Cody Zeller named first team All-American by The Sporting News

  • 10/01/2012 12:57 pm in

Sporting News: College basketball 2012-13 preseason All-American teams

Why he’s here: Zeller showed remarkable poise and polish for a freshman big man, no doubt a result of years of playing against older brothers Luke and Tyler, both Division I players, at home. He averaged 15.6 points per game while shooting 62.3 percent from the floor, which was fourth in the country. He also proved to be adept at drawing contact (216 free-throw attempts) while staying out of foul trouble (2.7 fouls per game).

His challenge: From the moment he signed at IU, Zeller has been seen as the catalyst to the Hoosiers’ return to national prominence. There are so many weapons at Indiana—Sporting News’ preseason No. 1 team—that Zeller’s effectiveness won’t necessarily be judged by individual numbers, but he will be judged by his team’s success.

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  • HoosierBurch

    Without a doubt, the most intelligent offensive basketball player in college basketball this year.

  • Matt S

    I expect this will be just one of many. Zeller and McDermott seem to be the only two obvious selections for this upcoming season.

    Did you bury the lead though? I can’t find SN’s preseason rankings on their difficult website, but this write has Indiana ranked No. 1.

  • MillaRed

    It’s amazing when you consider the impact this kid’s had on our program. I haven’t looked forward to a season like this more than I am right now.

  • dtfreed

    The best think about CZ is he doesn’t do any talking, he lets his game do the talking.

  • Rob

    Cody belongs on any top 5 list. Having seen McDermott play in person last year I’d have to say that he is very overrated. He reminds me of a stronger version of Adam Morrison . . . cannot get his own shot, week D, average 3 ball shooter. A waste of a draft pick let alone a lottery pick.

  • tbird086

    Funny Last year Cody was not even first team nor honorable mention. Have to laugh now. Go Hoosiers!!1

  • ScoopGeoff

    I love Zeller, but I’d consider Hulls and most top notch PGs as more “intelligent” offensive players. Zeller will have far fewer decisions to make on a per game basis than regular ball-handlers. He is great, and because of his rare combination of size, athleticism, skill, patience, and bball IQ he is probably the “best” player in college basketball. But there is certainly doubt in your statement. Sorry.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I think Isaiah Canaan should also be an obvious choice since he was either a 1st or 2nd Team selection on every all-American list at the end of last year.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    like with Meyers Leonard? Literally the best moment as a Cody supporter..

  • ScoopGeoff

    This is a list of NCAA all-Americans. It has nothing to do with how they’ll translate at the next level. The nba game is just a tad different. Adam Morrison was one of the most effective offensive basketball players in college basketball in the last 15 years. He averaged 28 ppg his junior year… I think that’s 1st Team worthy.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I agree, Canaan should be a lock as well. The other 2 spots seem rather… inconstant. One of McCollum, Siva, Deshaun Thomas always find their ways on there… just tough to say.

  • ScoopGeoff

    The Sporting News makes no sense…

    Isaiah Canaan is the only returning player from their post-season 1st Team (or 2nd or 3rd except McDermott) last year, but this year they drop him to 2nd team preseason.

    they have Alex Pothryess on their 2nd Team??? Why? He wasn’t even a top 10 recruit nationally, while Noel was consensus 1 or 2.

    They put Nerlens Noel on their all-freshmen team, but say to stop the Davis comparisons and enjoy him as a defensive stopper. Did I miss something? Was Davis an All-American because of his offensive game last year? When did he do anything besides catch lobs, put back o-Rebs, or finish in transition? They rarely ran the offense thru him, and I dare say that Noel will be more comfortable in the post because he didn’t have a late 7″ growth spurt.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Kinda like a Wally Szczerbiak maybe? (who played 10 years and scored over 9,000 pts in the NBA, including 6 seasons over 15 ppg…) and by average 3 ball shooter you are saying 49% last year from 3 on 111 attempts when he was the focal point of every defense he faced is average?

  • ScoopGeoff

    He was an AP all-american honorable mention last year…

  • DarkSouth

    Canaan was really good last year but I think there’s some doubt whether he’ll sustain it or drop off a little. Also, his team had a special year last year…if they flirt with an undefeated season I bet he’s first team again.

    Pothryess seems to be the guy people think is going to be the go-to player on that team.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Murray State is ranked in the pre-season top 25 and there’s about a 95% chance they’ll win 25+ games and their conference regular season championship again. Even if Vanaan’s numbers regress slightly he’ll be impressive. We’ll see….

    As far as Pothryess I just don’t get it. Projecting him there means hell have the same type of impact as MKG did last year… MKG was the #3 ranked recruit in a stacked class. Pothryess is outside the top 10 is a lesser thought of class. He is obviously good, but if I were going to pick a UK freshman as a 2nd Teamer it would be the #1 recruit and projected top 2 NBA pick Noel.

  • Rob

    Stand corrected on average 3 point shooter and a list as a college player. My assessment was off of one game. As, an NBA player I’d be very surprised if he can contribute in any significant way.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    well deserved for CZ. what a special player. too bad this will probably be it for him at IU. none of the purdue fans here at work even want to talk hoops?! hmmmm ? NOV 9 IT STARTS!!! CAN’T WAIT!!

  • b_side

    How do you define significant? In the NBA, there are few true superstars, so everyone has a role to play.

    Also, I don’t know anyone who has McDermott pegged as a lottery pick. Draft Express lists him as a second rounder. You know else was a second round pick? Kyle Korver.

    Korver contributes significantly to a Championship contending team. It all depends on the situation in which you’re drafted. Morrison is now making strides toward an NBA comeback after tearing through the Euroleague. Playing for the Bobcats, battling injuries and riding the pine during the Lakers run can do damage to one’s confidence.

  • smartybucket

    Let’s hope he watched those Florida teams repeat when everyone came back, when Zeller was just a kid. Has a chance to be one of the most special college hoops players ever if he wants to stay.


    Yep, lends new meaning to the old phrase, “getting your point across without ever saying a word” and “a picture is worth a thousand words”, when they showed the replay of that and the video stopped right after he got his point across. Going to youtube right now to see if that is on there so I can relive it one more time.


    Agree with your analysis on Pothryess, but a lot of people have been comparing his game to MKG’s. Here’s to hoping all the so called, experts, will be wrong about that one.

    As much as it pains me to say ANYTHING, even half way decent, about anything related to pUKe Davis did show pretty nice touch with his 15 to 17 ft jumper, but he just didn’t put it up from there very often. I think you will see that part of his game be a whole lot more evident in the NBA. WIth the touch and consistency he showed when he did shoot from that distance I always wondered why Calislimy didn’t let him shoot from there more often.

    Man, that really left a bad taste in my mouth. I am heading for my toothbrush and some strong mouthwash immediately.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Good post and points. My point was more that he didn’t use those skills and that UK didn’t feature them, not that he didn’t have them. Which is why I am confused that Noel couldn’t do similar things in a similar role.


    From what I’ve seen in highlight clips, read at different places and what I’ve heard his offensive game in his last year of AAU ball was no where near what Davis’ was his last year and that most expect his offensive game to be even further from Davis’ at the collegiate level. Which would prompt one to think, that at first anyway, he would use Noel the same way especially with like you said he won’t be a guard that grew a center’s body all at once. Probably why Calipayoff is putting out there that he may play Noel, Wiltjer & the 7 footer, (Cauley-Stein ?) at the same time in different combinations of two.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Am I wrong in thinking he is actually slightly stronger and more athletic than Davis? That is what I’ve seen in limited utube clips. Leads me to believe he can fill the lob, put-back, run role nicely. And I sorta assume he’ll be about 75-80% of the defensive presence that Davis was. Somewhere between Davis and Drummond seems appropriate…

  • ScoopGeoff

    Yep, I just watched few more clips of him at Tilton playing against a bevy of future D1 players from other prep schools and he is IMPRESSIVE. Definitely more athletic than Davis. I’m not sure he have the intangible “feel” for the game that Davis had tho. That’s the thing we won’t know until Januaryish, but his skill set, size, and especially athleticism is impressive. He can handle it for a couple dribbles, run like a deer, use either hand, and has jump hooks over either shoulder. He has good timing too, but I can’t believe it will be quite as good as Davis’s. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t have a very good year.


    Haven’t heard anything on the strength part and I’d put him somewhere in between Davis & Drummond as well when it comes to his defensive presence.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Just curious… Are you disliking this because you disagree, or because you hate uk so bad that you will “dislike” any remotely positive remark about them or one of their players?

  • HoosierBurch

    Yes, he makes fewer decisions with the ball in his hands but just watch what he does without the ball. That is what separates him from the others.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Yeah… No. What you saw in one season last year as he was just getting his feet wet in the college game doesn’t cut it. You don’t have a big enough sample size to make that statement. There were plenty of times last year where he was stifled. His skill set was also bigger than what he used in games. He never used his touch from mid-range to set up defenders and go by. He most likely will expand his repertoire this year, but until we see him use all his skills to his advantage we can’t say he is the best offensive mind in the game.

  • ScoopGeoff

    In fact I consider Cody a much more intelligent defensive player. His ability to step right in and effectively defend high ball screens was impressive and I think he did it better than anyone in the country. I literally think its on par with someone like Kevin Garnett. Maybe the most important factor in IU’s success last year was Cody’s ability to stay on the floor. He was effective at guarding the rim with his position, ability to take charges, and most importantly, not leave his feet unnecessarily. He has many rare qualities for a player his age, but his cerebral defense was what impressed me most.

  • HoosierBurch

    So I can’t claim Anthony Davis was the most impactful defensive player in the game last year because of “lack of sample size.” Intelligence is subjective. I’m just saying from what I saw last year, I don’t see a player coming back that has the ability to handle any situation that will be thrown at him as well as he can. That is high intelligence in my opinion.