ted and Laz announced it and treated it like the first preseason game . . . man do I miss those days when we didn’t have to deal with the BTN and it’s terrible coverage and terrible commentary.

    What I would give for the good old days when the local networks carried all the local games!

  • Jmfriedman

    Take a look at this from someone not in the IU family….

    http://twitter.com/jeffborzello

    Your post is silly….

  • jgongora86

    I’m right outside of cook hall right now and this place looks awesomeeeeeee! It feels like I’m back home for the first time in 10 years.

  • Marsh21

    Dude i was just joking around. relax……and oh, by the way, since when did we all start worshiping DD? he talks a little recruiting and he’s got the IU fans in the palm of his hand

  • BaseballBuc

    Jpongora: you have a twitter account? If so you should feed me updates @BaseballBuc.

  • Marsh21

    he’s not pulling the trigger sunday night. it would be disrespectful to the other schools. plan on waiting at least a week before the call

  • kentuckyhoosier

    No doubt , this is my home page and the first thing I do when I get home for work ! Awesome job this year in bringing us the great news through out the summer . Im pretty damn excited , and a little nervous if he would decide to go elsewhere. Please Cody stay in Bloomignton , bring the rest of the 2012 class in and be HEROS ! Great job coach , go hoosiers !!!! Damn right ” IT’S INDIANA ”

  • cooper

    he played 2 years and helped them to the final four. This isn’t to say I don’t want Zeller to come, only the infatuation with Indiana players is a little over the top. I’ll take the best players and i don’t care where they live.

  • Anonymous

    But if you’re getting one and done types within the context of a consistent, winning program. Isiah Thomas comes to mind, among others.

  • jgongora86

    I don’t but I’ll try to post updates here as well. I saw jordan halls in cook hall taking pictures with kids. I’m in the assembly hall right now. Awesome seats. Daniel moore is shooting threes. I wonder if I’ll get to see alex?