Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

April 10, 2013

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Indiana's Cody Zeller heading to NBA

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana's Cody Zeller turned down one chance to play in the NBA. He couldn't say no twice.

The 7-foot sophomore center who returned to school last fall for one more shot at a national championship announced Wednesday he is leaving college early to enter the NBA draft. The reason was simple.

"The leaders that I came in looking up to and copying their work ethic were Vic, Christian (Watford), Jordan (Hulls), Derek (Elston), a lot of those older guys that are leaving now," Zeller said explaining the difference between last year's decision and this year's. "IU will have a great year next year, but the guys I was closest to are graduating."

The decision was first announced on the website of his family's business shortly before the news conference at Assembly Hall. Zeller said he was eager to start working with the Christian basketball camps being run by his parents and two older brothers, something the youngest Zeller said NCAA rules barred him from participating even though the organization is considered a nonprofit.

Zeller's announcement came 24 hours after 6-foot-5 junior Victor Oladipo announced he was turning pro, too, in the exact same spot -- at midcourt inside Assembly Hall with the school's five national championship banners clearly visible in the background.

These Hoosiers wanted to add a sixth banner but that quest fell short when East Regional champion Syracuse beat the Hoosiers in the regional semifinals. Yet when Zeller walked off the court in Washington that night, he was already pretty sure he had played his last college game.

"After a while, you just kind of know," he said when asked about the timing of his decision. "Barring injury, I kind of knew it might be my last year, so I enjoyed every minute of it. There was a sense of accomplishment playing my last game at Assembly Hall, playing in my last (NCAA) tournament."

The early departures mean Indiana will have a very different look from the teams that won 56 games and reached the NCAA tournament's regional semifinals each of the last two seasons.

Coach Tom Crean must replace four 1,000-point scorers -- Hulls and Watford, both seniors, Oladipo and now Zeller. They were Indiana's top four scorers last season and accounted for nearly two-thirds of the Hoosiers' points.

The cornerstone, though, was Zeller, the highly-touted high school player who turned down North Carolina and Butler to lay the groundwork in Crean's grand rebuilding project.

Zeller lived up to the billing in almost every possible way. In the three years before Zeller's arrival, Crean's teams won just 28 games and didn't make a postseason appearance. With Zeller, the Hoosiers re-emerged as a Top 25 program, a Big Ten title contender and a player on the national stage. He finished with 1,157 career points and leaves as the Hoosiers' career leader in field goal percentage (59.7 percent).

But the impact he made went far deeper than any numbers.

"What Cody means to Indiana, it's much like Victor, it's hard to describe it and it's hard to put it into words, but what Cody has done has helped raise the level of every person in this program -- every coach, every player, every manager and that's not an easy feat," Crean said. "He's really come in here and left his mark on this program and it's one that will stand for a very, very long time."

Zeller is set to become the third Zeller boy to play in the NBA. His oldest brother, Luke, spent part of this season with the Phoenix Suns and his other brother, Tyler, is becoming a key cog for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who just happened to be playing in Indianapolis on Tuesday night.

Cody Zeller could have been a lottery pick last season but returned to Bloomington heavier and stronger. All he did was lead the nation's preseason No. 1 team in scoring (16.5 points), rebounding (8.1) and blocks (45) while shooting 56.2 percent from the field and 75.7 percent from the free throw line. Zeller even finished second on the team in steals (37).

But Zeller also found out how rugged life can be in the Big Ten when you're the target. Only seven Division I players attempted more free throws during the regular season than Zeller's 241 in 2012-13, and he often wound up crashing hard to the floor.

With scouts still projecting him as a lottery pick in June, Zeller made the safe choice.

"That's basketball, (injuries) can happen at any time," Zeller said. "It's part of the game, part of what goes into the decision, and that was the risk of coming back this year, too."

Where exactly Zeller falls in the draft will likely be determined on the workout circuit. Zeller said he intends to trade notes with Oladipo as the two vie to be top-10 picks and promised to finish his degree by completing two summer sessions and six credits of online work.

While athletic 7-footers such as Zeller are a rare commodity, the transition from being known around as campus as "The Big Handsome" to being just another NBA rookie comes with many potential pitfalls. Some analysts believe Zeller still needs to get bigger and stronger and must figure out how to play through contact. And should Zeller need any additional advice on what it will take to make it, he can make a couple of phone calls.

"It's a huge adjustment because you're not always the biggest and strongest. You're playing against grown men every night," Tyler Zeller said after Wednesday night's loss to the Pacers.

The youngest Zeller, Indiana's 2011 Mr. Basketball and a three-time state champ, is ready to give it a try.

"I think the guys kind of expected it," Zeller said. "The people who helped me the most, I asked them to put themselves in my shoes and asked what they would do. A lot of them, a lot of teammates told me they would go."

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Pacers Hawks Basketball -9 [Duplicate] NBA: Teague, Korver lead Hawks past Pacers Eds: Hawks 98, Pacers 85. Updates with details. With AP Photos. ATLANTA (AP) — Jeff Teague flung in a wild 3-pointer after the officials appeared to miss him stepping out of bounds, and Kyle Korver finished off Indiana from beyond the arc to lead th

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140425 soft ff ll 09 PREP SOFTBALL: The birthday girl BENTON — After the game was over, the Fairfield Falcons celebrated senior teammate Shelby Niswonger’s 18th birthday with doughnuts. Before that they celebrated her special day with a vast array of offensive fireworks in an 18-7 NECC high school softb

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • PODCAST: TGN Sports Roundtable, Ep. 27

    TGN Sports Editor David Vantress and Sport Reporter Greg Keim give kudos to the four local runners who competed in the 2014 Boston Marathon and look ahead to a busy week in Michiana prep sports.

    Produced by Sheila Selman

    April 24, 2014

  • APTOPIX Diamondbacks Cubs 100th Anniversary Baseball [Duplicate] CHICAGO BASEBALL: For Wrigley, it's party of a century CHICAGO -- For Wrigley Field, it really was the party of a century. Exactly 100 years after the Chicago Federals pounded the Kansas City Packers in the first game at Wrigley, the famed ballpark got quite the birthday bash on Wednesday afternoon. Hall

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Diamondbacks beat Cubs on Wrigley's 100th birthday CHICAGO -- On the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field, the team with the worst record in the major leagues won. And it wasn't the Chicago Cubs. After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for five run

    April 24, 2014

  • GN140424 Mathis armor NFL:Mathis' leadership paying off for Colts INDIANAPOLIS -- An authentic set of battle armor greeted visitors to Robert Mathis' locker Wednesday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The black-and-gold helmet and chest plate look more at home in one of the "300" movies, but they are the

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140424 goshen-warsaw baseball ambrose PREP BASEBALL: Tigers blank Goshen in NLC contest GOSHEN -- Wins have been hard to come by for the Goshen baseball team so far in 2014. That frustrating trend continued Wednesday night at Phend Field as the Redskins fell to visiting Warsaw, 9-0 in an NLC contest. With the loss, Goshen dropped to 1-9

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wrigley Baseball-30 [Duplicate] CHICAGO BASEBALL: Scorekeeper at Wrigley practices dying art CHICAGO -- Inside a dusty, dimly lit chamber of steel catwalks, Darryl Wilson peers out a square hole and into one of baseball's most revered shrines. For 23 years, Wilson has been a scoreboard operator at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Run

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140424 base nr nw 06 PREP BASEBALL: Youth is served NAPPANEE -- A youthful Northridge High School baseball team is being led by a youngster. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Andrew Kennedy tossed his second good outing in a row as he defeated the NorthWood Panthers, 5-3, in an NLC contest Wednesday even

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results