Cody Zeller content with his McDonald’s All-American Game experience

CHICAGO — It is well-known that big guys do not get much of a chance to showcase their skills during all-star games, including the McDonald’s contest.

And Cody Zeller had two older brothers, Luke and Tyler, to remind him of that after he was selected to play in the game.

But Zeller did start the game and find a way to contribute. He scored 10 points, had three assists and pulled down three rebounds in a losing effort for the West (the East won, 111-96, behind Kentucky-signee Michael Gilchrist’s 16 points and 12 rebounds).

Zeller started the game and was immediately active. Getting back fast on defense allowed him to get a few easy dunks and he had a turn-around jumper. He was also efficient, making 5-of-6 field goals.

“I just tried to work around the guards,” Zeller said. “The guard play was unreal since it was the McDonald’s All-American Game. I just tried to let the game come to me and I wasn’t expecting to do a whole lot being a big guy.”

Austin Rivers (Duke), Marquis Teague (Kentucky) and Myck Kabongo (Texas) were the dominant guards for the West; Zeller said they were not as selfish as past teams have been, but it was still a typical all-star game.

“We put in a few plays, but of course once we get out there it’s all the door,” Zeller said. “But it’s all good. It’s a fun game to be in, and an honor just to be here.”

Throughout the week Zeller had the chance to go up against other dominant big men like Anthony Davis (Kentucky) and Khem Birch (Pittsburgh). He said the week was a learning experience for him.

“Once again, strength,” Zeller said. “Finishing inside, stuff like that. You really find out your weaknesses really quick. I can take that and go home and work on my stuff.”

8 comments

  1. How did “getting back fast” on defense equate to the dunks? If anything, he wasn’t getting back on defense at all. Or he was leaking out early on offense. Getting back fast on defense would put him at the opposite end of the floor, right?

  2. I was at the game. Let’s get real here people. He is not “the second coming”. However, he seems to me like a smart player, he runs the floor, he can actually set a pick or screen. Now this is an All-Star game, so you have to be careful about observations. However, what I didn’t see was agressiveness, a “killer instict”, toughness. Now like I said it was an All-Star game, but there were some kids who were getting aggressive.

    I do like that he is a “heady” player, knows where to be, but he’s going to need help.

  3. Well I’m from Washington and I must say I thought Cody did a great job of playing like himself, he is a team player but as everyone knows these sort of games are not for team players. He’s got to be a little tired after last week of winning the state championship and the tournament run. He’s not going to be the “savior” but he will make a great team player. I think he was just going to have fun and let the game come to him last night and thats exactly what he did. Way to go Cody and thanks.

  4. I thought that, considering the game is all about guards making highlight reel plays and not at all about having a fundamentally sound, well-rounded, team-oriented game, Cody did very well. His 3 assists were very nice and he hit shots when he had them. And he didn’t try to be Kabongo or Rivers and fly down the court like a guard. Those are good things. Tyler Zeller isn’t the flashy one on Carolina’s team, but he was the one who average something like 20 points and 14 rebounds in the tournament. I’ll take that from Cody any day rather than flashy dunks and out-of-control flights down court.

  5. I thought Cody showed plenty of aggressiveness when he took the ball to the rim and dunked over a couple of guys. His other dunks were the benefit of him hustling back down the floor. Put me in the group of folks who took this game for what it was and thought Cody did a great job. He was a team player playing in a me game.

  6. I prefer to think CZ will be a game changer the first year by simply considering the talent he is joining.

  7. CZ is a great piece for next year. With him it will make that 2012 class DYNOMITE!!!
    The sleeping Giant will be awaken and thats INDIANA

  8. Looks like CZ is the real deal, both physically and mentally, an outstanding young man and a talented athlete. As long as we fans don’t expect him to be a savior or Superman in the first season, he should become a difference maker for IU BB.

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