Zeller’s father: IU, UNC and Butler “felt the best”

Cody Zeller told every reporter who asked that he would be taking all five of his official visits, so up until last week, that was still his plan.

But when the 6-foot-11 blue-chip recruit from Washington sat down to think about it, he realized he didn’t need to make more than three. On Wednesday, Zeller announced that he had narrowed his list to Indiana, Butler and North Carolina, first releasing the information in an interview with the Washington Times-Herald.

“It actually got down to the point where they were the three that felt the best,” Zeller’s father Steve said Wednesday. “He really struggled with the fact that he told everybody he was doing five. We told him, you don’t have to have five if you’re not comfortable with five. A lot of time and effort goes into these official visits, and he didn’t want to waste anybody’s time. These were the three that were pretty much above everybody else. Nothing against those other schools, but he was most comfortable with these three.”

Zeller has already taken several unofficial visits to each school. IU and Butler are obviously both nearby, and his older brother Tyler is a junior at North Carolina, so he’s been to Chapel Hill several times to visit.

Zeller has a busy stretch coming up. Today, he will be in Chicago for the Adidas Nations event. Later this month, his older brother Luke, a former Notre Dame player, is getting married. Cody and Tyler will be the best men. After that, Zeller’s father said, Cody will begin scheduling his official visits. He expects to make a commitment in time for the early signing period in November.

Landing Zeller would be a major recruiting coup for any of the three schools involved, but especially Butler and IU. Zeller is the No. 35 player in the Class of 2011 according to Rivals.com and just finished a strong performance during the July evaluation period.

“I was shocked from start to finish how good he was,” said Mark Adams, Zeller’s coach with Indiana Elite Team Indiana. “I was in awe most of the summer.”

56 comments

  1. Come on down Cody. You know this is the BEST fit for you. IU has it all. Playing time, up and coming program, good coach, good facilities, top notch business school, tradition. What else could you want?

  2. IU is a great place for CZ to establish himself as a top notch college player. The Hoosier faithfuly will back him all the way. Come on CZ.

  3. For those of you who haven’t visited Chapel Hill and only have Dickie V’s descriptions to go by, it’s nice, but it’s not IU. If you are used to an east coast, crowded urban campus it may seem beautiful, but there are roads going through campus with lots of traffic. Try to stroll without paying attention and you’ll get run down. Currently, there’s plenty of construction, and Franklin Street is the total college town experience before it’s just another part of the Raleigh/Durham megalopolis.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a helluva great university. I’ve taken several graduate courses there. But I would never choose it over IU Bloomington.

  4. Personally, I hope he goes to Butler. I doubt he’ll need a business degree because he’ll go to the NBA, so IU’s excellent business school shouldn’t be too much of a factor. Butler already has the pieces for another final four run or two, especially if they get Cody. IU with Cody might make it to the top half of the Big 10, but he’ll need some major help winning the conference and making noise in the tournament.

  5. CZ’s criteria;

    Coaching staff
    Teammates
    Facilities
    Business School
    System of play

    What part of this is so hard to understand, when it is his quoted list of wants. Not one of them can be discounted or waited more than another.

  6. If he does choose IU, and right now I like our chances, he might be the biggest recruit to come to IU since Damon Bailey. Maybe not the best, but he could quite possibly the most important.

  7. GregM you raise a great point. When Cody arrives the starters would be similar to the dream team for Butler.

    G. Ronald Nored Bj Young/Hulls
    G Shelvin Mack VJ3
    F. Garret Butcher Mo Creek
    F. Cody Zeller Watford/Elston
    C. Emerson Kampen Cody Zeller

    You tell me which team would be better? Go ahead a google Emerson Kampen and Garret Butcher…

  8. I’d like to see him at IU, but he’d be a fool to play for Saint Crean. I think, if he has an ounce of intelligence, the only way he comes to IU is if his TV has been broken for the last two years, and he hasn’t seen IU play. I agree with GregM, Butler would be his best fit by far.

  9. It is a given he would put up the gaudiest set of stats in the Horizon League. But playing against B10 talent would certainly hone his skills to a higher level.

  10. Cody will be very astute to pick Butler University. This is a top notch small elite University on a gorgeous campus that offers its students a top notch education and one on one teaching given its small classes (student:teacher ratio). It’s Business School is excellent (I know first hand since my son just graduated and landed a job with Johnson & Johnson Co. as a Corporate Finance Junior Executive. With the return of the majority of its starters this will be a win – win situation. Even Coach K. of Duke feels that Butler will win the next NCAA Championship. I believe that Cody would likely take over Gordon Hayward’s starting position. Khyle Marshall would likely fill Willie Veasley’s spot and you also have Erik Fromm, Crishawn Hopkins, Smeathers, Aldrige, Roosevelt Jones and Emerson Kampen coming. BTW, Butler has made it to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen three times and were NCAA National Finalists this year <- one inch away from taking the Championship!. Now, how many times has IU with it's Big Ten League and all that T.V. coverage / nice facilities made it to Sweet Sixteen since 2006? (answer = zero). I believe this is a slam dunk decision for Cody to become a Bulldog! Go BU!, Go Blue!, Go Dawgs! 😀

  11. Purdue backed off on him when his brother chose NC. Is there a golf course at Purdue named Kampen? Wasn’t Emerson at Great Lakes Chemical?

  12. fmiyares,

    First of all — congratulations on putting a kid through college, but go to a Butler website. Sheesh.

    – IU has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.
    – It has a better business program than Butler.
    – Pretty sure Coach K actually thinks Duke will win the next championship. It’d be odd if he thought otherwise.
    – Cody will make any team he plays for better.

    Butler would be a good choice. So would IU. So would UNC. To act as if one is a distinctly better choice, by listing off positives that can be applied to all three schools is silly.

  13. If cody is playing for adams this summer he should already know to get the hell out of bloomington

  14. fmiyares,

    The greatest achievement of Butler basketball was losing the National Championship game.

    And I’m sure the whole country holds its collective breath at the outcome of that Wright State-Butler rivalry every year.

  15. @fmiyares….congrats to Butler for all of its Purdue like success. If this is something you want to follow then go for it. What matters in this state in ANY sport are championships. When you win 5 then there is a debate, until then, you will be treated like Purdue, who ironically like Butler finished far far far behind IU in attendance with a below 500 team.

    Go find a Butler blog…oh wait they don’t exist. Ok go watch Butler on the Horizen League Network…oh wait that doesn’t exist. Go to Butler and watch the team in their practice facily…oh wait again…that doesn’t exist.

  16. Butler is a good team, but losing Hayword is going to be huge for them.

    Didn’t they lose by about 15 to Minny on a neutral floor last year? Doubt they get a 4-seed playing a big ten schedule all year. Let’s face it if Purdue had a healthy Hummel, Butler doesn’t beat them.

    Also, Butler favorite to win the championship next year? What are you smoking?

  17. “Go find a Butler blog…oh wait they don’t exist. Ok go watch Butler on the Horizen League Network…oh wait that doesn’t exist. Go to Butler and watch the team in their practice facily…oh wait again…that doesn’t exist.”

    blogs.indystar.com/butler – One of the best beat writers around.

    http://www.horizonleaguenetwork.tv/ – Watch ever game online.

    Learn to use google before you troll on a thread.

  18. Each program has it’s appeal. We know at IU he immediately becomes the centerpiece for IU’s low post game with plenty of minutes and opportunity. He will also have great shooters around him to free up his game.

    By the time he shows up Creek, Watford and Elston should be a strong cast to play with. Hulls will be a steady PG prescence but my guess is Crean will land a top notch PG to play with Zeller by that time.

    I don’t think kids understand what it would be like to play for your state school. To help bring it back from the grave puts you in a higher stratosphere. Decades later when he is at home and his career is over the people of Indiana will still be talking about Cody Zeller as a hero.

  19. I like Butler, I really do. I cheered wildly for them during the Big Dance. But they will be returning to the finals with the same frequency that Indiana State did after their last trip. Or UNC Charlotte. Or Memphis. Or UTEP (formerly Texas Western, who actually won). Or Houston. Or any team from the Horizon League. Probably never.

    Sam, You’re right. Nobody in Indiana, other than his family, gives a rat’s ass about Eric Montross. They sure would have if he’d gone to IU. Nobody in North Carolina cares about him either.

  20. Cody should immediately narrow his choices down to two – IU and UNC. All the hype for Butler is shallow and built on recent success. Every program has its ups and downs. A small school like Butler, who 90% of the US has never heard of, cannot compete year after year at the highest level. It just cannot. Let the Butler fans (all 250 or so of them) keep smoking the pipe if they like, but there is just nothing there to sustain them. IU and UNC will always be major names associated with the best leagues and most interesting competition. IU is a better school as evidenced by the success of its alumni. Great environment for learning and growing. In 5 years, everyone will have forgotten all about Butler. If Codyis as good as he is purported to be, he should complete in a top notch league, with the best competition. His stats in the Horizon league would mean nothing, as they would have been inflated by weak competition. IU students, fans and Alumni would be delighted to have Cody in Bloomington where he would flourish and be appreciated.

  21. Imaging playing in AH or the Dean Dome….and then imagine the atmosphere in hinkle.

    Not really comparable. Plus your big game at home is Wright State, not Mich. State or Duke.

  22. “GregM you raise a great point. When Cody arrives the starters would be similar to the dream team for Butler.

    G. Ronald Nored Bj Young/Hulls
    G Shelvin Mack VJ3
    F. Garret Butcher Mo Creek
    F. Cody Zeller Watford/Elston
    C. Emerson Kampen Cody Zeller

    You tell me which team would be better? Go ahead a google Emerson Kampen and Garret Butcher…”

    BJ Young hasn’t committed yet, so forget about including him in your dream lineup right now.

    Second, Butcher probably won’t average more than 10 minutes this year or next, and Kampen is a walk-on. How is he relevant?

    Butler’s rotation, if Zeller comes to Butler, assuming no more additions to 2011 (although they will use all 5 schoolies) probably looks something like this:

    Ronald Nored / Shawn Hopkins / Jackson Aldridge
    Shelvin Mack / Shawn Hopkins (he’s a combo)
    Khyle Marshall / Andy Smeathers / Roosevelt Jones
    Erik Fromm / Garrett Butcher
    Zeller / Andrew Smith

    As for the idea that Butler can’t sustain success, well, they already have. Over the last 14 years they’ve had 9 NCAA tournament appearances, 3 NIT appearances, two Sweet 16’s in 2003 and 2007, been to the second round 2001 and 2008, plus last year’s run to the title game.

    Whether Zeller picks them or not, Butler isn’t going anywhere.

  23. “GregM you raise a great point. When Cody arrives the starters would be similar to the dream team for Butler.

    G. Ronald Nored Bj Young/Hulls
    G Shelvin Mack VJ3
    F. Garret Butcher Mo Creek
    F. Cody Zeller Watford/Elston
    C. Emerson Kampen Cody Zeller

    You tell me which team would be better? Go ahead a google Emerson Kampen and Garret Butcher…”

    BJ Young hasn’t committed yet, so forget about including him in your dream lineup right now.

    Second, Butcher probably won’t average more than 10 minutes this year or next, and Kampen is a walk-on. How is he relevant?

    Butler’s rotation, if Zeller comes to Butler, assuming no more additions to 2011 (although they will use all 5 schoolies) probably looks something like this:

    Ronald Nored / Shawn Hopkins / Jackson Aldridge
    Shelvin Mack / Shawn Hopkins (he’s a combo)
    Khyle Marshall / Andy Smeathers / Roosevelt Jones
    Erik Fromm / Garrett Butcher
    Zeller / Andrew Smith

    As for the idea that Butler can’t sustain success, well, they already have. Over the last 14 years they’ve had 9 NCAA tournament appearances, 3 NIT appearances, two Sweet 16’s in 2003 and 2007, been to the second round 2001 and 2008, plus last year’s run to the title game.

    Whether Zeller picks them or not, Butler isn’t going anywhere.

  24. I’ve only been to Chapel Hill a couple of times but from what i’ve seen it doesn’t have anything on Bloomington. Then you have the Plumlee bros doing the whole “brother” thing a couple of miles down the road …and seriously…Butler? I cheered for them in the tournament and all but I would rather play for one of the best major conferences. I like Crean’s chances on this one.

  25. Solid post Go Dawgs I was just going to write something similar. Just a reminder IU fans the Hoosiers haven’t reached the 2nd week of the tourney since ’02 and you’ve won 16 games over the past 2 years. As for Cody’s number one criteria of coaching staff your beloved coach has only made it past the Sweet 16 once thanks to a guy named Dwayne Wade. Brad Stevens has more tourney wins in 3 years.

  26. Butler is an “elite” school? It is behind Notre Dame, Purdue, and Indiana..at minimum just in Indiana. I’d say Depauw is likely ahead of them as well.

  27. GoDawgs:

    “Butler isn’t going anywhere.”

    Yep. Sort of sums up your problem, doesn’t it?

  28. Did you really post the link to the Butler Indy Star blog? WHAT…9 people have commented on there.

    Then you followed that with an ONLINE link to watch Butler basketball? Online, are you serious?

  29. Sad when IU robots like Gwaltney and TheRegion resort to trashing Butler as a means to justify their own program.

    Great, IU has the Big Ten Network and lots of basketball coverage. It should. It is the state school for Indiana and a member of a top flight conference like the Big Ten. However, what has that really gotten the Hoosiers in the last eight years? While IU has been mired in scandal, medicority, and irrelevance in the past decade, Butler and Purdue have been the flag bearers for the state in basketball.

    As much as you hate to admit it, Butler is now in the hunt and will receive commitments from big recruits just like IU. If Cody happens to pick Butler, I think you will get a cold reminder of where you currently stand in the college basketball landscape.

    (I’ll give you a hint – behind Butler)

  30. I have not trashed butler at all. I am just telling the truth about the program. What did I say that was incorrect? I do find it interesting that Butler and PU folks frequent the IU blogs.

  31. Purdue and Butler string together 2 good years and now they are the best teams in indiana ever.

    Go to the games and then tell me the best basketball program in indiana. It won’t be hard to figure out.

  32. It took Butler 80 years to once again play in a championship game. I’m not certain, but has Purdue ever played in a championship? It’s great to collect Sweet 16 banners..It’s also great to one day lose your Final Four virginity. Granted IU had their rollover minutes scandal, but let’s not pretend the NCAA has some very strange methods for deciding what program to use as a public example for replacement the true muck of college recruiting. There was much more at work than catching the real law-breaking gunslingers of the Wild West(Midwest, East, South, Big 10..Pac 10..wherever). Been there, done that.

    I’m happy for Butler. They had a great run. I’m also more than gratified to see some on this blog have come here to show how small they can make themselves. When they have nothing better to do than take aim our basketball program on the morning its most tested day, it can’t be all bad to still wear the candy-stripes. At least this Hoosier is not too distant great memories (and the never daunted hope and anticipation more to come), than to think it’s time to change our colors to green with envy.

  33. peeps112

    I think it’s interesting that when somebody’s opinion differs from yours, they’re a “robot,” but if someone thinks Butler b-ball is just great, they’re independent thinkers.

    The reality is that IU drew more home fans, far more fans, in a 6 win season, than did Butler when they went to the Final Four. That tells you where the hearts of people are.

    Butler boasting because they’ve had success recently is like a .200 hitter in baseball ridiculing Ted Williams. After all, what has Ted Williams done lately?

    Difference is, what would happen if Ted Williams just went away for awhile, and then came back in his prime?

    I guess I could tell you to go back and discuss this on the Butler fan boards – except during the off-season they have to put the pictures of Butler fans on milk cartons, and any discussion you might try to start would go begging for participants.

    And so you are here, where the action is. Where it ALWAYS is.

  34. I.U. is not ted williams and the glory days are gone and the way they are going they are not coming back anytime soon.

  35. i.u.is not ted williams and the glory days are gone.they screwed that up theirselves and have not done much to correct it.Butler may not have the big fan base but they evidently know how to run a program.

  36. bowman

    What are you, like 10 years old? IU’s had their troubles, but what seems like forever to you isn’t all that long. And the reality is that IU is well-positioned with a lot of players that will be coming into college over the next couple of years – more so than Butler.

    The fact that you’re HERE, on an IU board, is your admission that I’m right, and you are wrong. You’re not on a Butler board because nobody else is on a Butler board.

  37. Bowman, it’s about time that someone started telling the truth. The IU ship sailed a lont time ago with poor decision making. But, I do disagree with you about one thing. The program is alot like Ted Williams. The whole state is trying to figure out whether to put the program on ice or not.

  38. Butler just had its greatest season ever. Good for them. How many times do you think the networks are going to have them on TV outside Indy? I’m guessing twice. Next year, I’m guessing none. Enjoy the limelight. It’s fleeting.

  39. if a player is just interested in being on tv why play at i.u. on the big ten channel. go to n.c. and be on national tv every time they turn the lights in the gym.

  40. I don’t know why Butler fans have gone to the Purdue route of attacking IU fans on IU message boards. They have produced ONE nba role player, gone to ONE final 4, and now they are begging to be acknowledged by the hoosiernation. Well we will never acknowledge you until…

    + You get 5
    + your fans sell out its own stadium

  41. We might have their coach next year. Then how the tables will turn and we will never have to hear from them again.

  42. I agree with Chet…
    You can drive up to Muncie and still hear a lot of good things about Bonzi Wells. Testicle Tech, Terrible Haute, Butler, and Valpo with Bryce “One Shining Moment” Drew…they’ve all had their ShamWow moments. So many great stories of the little guy that could in this one-of-a-kind basketball paradise called Indiana. Almost makes talk of five showy banners and nine Final Four trips seem trite without the mention their dances a proud blue moon night.

  43. I think Go Dawgs and Peeps112 summed it up nicely. It’s hard to argue with reality, unless you’re delusional. Kind of, sort of..kidding.

  44. Forgot fmiyares and GregM- Nice comments.
    Good luck to IU and whomever chooses to come to their program. Continued, wonderful success to Butler.

  45. Again, the presence of Butler fans on this board pretty much proves what I’ve been saying all along.

    Remember at big family get-togethers when the kids had to eat at card tables in the basement? And the adults ate upstairs at the big table?

    The big table is for those that have national championship hardware in their trophy cases. As for you Purdue and Butler fans, be careful going down the stairs – you don’t want to spill any of your food.

  46. what is the matter with these Indiana atheletes even thinking about going out of state to play basketball when Indiana has such great athletic and academic schools. Are they INSANE!

  47. who ever cody decides to play for should consider themselves blessed. Great player even better young man. Just really dont believe it will be I.U.

  48. IU is the place for Zeller. End of Story. No debate. 1) the first two brothers didn’t go to the same school so your brother’s school isn’t the most important criteria, 2) any kid growing up in Indiana dreams of leading a state school to glory 3) As a parent, I can tell you that when the last of my kids was going to choose a college, I would be rooting for the nicest program closest to home to watch my baby play his college ball surrounded by thousands of adoring fans. Gee, CZ will sure look good in candy stripes.

  49. I have played against the Zellar boys and they are not only top notch athletes but also just all around great guys. That is why I believe they have steered clear of all the corruption involved in the IU program. It went from having one of the greatest coaches of all time that was fired by some wealthy, red sweater wearing puds that probably got their PeePee stepped on by Mr. Knight. Since then it has been through scandel after scandel. Why would anyone waste their reputation on a less than average program. When was the last time IU played in the Tournament? Thats right Butler has had half a dozen appearences since IU’s last. I believe he will make the right choice. ‘Go Boilermakers’

  50. ^^^ What was that?

    A dozen misspelled words, including “Zellar,” and some blatantly erroneous statements (IU was in the tournament 3 years ago), and a capitalized “Pee Pee”…clearly a 4tards kin.

  51. Best program closest to home? Butler. If you want to use the big table verses the kids’ table, I might suggest that the adult table is ever changing and current. I’m thinking old news bordering on reminiscent of ‘The Good Ole Days’ and better suited to the geriatric exchange on the breezeway. Only kidding kind of sort of but if you are going to go there, expect an equally ridiculous response to your posting, Larry.

  52. Thanks, I also have a daughter who is a Junior this year. She is Pre-Dentistry and is getting an excellent education at Butler! 🙂

    BTW, I won’t argue with you Butler Hateraide drinkers (let alone whatever you fools are smoking).

    Go BU!!, Go Blue!!, Go Dawgs!! 😀

  53. Yes Butler is a small school compared to IU & PU, but you can’t argue w/our success. We continually have a great program and do it w/out scandal! The Butler way actually means something. Losing the final game got more attention than Duke actually got for winning! Larry…dumb comments, of course we are going to be on all boards about Zeller’s decision. Being in the running should tell you something about how people feel about Butler and the future of the program! IU is improving but will be several years before they are where Butler is today.
    Also Butler beat IU in 2006 on a neutral floor…so yes Butler has been ahead of IU for several years….

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