Bloomington, Ind. – The scholarship offers continue to come Washington, Ind., big man Tyler Zeller.
Thanks to big performances in AAU events in Fayetteville, Ark., and then most recently at the Kingwood Classic in Houston, Texas, the 6'10", 185-pound forward has added a handful of new offers. That list now includes Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Iowa, Iowa State, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, Arizona State and Georgia Tech.
While Zeller said he wants to commit early and sign during the November signing period, the new arrival of some suitors has kept Zeller from zeroing in on any favorites just yet.
"Since I got these new offers, I'm just getting to know quite of few of these schools," Zeller said. "So they're all pretty even. After a couple of months I'll get into it more, after I've talked to the coaches more."
Indiana was one of the first schools to offer a scholarship to Zeller, who is the younger brother of current Notre Dame forward and former Indiana Mr. Basketball Luke Zeller. With Kelvin Sampson still limited from going off campus to recruit, IU assistant coach Jeff Meyers has been the point man in the Hoosiers' efforts, and they've made an impression.
"I like it a lot better than when (former IU coach Mike) Davis was there," Zeller said. "Nothing against Davis, but it just wasn't my type of basketball. I like the way (Sampson) plays a lot better. I just like the motion in the offense. I like to be able to move and not be in as set of an offense."
Despite Sampson's recruiting restrictions, he has been able to be in contact with Zeller. The prep was in Bloomington last summer for one of IU's Elite Camps, and was also a visitor during a non-conference game last fall. In addition, Zeller was able to talk with Sampson earlier this week after the conclusion of Indiana Elite's championship performance at the Kingwood Classic.
"We pretty much talked about the basics – reasons for coming, how he'd use me, things like that," said Zeller. "He likes the way I think out the game, my basketball IQ, and what I do on the court."
What Zeller can do on the court is bring size, versatility along with plenty of energy. He's a blossoming talent who has emerged from the shadow of his older brother to build his own national reputation, despite the fact his high school career got off to a slow start.
"I've improved a lot since my freshman year," Zeller said. "My freshman year I didn't even make my J.V. team. Some of it is maturity because I've grown six inches since then, and then part of it learning how to play and knowing how to do it."
Zeller credits long hours of hard work for his development into one of the top players in not only the state in the '08 class, but the nation as well.
"I try working on everything - I pride myself on trying to out-hustle everyone," Zeller said. "Out-hustle or outwork them – that's what I pride myself on."
It's paid off to the point Tyler is probably receiving more recruiting attention than his brother did a couple of years ago. In addition to the 13 scholarship offers he currently has on the table, he's also begun to hear from North Carolina and Kansas as well.
Eventually, Zeller knows he'll need to start eliminating some schools from consideration and taking a closer look at what each program has to offer. But he does have an idea about what some of the most important pieces of criteria will be.
"Definitely the coaches will be important to me, and I have to be able to get along with the players," Zeller said. "I don't want to go somewhere I can't get along with players and I'll be miserable. I'm also looking for somewhere that goes up and down – I like to be able to get out and run."
Zeller Talks About New Offers, IU
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