Zeller looking to run

Junior Cody Zeller enters his junior year at Washington H.S. excited to take his team further into the state tournament than last year. The Hatchets will do it by pushing the tempo and getting out in transition once again. It's a style of play that Zeller is seeking out at the next level as well.

Heading into his junior year, Washington H.S. big man Cody Zeller is a bit of a dichotomy. He's in a hurry to get up and down the floor during games and impatient for the season to begin. He's been the first to arrive at the dinner table each night and the first in the weight room in the mornings. Whether on the court or off it, he's dedicated to keeping a high pace…except when it comes to his recruitment.

Zeller remains committed to taking it slow in that regard. He says with certainty that he won't make a decision on college until at least next fall. While he's had opportunities to commit since entering high school, he's opted for a slow and studious approach to the recruiting scene.

"There's a lot of things that go into play when you're making a college decision," said Zeller. "It's a decision that you have to live with possibly four or five years. You want to make a relationship with the coaches before you commit. You want to find out everything you can about the colleges so it's a long process."

Granted, some colleges require more research than others. Thanks to older brothers Luke and Tyler, he's pretty well-versed in Notre Dame and North Carolina.

"Those schools definitely had an advantage because I knew what they were all about before they even started recruiting me," Zeller said.

With Tyler establishing himself with the Tarheels there has been a lot of speculation about Cody joining him there in 2011. While Cody may yet don the Carolina blue one day, it probably won't be from a desire to team up with his older brother.

"He's not going to be playing with me most likely," said Cody, acknowledging the possibility of Tyler leaving early for the NBA one day. "I guess he could be, possibly, so maybe when the time gets closer for me to commit he might start chipping in his ten cents worth a little more."

Instead, Cody is preparing for life on his own. That doesn't mean the allure of Carolina isn't strong, though. Coach Roy Williams has yet to offer the youngest Zeller, but Cody says he's not holding that against him.

"North Carolina as well as a few others have said that they know that I'm not going to make my decision until my senior year, which is true, so they are going to wait until closer to that time to make an offer," said Zeller. "It's not a big deal to me who has made offers and who hasn't. It's more about who has shown interest, been calling, and coming to games. That's really what matters."

Others might be interested to know that Indiana, Purdue, Butler, Iowa, Ohio State, and Florida have tendered offers, but Zeller isn't using that as a tentative short list. He doesn't even have one right now he insists and instead is simply trying to get to as many school as he can right now. He's made trips to all of those locales as well as Notre Dame and Michigan recently, but is still trying to work more trips into his schedule.

"It's definitely a wide open picture right now," said Zeller. "The visits helped a little, but I think I'm just scratching the surface right now. By the time next year and the official visits roll around I'll have a good relationship with the coaches and the programs to make my decision."

What the Hoosiers are trying to sell is their style of play. In his second year Coach Tom Crean has been able to implement more of his up-tempo system thanks to an ever increasing talent pool. Securing the athletic Zeller to run the middle of the court would be a coup. Zeller admits that at least stylistically it would be a good fit.

"I prefer to get up and down the court and to play really fundamentally sound," said Zeller. "That's what I have been taught to play here at high school. I have a great high school coach in Gene Miller and he's big on getting up and down the floor. I've had four year of that so I think that's where I best fit in."

Add that to their proximity advantage and the Hoosiers might seem like a clear frontrunner, but Zeller doesn't put much stock in the short distance from his home to Bloomington.

"It's been nice to be able to get up there, even on weeknights, but we've figured out with my brothers that no matter where you go to school you aren't going to get home much," said Zeller. "That was a big factor in Tyler's decision I know."

The biggest lesson his brother's provided, though, was what awaits Cody when he takes his game from the prep to the college level and that's his focus now.

"Definitely the strength difference," said Zeller. "Tyler figured out as well as Luke that the college game is so much faster that you really have to be bigger, faster, stronger in order to play well. The same goes for being a real dominant player in high school so I've been hitting the weights hard. I'm in a weight training class during school and that's the biggest thing I need to work on—putting on muscle and weight."

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