Zeller Breaks Down Top 3

CHICAGO -- Cody Zeller has an interesting decision coming up. Now down to a trio of schools, Zeller has a lot of interest factors to consider. His list consists of three very different programs.

There's North Carolina, one of the nation's most storied and successful programs. Then he has the home state school -- Indiana -- that is trying to rebuild. And then there's Butler, who is coming off a championship game appearance.

"Those three were the ones that stood out," Zeller said. "Those are the ones that I can really see myself at. I didn't want to lead on any other schools. I could have gone with five, but realistically these were the three I was considering."

North Carolina is the most recent school to offer him a scholarship and Zeller is quite familiar with their program because his older brother – Tyler – is about to begin his junior year in Chapel Hill.

"He's loved it so far," Cody said about his brother Tyler's experience at UNC. "He says it's a lot of work, but that's what to expect at a college like that. He's been happy with everything so far."

Whether they could spend a year together at UNC, he says, isn't going to be a determining factor.

"I'm not going to decide my college thing on that.," Zeller said. "It may be one year, maybe not even that. It'd be cool [to play with him], but I'm not deciding based on that."

According to the youngest Zeller, it's North Carolina's tradition that really stands out to him.

"They have had so many pros go through there," Zeller said. "Coach Williams is one of the best coaches in the country. I know the guys pretty well just from being down there and Tyler going there. I've been around most of the coaches and the players. Their tradition is unreal."

With the Hoosiers, Zeller cited a number of reasons for them making his final three. Tom Crean has made a strong impression on the 6-foot-10 big man.

"Definitely coach Crean," he said when asked what he liked about IU. "He seems to be turning around the program and getting some good guys in there. The business school is well known throughout the country and they just put in Cook Hall. Overall it's a nice school."

Close friend and current 2011 Indiana committment Austin Etherington has been working on Zeller as well. "A little bit here and there," he said.

While nationally some may have been surprised by Butler making Zeller's final three, no one in Indiana was. Brad Stevens has been on the five-star prospect since day one and he's developed a strong relationship with him.

"Coach Stevens is one of the best young coaches around," Zeller said. "I've known him since they were recruiting Luke [Zeller]. They are one of the best schools as far as not getting enough recognition and that showed this year getting to the championship game."

Zeller said Butler's tournament run helped their cause, but he also said he wasn't surprised with their trip to the national championship game.

"They make it to the tournament almost every year," he said. "I knew they were good and I knew they could make a run in the tournament, but to actually do it was big for them."

Now that Zeller has his list to three, his next step is to begin setting up visit dates.

"I'm going to set up my official visits for each one of the three and the home visits after that," he said. "I think right now I'm just setting up the officials."

Zeller, the No. 4 power forward in the 2011 class, doesn't currently have a timeframe for his decision.

"I haven't decided too much on that," he added. "I'm just trying to get my officials set up right now and take it one step at a time."

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