Cody Zeller

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Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller IU Hoosiers standout in Chicago IMG 5907 (19219916823).jpg
Zeller in Chicago, March 2015, talking to Indiana alumni after a Hornets game at United Center
No. 40 – Charlotte Hornets
Position Center / Power forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1992-10-05) October 5, 1992 (age 24)
Washington, Indiana
Nationality American
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school Washington (Washington, Indiana)
College Indiana (2011–2013)
NBA draft 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Charlotte Bobcats
Playing career 2013–present
Career history
2013–present Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Cody Allen Zeller (born October 5, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers. Zeller was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats.[1][2]

High school career[edit]

In his freshman year of high school, Zeller averaged 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game as his team, the Washington Hatchets, won a Class 3A IHSAA state championship. During his sophomore season, he averaged 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds. In his junior season, Zeller led Washington to a Class 3A state championship, averaging 20.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Following that season he was named an Indiana Junior All-Star. In his senior year of high school, Zeller averaged 24.6 points per game, 13.1 rebounds per game and 3.3 assists per game while leading the Hatchets to the Class 3A IHSAA state championship, the third title of his career. Zeller led the Indiana Senior All-Stars to a two-game sweep of the Kentucky All-Stars. He played AAU basketball for the Indiana Elite program and led the USA 2011 squad to the Adidas Nations Championship in Chicago during the summer of 2010.

Following the end of his senior season, Zeller was named Indiana Mr. Basketball, the state's highest honor for high school players and an award both of his elder brothers also won. Zeller became the 26th Mr. Basketball from the state of Indiana to play for the Hoosiers. He was a 2011 McDonald's All American player and scored 10 points, pulled down three rebounds and had three assists in the nationally acclaimed all-star game. Other honors Zeller won in his high school career include first team All-State honors from the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, the Gatorade Player of the Year accolades in Indiana, and a second-team Parade All-American. According to ESPN Zeller was the 13th best overall recruit in 2011.[3] Scout.com had him rated 12th nationally and third at his position, while Rivals.com had him slotted 15th in the country and fourth at his position.[4]

College career[edit]

On November 12, 2010, Zeller committed to play for Indiana University, turning down offers from North Carolina and Butler.[5] Upon his commitment he was labeled "the savior of Indiana basketball."[2] At the time Coach Tom Crean noted, "He's the most mentally focused kid I've ever recruited ... I see a young man that has mental toughness that is not normal."[6]

Freshman season[edit]

In Zeller's first year as a Hoosier during the 2011–12 season he led the team with 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 62.3 percent (200-of-321) from the field and 75.5 percent (163-of-216) from the free throw line.[6] He ranked fourth in the country in field goal percentage, led the Big Ten Conference and posted the second highest percentage in school history.[7] His offensive rating of 126.8 ranked him 14th nationwide. Zeller was the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year, as voted on by the coaches, after earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times.[8] He was also Second Team All-Big Ten and a First Team Freshman All-American. He was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award (USBWA National Freshman of the Year) and was a candidate for the John Wooden Award and Oscar Robertson Trophy.[7]

With the addition of Zeller to the team, the Hoosiers' record in 2011–12 improved by fifteen games over the prior season, making it the largest single turnaround in the NCAA that year. The Hoosiers earned a number four seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and defeated New Mexico State in the second round. After defeating VCU in the third round, the Hoosiers lost in the Sweet Sixteen to Kentucky, the eventual national champions.

Sophomore season[edit]

Although projected to be a top ten pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Zeller decided to return for his sophomore season at Indiana, along with teammate Christian Watford. In a statement issued by the Indiana Athletic Department, he said, "I grew up hoping that one day I would get the opportunity to play in the NBA, but at this point I'm not ready for my college experience to be over...My college experience at IU this year has exceeded my expectations, on and off the court. I look forward to playing at Assembly Hall next year in front of the greatest fans in the country."[7]

Due in part to Zeller's leadership, the Indiana Hoosiers finished the 2012–13 season as the outright Big Ten champions. He finished the regular season as the conference's third highest scorer (16.8 points) and second highest rebounder (8.2), along with second in the league in shooting at 57% while only trailing teammate Victor Oladipo in the Big Ten.[9]

Zeller accumulated numerous post-season awards. He was named a 2013 All-American by the USBWA (2nd Team) and Sporting News (3rd Team). He was also named First Team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media, as well as a First Team Academic All-American.

At the end of his sophomore season, Zeller decided to enter the 2013 NBA draft,[10] along with teammate Victor Oladipo.

Professional career[edit]

Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets (2013–present)[edit]

Zeller with the Hornets in 2016

Zeller was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats.[11] On March 31, 2014, he scored a season-high 15 points in a win over the Washington Wizards. Five days later, he recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.[12] On May 22, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team after managing to play in all 82 regular season games and all four playoff games in 2013–14.[13][14]

On January 31, 2015, Zeller scored a then career-high 21 points in a 104–86 win over the Denver Nuggets.[15]

On November 11, 2015, Zeller missed two free throws with 28 seconds left in a tie game against the New York Knicks, but came back and scored on a layup off an inbounds play with 0.6 seconds remaining to lift the Hornets over the Knicks, 95–93. He finished the game with 12 points off the bench.[16] On February 19, 2016, he scored a career-high 23 points in a 98–95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[17] On March 16, he recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds in a 107–99 win over the Orlando Magic.[18]

Despite missing the entire preseason because of a right knee injury, Zeller played in the Hornets' season opener on October 26, 2016, and was 5-of-6 from the field for 15 points in 14 minutes off the bench in a 107–96 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[19] Five days later, he signed a four-year, $56 million contract extension with the Hornets.[20][21] On November 18, 2016, he tied his career high with 23 points in a 100–96 win over the Atlanta Hawks.[22]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2013–14 Charlotte 82 3 17.3 .426 .000 .730 4.3 1.1 .5 .5 6.0
2014–15 Charlotte 62 45 24.0 .461 1.000 .774 5.8 1.6 .5 .8 7.6
2015–16 Charlotte 73 60 24.3 .529 .100 .754 6.2 1.0 .8 .9 8.7
Career 217 108 21.6 .474 .167 .752 5.4 1.2 .6 .7 7.4

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2014 Charlotte 4 0 13.3 .333 .000 .500 2.3 .5 .0 .8 2.0
2016 Charlotte 7 2 19.6 .553 .000 .810 5.3 .3 .1 .4 8.4
Career 11 2 17.3 .511 .000 .760 4.2 .4 .1 .5 6.1

Player profile[edit]

In college, analysts described Zeller as having "the outstanding combination of mobility, scoring instincts and aggressiveness", while also being "an incredibly agile and fluid big man who runs the floor well and has the explosiveness to play above the rim on a regular basis."[1] Zeller is also known for a "high basketball IQ" and unselfish play.[2] Other commentators have noted his "high motor" and that he is "the best screen-and-roll frontcourt player in college basketball....He sprints to the screen, reads slips and has great hands. He is hard to keep off the glass and has the versatility to play in the high post as well as on the baseline."[23]

Personal life[edit]

Zeller is from Washington, Indiana and the nephew of former NBA player Al Eberhard. He is the youngest brother of former North Carolina and current Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller and former Notre Dame and former Phoenix Suns forward-center Luke Zeller.[24] Despite pressures brought on by unusually high expectations, commentators have noted his humility and work ethic, along with "dry wit and prankster's mirth."[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Givony, Jonathan (8 December 2011). "NBA Draft Prospect of the Week: Cody Zeller". DraftExpress. 
  2. ^ a b c O'Neil, Dana (11 January 2012). "Cody Zeller sparks Hoosiers' turnaround". ESPN. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cody Zeller 2011 Basketball Recruiting Profile". 
  4. ^ "Cody Zeller- Yahoo! Sports". 
  5. ^ Eisenberg, Jeff (12 November 2010). "Cody Zeller's commitment means Indiana's on its way back". Yahoo. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Corazza, Ryan (9 April 2012). "That's a Wrap: Cody Zeller". Inside the Hall. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "Watford, Zeller Will Be Back For Indiana Men's Basketball". Indiana Univ Athletic Dept. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Zeller named Big Ten Freshman of the Year". 
  9. ^ Rabjohns, Jeff. "Oladipo, Zeller head IU Big 10 honorees". Rivals.com. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ Cody Zeller entering 2013 NBA draft
  11. ^ "Bobcats Select Cody Zeller With Fourth Pick in 2013 NBA Draft". NBA.com. June 27, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ Cody Zeller 2013-14 Game Log
  13. ^ Oladipo, Zeller earn NBA All-Rookie honors
  14. ^ Sixers' Carter-Williams leads 2013-14 All-Rookie Team picks
  15. ^ Cody Zeller scores 21, Hornets rout Nuggets 104-86
  16. ^ Hornets' Zeller hits layup with 0.6 left to top Knicks 95-93
  17. ^ Charlotte Comes Out of Break with Win in Milwaukee
  18. ^ Hornets close strong homestand with 107-99 win over Magic
  19. ^ "Kidd-Gilchrist, Hibbert help Hornets beat Bucks 107-96". ESPN.com. October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Hornets Sign Zeller to Multi-Year Extension". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. October 31, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  21. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (October 31, 2016). "Sources: Cody Zeller agrees to $56M extension with Hornets". Yahoo.com. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Zeller, Hornets snap Hawks' 6-game win streak, 100-96". ESPN.com. November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  23. ^ Greenberg, Seth (February 5, 2013). "Top 10 closers in college hoops". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ Cody Zeller Bio – IUHOOSIERS.COM
  25. ^ O'Neil, Dana. (December 1, 2012). "Cody Zeller sparks Hoosiers' turnaround". ESPN. Retrieved June 7, 2015.

External links[edit]