Indiana Hoosiers excited for arrival of forward Cody Zeller
ESPN the Magazine reports:
The biggest reason Hoosier fans have to be optimistic is the arrival of forward Cody Zeller, one of the top big men in the class of 2011. Zeller's commitment was lauded for its symbolic impact; it foreshadowed a new era in Indiana recruiting, one in which the best players in one of the most talent-rich states in the country didn't leave the state to ply their trade. But Zeller's on-court contributions could be crucial as early as this season. The younger brother of North Carolina forward Tyler Zeller (and former Notre Dame forward Luke Zeller), Cody is the first legitimate center-type Crean has had during his tenure in Bloomington.
Until now, he's been using some mix of Tom Pritchard, an overmatched-but-scrappy power forward, and Christian Watford, a 6-foot-8 small forward who is much more comfortable when he's facing the basket. Like a grade school coach, Crean had no choice; those were his tallest players, so they had to play down low. If Zeller is even 50 percent as good as his recruiting rankings say he is, he'll be able to take over most of those responsibilities. Pritchard can play the forward without as much pressure to score, and Watford can slide to the 3, where he presents massive matchup problems for smaller defenders.