Michigan Eyeing Zeller & Plumlee

The Michigan basketball program has worked hard in recent years to carve out a recruiting footprint in neighboring Indiana. In keeping with that, the Maize & Blue recently set their sights on two of the Hoosier States finest… forwards Tyler Zeller and Mason Plumlee. 

Cody Zeller and Marshall Plumlee are two of the brightest stars in Indiana's class of 2011 and form a formidable frontline duo for the Indiana Elite AAU team.  They also have last names that are familiar to most college basketball fans since they each have brothers that are part of big time programs. 

Plumlee's older brother Miles received his release from Stanford last year and instead went to Duke, which is where middle brother Mason join him next season.  Zeller's older brother Luke just finished his career at Notre Dame, while middle brother Tyler just won a national title with North Carolina. Now the little brothers look well on their way to being heavily recruited in their own right.

"Cody is a unique character, he really is," said Indy Elite coach Grant Gibson.  "His brothers have obviously had successes at the high school and college levels, but I think Cody is really a special player.  Cody was a big reason why we wanted to take this team as opposed to some of the other Indiana Elite options that we had.  He is just so versatile, so skilled, and he really wants to win.  Cody is only getting better.  That's something that we were excited about. He has unbelievable potential and unbelievable skill set.  He has got a lot of strengthening to do but to be as big as he is for his size and to move as well as he does… Cody is going to be a tremendous asset to somebody down the road."

Zeller's inside-out ability convinced Indiana coach Tom Crean to extend an early offer, but now many other schools, including Michigan, are expressing growing.   For Zeller, recruiting isn't the distraction it often is for other prospects.  He is tackling the process with patience as a primary virtue.

"Most of the big schools in Indiana, plus Ohio State, and North Carolina have been talking to me," said Zeller.  "Right now I'm just concentrating on playing.  I haven't looked into (recruiting) much.  I know what the recruiting process is like since my brothers have been through it.  I went on a lot of their trips and stuff, so I know how it goes.  Now it's my turn, I'm just trying to work hard."
Much like Zeller, Plumlee has also been focusing on his individual improvement.  That hard work has paid off in the form of impressive play on the AAU circuit this spring.

"Marshall is relatively unknown because his high school team is so talented that he really didn't get as many minutes as he would have liked to have had," Gibson explained.  "He is an unbelievably hard worker, defensive player, and he is developing at a rate like I've never seen a big man develop.  He works so incredibly hard and he is constantly in correspondence with myself and the strength coach that we have got for our team, figuring out ways to get better.  He takes things and he applies them back at school.  He goes to a private school so he has a lot of time to develop his game and he is taking advantage of it.  He recently got an offer from NC State.  I don't think those offers are going to stop coming any time soon."

"I've (also) gotten a couple of offers from IU, Notre Dame, and Purdue," added Plumlee.  "There are a ton of great schools out there.  It's a long process so right now I'm spending a lot of time working on my game.  Just a lot of fundamentals, little thing like trying to run on my toes, agility, lots of lateral movement.  Just coordination in general and then working on touch around the basket.  I guess all aspects of the game, even though I'm a post player, I'm going to work on ball handling, outside shots and make sure that I have down inside too."

Michigan is among the schools Plumlee hasn't heard very much from yet, but he is very impressed with what he currently knows about the Maize & Blue.

"Last year I saw them at a few my games, but I wasn't sure if that was for me or maybe Cody Zeller or Spencer Turner," he said.  "It's a great school, one that I would definitely be interested in.  Coach Beilein, he's a great guy.  He knows what he is doing."

GoBlueWolverine will have more on Zeller & Plumlee in the coming months.


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