Zeller focuses on positives after loss to Warsaw

  • 12/30/2010 8:27 pm in

NEW CASTLE — Cody Zeller finished the 2010 City Securities Hall of Fame Classic with totals of 37 points and 26 rebounds.

But the statistic most important to the 6-11, 220-pound IU bound senior didn’t come to fruition on Thursday: winning.

Defending class 3A state champion Washington dropped a pair of close games: 68-64 to Center Grove and 46-44 to Warsaw.

“I’m just a competitor and I don’t want to lose,” Zeller said following the loss to Warsaw. “I played a lot of minutes today. We definitely played two good 4A teams.”

The Hatchets (7-4) fell in the consolation game against Warsaw after Illinois State signee Nic Moore dropped in a runner with three seconds remaining.

“The whole game we were just trying to get it out of his hands and make some of his teammates beat us,” Zeller said of Moore. “But he’s a nice player and he got away from us.”

Washington now has an eight day break before hosting Evansville Mater Dei on January 7.

Zeller, who played all 64 minutes in the Hall of Fame Classic, said he and his teammates would turn the experience into a positive.

“We just gotta turn it around and use it as a positive,” he said. “Get back and work on some things in practice. Come out and every day in practice act like we’re playing against a good 4A team like that. I think when tournament time comes around it will help us.”

With his college decision out of the way, the Mr. Basketball frontrunner has been able to shift his complete focus on leading Washington back to another 3A state title.

“It’s been good so far,” Zeller said of his final high school season. “We’re just trying to build the team and prepare for tournament time. I don’t get as much attention from the media (laughs), so it’s kind of nice to have the decision over.”

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  • Kelin Oladipo

    I really wish Nic Moore was coming to IU.

  • superhoops

    So do I because he will be Mr. Basketball. He’s tearing it up night after night. 50 pts one night while sick, 34 another. Zeller is not the clear favorite for Mr. Basketball any Moore! I love Zeller, but just think he has competition.

  • Kelin Oladipo

    Superhoops…I love Moore a ton…but in Indiana since I was a kid here is how Mr. Basketball works….You will a state title…great…you goin’ to Indiana…the trophy is yours. Cody won this last year when he won the state title and solidified it with his commit to IU. It has been that way for years……..

    1. Zeller
    2. Nic Moore
    3. Dee Davis
    4. Dawson

    This is how my top 4 will go.

  • Casey

    It’s too bad that some people can’t get past the height listed next to Nic’s name on the program. Objectively, I don’t see how anyone could argue against him for being the best high school PG in the state.

  • superhoops

    You may be correct, but I still gotta believe it will be much closer than we all would have thought earlier this year. Nic is a shooting guard and that will help. Again, I love Zeller and the fact he’s going to IU. Nic is just very underrated and had he held out signing until spring, he probably would have had some solid offers for high majors.

  • Casey

    Nic is a scoring point guard.

  • LDIU

    I saw Austin E. tonight. I could see him in a red shirt situation.

  • Not sure why everyone is going so crazy over Moore. He put up solid numbers today, but in the second game he took 29 shots. 29! He’s not a point guard. He’s a 5-8 guard that looks to score. That’s not really going to work at the high major level and that’s why he’s going to Illinois State, where he will do very well.

  • warrior_hoosierfan

    The grass is always greener!(Nic Moore)
    Yeah Cody we are glad you have your decision over as well! Thank God it is IU!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    At the high major level, he’d have teammates worth passing to. The best offense for Warsaw is for him to shoot.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Not that I’m pushing and I know that you’re swamped…do you have an idea as to what time you will be posting pic to clic? I’m will be out of the office around 1:00 and then heading straight to the game. I was going to make my pic but the list might kill me. Thanks in advance.

  • Kelin Oladipo

    Yeah I think he would do fine at the high major level because he has always had the ‘it’ factor to me. Shows alot of leadership on the court, I have seen him grab some shirts, and I have seen him do exactly what he does for warsaw against major aau talent. Converting to point guard won’t be a problem….however he is committed to Ill St. so I will just let it go….

  • Anonymous

    It’s up now, Crimson.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I know it’s “only high school,” and at least one of the games (46-44) would indicate a very slow tempo from the score, but playing two entire games in one day without coming out is pretty impressive to me from a stamina standpoint.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes! 29 shots for a team that only put up 46 points? Sounds a bit Iversonesque.

  • Anonymous

    It’s funny how everyone is harping on the Nic Moore miss, but no one is really mentioning not getting Dee Davis. He went head to head with Moore in the 1st game, has more size, and is the more natural point guard.

  • Luke72

    Watched the Warsaw game. Everytime Cody got the ball he got mugged,
    Can’t see anyone triple teaming him next year. Moore a good player but on the college level he’s going to find alot of players as fast as he is. By next year here’s hoping the weight room has added some upper body strength to Cody’s frame. Read someone saying that he plays more like a wing. I have to agree to a large extent. That would still leave a huge need for a 4 or 5 under. Going to watch the Hoosiers take on Ohio State tonight. OSU is strong everywhere the Hoosiers are not, Hoping they can hold there own. Happy New Year to you all!!

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    I’m speaking from personal knowledge of knowing Nic for 5 years. If you look at his PPG stats from his freshman year on…you will notice that his scoring has improved every year. He could have led the state in scoring all 4 years of his high school career. That’s how talented this kid is. He scores 35 per game this year because of 2 reasons: 1) This is the least talent he’s had around him in his four years of HS ball. 2) That’s what his team needs for THE TEAM to win. When he was scoring 16 ppg as a freshman, he did not utter ONE word to the coach about getting more shots. When he took his team on his shoulders to the 4A title game last year, he was the ONLY kid from Warsaw that played with heart, passion, and TOUGHNESS enough to hang with North Central. It wasn’t until he fouled out in the latter stages of the 3rd quarter that another Warsaw kid (Lucas Grose) decided to step up.

    If Nic were on a top tier D-I squad, no one would be poo-pooing his 5’9″ stature. They would be enamored over his DEFENSE, his HANDLES, his nearly AUTOMATIC jumper, his TOUGHNESS to attack the rim and FINISH. Would he average 35 ppg??? Heck no! Why? Because he wouldn’t NEED to!

    I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think Warsaw had a chance to play Bloomington South within 30 points. The fact that Nic kept his team in contention til the end….that should tell you ALL you need to know about the 2010 Indiana Mr. Basketball.

    Like Kelin said…Nic’s going to Illinois St….so I’ll let bygones be bygones…I just wish some of you guys who don’t know Nic or haven’t seen Nic would give him some props and stop degrading the kid based on what you read or what you pull out of the stats.

  • stonaroni

    He took 9 shots and scored 12 points in the game you watched. Wasn’t Seth Small hot and scored 25 points? I will take that 12 points in 9 shots every night at IU. Just imagine what he could do with 29 shots Nic Moore style, that would result in about 39 points. yet, AE doesn’t have to do that because he has a PG who can score a little and a 6’5″ brother who can slash and monster dunk. I think AE is doing just fine. How many boards did he get? How many Assists? How many steals? How many blocks?

    Call me crazy, but if I were coaching HH, I would make sure AE would get 15 shots a night whether he was in foul trouble or not.

  • It’s not that I am unimpressed with him as a player, I just understand why he wasn’t recruited by Indiana.

  • BaseballBuc

    On another note, why in the world did we not recruit Dee Davis?

  • LDIU

    I hope you are correct in your summation. You are right in that the HS coach doesn’t “set him up” like other top notch players. AE has good athletic skills and runs and jumps quite well.

  • Andrew

    Alex, you’re dead wrong on this one. You obviously haven’t seen Warsaw play this year, or maybe ever. For a 4A school with the tradition they have (they’re always good, even though they have the misfortune of being north of Indy), the lack of talent on this team is astounding. Warsaw scored 16 baskets against Washington…Moore made 11 and assisted on 5 (I think that means he scored or assisted on every basket). Warsaw’s only chance to keep it close versus most teams on their schedule is for Moore to try to score. It’s actually impressive that a 5’9 player can even get off 29 shots when so much attention is being paid to him.

    You also conveniently failed to mention how many shots he took to score 34 against Bloomington South, a team that hadn’t lost a regular season in 3 seasons until last nite against Center Grove. He was 12-19…pretty impressive, no??? He also had 8 boards, 5 assists, and a steal. I was there, and he is a phenomenal player.

  • I was at the games yesterday (as noted in the byline) and at the state championship game last year. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, which I have given mine that IU made the right choice not to recruit Nic Moore.

  • Casey

    Crean recruited Moore. He just didn’t extend an offer.

  • Right. I should have clarified. I believe they made the right decision to not offer Moore.

  • defendtherock

    Alex, I really wish Nic Moore was coming to IU. I have only seen him play in person 3 times, and he was the x-factor each game. He is a winner. No way Warsaw should have been in that championship game last year. He was big time in the tournament, and I don’t know one name of anybody else on his team. I watched him and Dejuan Marrero last year on the same day during their semistate games. They play different positions and are on different teams, but Moore was much more of a difference maker. At clutch time, he comes through. We have ZERO players who can do that right now. Moore thrives at winning time.

    My main question is this…What kind of guard should Coach Crean be recruiting? The dribble drive offense is something that fits a scoring guard who can get into the lane right? A traditional point guard seems more passive, which is less effective in this offense. Should we follow the Villanova plan of 4 scoring guards of similar sizes and one big guy who is just solid and can rebound and defend? I bring up Villanova because, they have been the most successful with this offense. They never seem to have a traditional point guard at all, but it works because all of their guards can get to the lane.

    I just want a guard who can dribble with his head up like we are taught in 3rd grade, and be able to drive without dribbling off of his foot. We don’t have that right now with our pg.
    One other question. Do you think some of our problems at the end of games are because some of our players are selfish? They did come to IU because they wanted to play right away. Are they trying to ‘get theirs’?. I heard Dakich say the other day that he thought this team was overconfident somehow, which leads to some of the slow starts. That could be because of the inflated ego of a few players from our first recruiting class.

  • Andrew

    I hear ya, sorry I missed that. Like Jay Bilas is so found of saying, reasonable minds can differ.

  • Andrew

    *fond. Wow. And I haven’t even started drinking yet.

  • stonaroni

    I agree 100% Alex. Nic Moore’s game is just like Kojak Fuller’s from Anderson in the early to mid 90’s. D-I skills, mid major talent.

    CTC is not the only major D-I coach to pass on Nic Moore, he is just like the rest of them. Mike Brey says no, Painter says no, CTC says no, Stevens says no…………wake up people!

    Nic Moore is a great kid and one of the top 10 players in the state, just not Mr Basketball 2011 and not IU material. Best of luck at Ill St.