Indiana basketball recruits Cody Zeller and Yogi Ferrell showed diverse skills in leading their teams to victories Saturday at the Seymour semistate.
In Park Tudor's 57-45 win over No. 1- ranked Forest Park in the Class 2A semistate, Ferrell scored 25 points. The junior point guard showed outstanding quickness, jumping and shooting ability, and the ability to create his own shot on drives to the basket and on the perimeter. This is a package of skills that should eventually allow Ferrell to break down opposing defenses in ways no current IU guard is able.
In the following game, Zeller led Washington to a 66-48 romp over Batesville in the Class 3A semistate. Throughout the game, the senior demonstrated unusual gifts for a big man – quick feet, agility in running the court, and exceptional passing and ball handling skills. Despite having two or three players collapse on him whenever he touched the ball inside, Zeller finished with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting with 20 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots.
Although Zeller at 215 pounds will need to keep getting stronger to be ready for battle in the Big Ten, he should be able to help the Hoosiers considerably right away with his high levels of skill, athleticism and hustle.
Zeller's team (23-4) will be shooting for its second-straight state title next Saturday against Culver (19-6) in the evening session at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Park Tudor (25-2) will face a second-straight undefeated team in the morning/afternoon session against Hammond Noll (26-0) . Last year, Park Tudor made it to the championship game, but lost after beating Forest Park 47-45 in a four overtime thriller in the semistate.
"It's a wonderful feeling," Ferrell said of the return to the final game. "We have to win it this year. Otherwise I'll be very disappointed. I feel like we have more offensive attack and our 2-3 zone is really, really good."
The only wart in Ferrell's game Saturday was uncharacteristic problems at the foul line. He hit just 9-of-16 attempts. That included draining four of his last five to help put the game away.
"My free throws weren't falling and I thought I wasn't getting enough legs into them,' he said. "And they kept sending me to the line. I was eventually going to make some."
Ferrell, who averages 19 points a game, picked his spots to score, often focusing on setting up teammates instead.
"We knew how they were going to place us and definitely help on me," he said. "So I was just going to find guys and knock down threes and they were, too."
Ferrell, along with freshman Trevon Bluiett, gave Park Tudor too much athleticism for Forest Park to match. Bluiett, an IU recruiting target, scored 16.
Ferrell's areas of emphasis in improving his game this year and next before arriving at IU, he said, are in getting stronger and being the best he can be at setting up his teammates to score.
"Being a leader and more of a distributor," Ferrell said. "I do whatever it takes for my team to win. If my coach asks me to score, I'll score, but if not, I'll distribute. I know that at IU, my job will be to distribute the ball, so that's one of the main things, I'm working on."
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