Zeller: “After a while, you just kinda know”

Victor Oladipo said Tuesday that he hadn’t really considered that this might be the last season of his Indiana career until it was over. Cody Zeller said Wednesday that he went through the entire season knowing it might be a possibility.

“After a while, you just kinda know,” Zeller said. “I kinda knew barring injury or anything drastic that this might be my last year. I was enjoying every last minute of it. There was kind of a sense of closure with playing my last game at Assembly Hall and my last tournament. I definitely left everything out there that I had, put everything I had into each practice and each game. I just kind of knew over time.”

But he finally made it official Wednesday, first with a press release on his website and then with his press conference at Assembly Hall. Zeller, a first-team All-Big Ten pick and second-team All American, will join Oladipo as an early entry in the NBA draft.

“The past two years have been probably the best two years of my life,” Zeller said. “Playing basketball with these coaches, the guys in our locker room, the fans of Indiana, the students, the people in Bloomington. It’s been a great two years, but at this point in my life, I think it’s best for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA. … At the end of the day I just had to do what’s best for me, and this is what was best for me.”

Zeller said academics weighed heavily into that, and the fact that he is so close to his degree helped his cause. The first-team Academic All-American said he is currently just 35 credits short of his business degree with his sophomore year coming to a close. He said he will take 14 credits this summer — those being ICORE credits, meaning intense classes for his major — and 15 credits next summer and then will take six credits online.

Crean said Zeller has not hired an agent yet, but will. Like Oladipo, he will also participate in the NBA Draft Combine May 16 and 17 in Chicago. The draft is June 27 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Like with Oladipo, Crean said that all of the feedback he received says he will be a lottery pick or close to it.

“There’s been nothing that’s come back from the undergraduate advisory committee or the general managers and scouting directors that have anything less than what we have expected,” Crean said. “Which is for him to be somewhere in that lottery area, without getting more specific than that. Everything’s been centered on that. … I think his stock of where he’s at with the people that make the decisions and sign the checks is very, very high. Once they see Cody in the settings of the workouts, in the settings of the competitions that they put him in, in the settings of the weight room, in the settings of the weight room and the interview process, I think they’ll be even more amazed.


  1. Good luck Cody and thanks for everything you did for IU basketball and Hoosier Nation.

  2. Cody I wanted you to stay but I totally agree with your decision. Take the Cash and finish
    your degree and IU fans everywhere will be cheering you on to new hopes and goals. I hope someday you are a NBA all star and win a Championship. I am proud to call you a Hoosier!

  3. Congrats Cody. I could write the exact comment I wrote yesterday for Victor’s decision. Great Kid, great family, great character and a very good student. My one exception is that Cody handled all the high expectations (and cheap shots…I’m looking at you Meyers Leonard) with a calm determination. I wish you nothing but the best at the next level and in life.

  4. Cody, I wish you the very best in your pro career. And thanks for giving us two good years of IU basketball.

  5. First- Congratulations to Cody and VO….take the $ you’ve earned it and we all would do the same.
    Having said that, this was the most disappointing IU team I can ever remember. Expectations were high, for good reason, 2 All-Americans, Freshman of the year, and 4 1000 point scores…big potential. Unable to reach the Championship game of the Big 10 tournament the writing was on the wall…this team was not playing to it’s potential. Eliminated in the sweet 16 for the 2nd year in a row is underachieving no matter how you slice it.
    College Basketball has become the development league for the NBA and there really is nothing to be done about it. Tough to build the foundations of a great team when your best players leave after 1,2 or 3 years. Was this team capable of winning Championships and hanging banners, we’ll never know.

  6. Iamahoosier, this is the most disappointing team you can remember? That’s just sad.

  7. Good luck CZ…and thank you for coming to IU! Your decision to stay in Indiana and play for the Hoosiers resurrected the entire program. There will always be idiot critics who say this was a disappointing team, but this team brought hope, excitement, and an outright B1G title back to Bloomington. Wish we could have won it all, but one only needs to look at the history of Michigan basketball to see just how hard it is to actually WIN a National Championship…oh and also ask Calbert Cheaney!

  8. URNotahoosierfan
    Fans of the hoosiers appreciate what this team did. Historic success. If you only measure success by whether IU wins a championship then every team for 25 years has been a failure. If you only measure success by making a final four, then we have had 1 successful year in 20 years.
    This team was ranked number 1 for 10 weeks. that has not happened since 1976. Think about that.
    The student athletes on this team were amazing students and fantastic athletes and great citizens. They won the B1G outright. best league in the country by far. They beat multiple top ten teams, including multiple road victories against top ten teams.

    Frankly, U don’t know jack.

    Go root for Kentucky or Syracuse.

  9. I wish the best of luck and give heartfelt thanks to cody, vic, and all the seniors. however, I agree it was a disappointing ending to a fine season. the disappointment was in the coaching. crean wasted the vast talent of zeller by not properly using him and not knowing how to teach him the fundamentals he needed to score against big defenders. ultimately cost us a shot at a national championship. what a shame.

  10. Maybe Zeller should have just naturally felt a double or triple team like I would have and looked and then kicked the ball out to the open man, maybe the coaching was just fine.

  11. TJ- that’s setting the bar pretty high, with either of those brothers. If he can attain Marc type numbers after his 3rd or 4th year in the NBA, then he will exceed my expectations.

    I see him as more of Spencer Hawes.

  12. With all the bigs that will be available for next years NBA draft I’d say CZ made a wise financial decision. I doubt he will be the type of person in the long term to retire from the NBA and a decade later be bankrupt, broke and destitute. Congrats.

  13. cody has never been soft. he just wasn’t given the tools he needed to score in the post.

  14. …and, as an amoeba, he was unable to detect the deficiencies in his coaching.

    Do some of you EVER come up for air?

  15. SpankyBtown….It’s fans like you that drive me nuts! Stop placing the expectation bar so low for IU hoops. THIS IS INDIANA….. WE DON’T MEASURE SUCCESS BY WINNING REGULAR SEASON BIG 10 CHAMPIONSHIPS. Why don’t you root for Purdue. They love to brag about Big 10 titles.
    We should be more like UK (except for the cheating of course!). Their mindset is Final 4 or bust. Do you think Kansas, Duke, UK, Syracuse, etc…care about regular season titles?!!

    I wish VO and CZ nothing but the best and thank them for their efforts to bring IU back to relevancy. BUT this team had 4 starters back, one of the best 6th man in the country, 2 All-Americans, and now 2 lottery picks….and we cant’ get past the Sweet 16? Sorry, that’s not good enough and yes, a MAJOR disappointment. I hate to say it folks..and I am NOT saying fire Tom Crean….but I wonder what Brad Stevens would have done with this team? He’s done a lot more with a lot less recently at Butler.

  16. Good luck Cody, and I think you will need it.
    Perhaps I am going to be the only one who speaks his mind on this one. He is nowhere near ready for the NBA.
    He will get punished if he plays anything like he did at the end of the year. He needs to learn how to stand up tall and go to the hole. He will be lucky to get a shot off if he plays like he did in the dance this year. With all of that said, I don’t blame him for going for the money. But what I find hard to believe is that a team would be willing to pay him. His choice, but obviously I think it is a mistake.

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