Bloomington – As Cody Zeller looks around and sees plenty of other high school sophomores making early college decisions, one thought comes to mind.
While the 6'9" Washington (Ind.) H.S. sophomore is already amassing an impressive array of programs that are interested in making him a part of their 2011 recruiting classes, he's not anywhere close to cutting things down, let along making a college decision.
"I'm not even close to making my decision right now," Zeller said. "I'll wait until the end of my junior year or beginning of my senior year to make my decision."
That's a luxury he'll have, because he's a talented enough player that programs are going to be more than willing to wait on an answer. After averaging 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds as a high school sophomore, his stock has been on the rise this summer thanks to some strong performances in recent weeks on the AAU circuit.
After performing very well in last week's Hensley Memorial in Ft. Wayne, Zeller followed that up with a couple of outstanding efforts at the Adidas May Classic in Bloomington. After scoring 14 points (5-of-7 shooting) and pulling down 11 rebounds against the New Jersey Road Runners in pool play, he concluded his weekend with a 17-point (6-of-11 shooting), 14-rebound effort in a 75-64 loss to the Spiece Indy Heat in the tournament.
In that contest Zeller held his own against top-10 Class of 2010 standout DeShaun Thomas, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds while going 8-of-23 from the field.
"(Thomas) is s great player, and he's going to get his points," Zeller said after the match-up, which included plenty of times when the two were head-to-head. "I tried to keep him away from the rim and off the boards. You aren't going to totally stop him, so you try to slow him down."
Zeller's recent surge has stood in stark contrast to how the AAU season started for the younger brother of former Indiana Mr. Basketballs Luke and Tyler Zeller. After missing some practice time while traveling to Detroit to see Tyler play in the Final Four, Cody struggled finding his niche in a couple of early events.
But those problems are behind him, and he's now one of Indiana Elite One's primary scoring threats along with Bloomington (Ind.) South shooting guard Spencer Turner.
"I found my role on the team, which was kind of tough the first couple of tournaments," Zeller said. "But now I've found what I'm supposed to do – work hard, rebound, whatever the team needs."
He's finding out what he needs to do on his AAU team and impressing plenty of on-lookers in the process, and while doing so he's putting his recruiting on hold. While Indiana Elite teammates Matt Carlino and Marshall Plumlee headed over to Assembly Hall after Elite's Sunday loss to meet with IU Coach Tom Crean, Zeller returned to his Washington home, in no hurry to speed up the recruiting process.
"I need to take visits, talk to coaches, players – it's a long process," Zeller said. "That's why it's going to take me so long."
Patience a Big Part of Zeller's Plan
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