Zeller wins Mr. Basketball

Washington's Cody Zeller is the Indianapolis Star's Mr. Basketball for 2011. The Indiana signee gathered 198 of the 283 votes cast by coaches and media. Warsaw's Nic Moore was second with 21 votes, followed by Pike's Marquis Teague and Bloomington South's Dee Davis with 16.

INDIANAPOLIS — Washington's Cody Zeller is the Indianapolis Star's Mr. Basketball for 2011.

The Indiana signee gathered 198 of the 283 votes cast by coaches and media. Warsaw's Nic Moore was second with 21 votes, followed by Pike's Marquis Teague and Bloomington South's Dee Davis with 16.

Zeller, who averaged 24.1 points and 13.4 rebounds this season, is the third member of his family to win the award, joining brothers Luke (2005) and Tyler (2008). Cody won three state championships, one with Tyler in 2008 as a reserve and the last two seasons as the centerpiece player.

Zeller, a 6-foot-11 center, had 20 points and 18 rebounds to lead Washington past Culver Academies, 61-46, in the this year's Class 3-A final.

"He's the total package," Washington coach Gene Miller said. "He does everything well. If you were trying to pick a guy to coach, he would be the example."

Most nights, Zeller was double- and triple-teamed, roughed up and pounded on.

That was nothing compared to the recruiting process. Cody was also considering Butler and North Carolina. Because Luke had gone to Notre Dame and Tyler to North Carolina, there was outside pressure in Hoosier-crazy Southern Indiana to pick Indiana. Cody heard it on a daily basis.

"Of the three boys, it was by far the toughest choice," said his father, Steve.

Cody Zeller said — and those close to him agreed — that he never felt any pressure to please anyone outside his tight inner circle.

Some Indiana fans expect him to come in and be the piece to rejuvenate a program that has won just eight Big Ten games the last three seasons.

Zeller realizes he alone can't return the Hoosiers to national prominence.

"I don't plan on coming in and turning the program around on my own," he said. "I don't really feel any pressure to do that. I have a good support system with my family and friends. Those are the people I listen to and they aren't putting any extra pressure on me."

Indiana coach Tom Crean agrees.

"Like most great competitors, Cody has enough internal pressure on himself to get better," Crean said. "The coaching staff certainly isn't going to put any extra pressure on him. Now, we are going to have to challenge ourselves to raise the level and make him a better player. He has such good footwork and fundamentals already. We're going to have to be ready to challenge him."

Moore averaged 27.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season for Warsaw.

He finished his career second on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,891 points.

Peegs.com Top Stories