Telep Breaks Down Zeller's Visit

Bloomington, Ind. – All IU basketball fans' eyes are on Tyler Zeller, whose in Bloomington for the next two days to make the second of his four official visits. But what will Zeller's eyes be focused on? Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep has the answers...

Bloomington, Ind. – All IU basketball fans' eyes are on Tyler Zeller, whose in Bloomington for the next two days to make the second of his four official visits.

But what will Zeller's eyes be focused on?

Zeller arrived in Bloomington on Friday and figures to have some visits lined up with people in the Kelley School of Business as well as a trip to Memorial Stadium for Saturday's Indiana-Illinois football game. There figures to be plenty of time spent with IU Coach Kelvin Sampson as well as the rest of the Indiana staff.

But it could be the time away from professors, coaches and sporting events that matters most.

"Tyler's made it clear that he's looking to see how he gets along with the guys on and off the court," said Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep, who has followed Zeller's recruitment from its outset. "From a basketball standpoint, this guy fits in anywhere. I think he's just like any other kid in that he wants to enjoy the guys on the team and feel comfortable."

One thing that will likely help in that endeavor is the presence of Matt Roth, an IU commit who was Zeller's teammate on the Indiana Elite AAU squad. Roth is also making his official visit this weekend, and it's a good bet that he'll be giving his best recruiting pitch as well.

This is Zeller's second official visit, coming on the heels of last week's trip to Chapel Hill, N.C., to see Roy Williams' North Carolina program. He is then scheduled to take three weeks off from visits before going to Notre Dame the weekend of Oct. 12 and finally Purdue on the weekend of Oct. 19.

So can one read anything into the order of the visits?

"Typically you can," said Telep. "However, it was made clear from day one that Zeller was going to take all of his visits. With some guys you know they aren't going through the process. With Zeller, it was never a doubt that he was going to take each visit. Being a former clean up hitter, I've always personally preferred to be last in those situations."

That last visit will be to Purdue, and it comes less than three weeks before the start of the November signing period.

While Purdue has been one of the frontrunners for Zeller, Telep thinks Indiana has been right there as well. IU was among the first major conference schools to offer Zeller a scholarship, and he remains the top priority for Sampson and the IU staff.

"(Zeller's) indicated that Sampson made him a priority when he got the job," Telep said. "Until the visits are completed, everyone is speculating (about who is the favorite)."

Whoever winds up with Zeller, they'll be getting a player that runs the floor extremely well for someone his size. Telep said he thinks that's the Washington, Ind., product's "signature," and one of the things that makes him a must-have recruit for the Hoosiers and his other four finalists.

Telep also thinks Zeller is a player that has bigger and better things ahead of him once he gets to the collegiate level.

"We're talking about a kid who has made great strides in the last year," Telep said. "He's shown more signs of awakening as a player at each event. I think he needs to get stronger, but who doesn't? He's tracking as a future all-league player no matter what league he settles on."

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