Zeller named to Tisdale Award watch list

Indiana freshman forward Cody Zeller was named to the Wayman Tisdale Award preseason watch list for the nation’s top freshman. The release follows.


ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Three Kentucky freshmen are among 12 players announced Thursday by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as preseason candidates for the Wayman Tisdale Award, honoring the nation’s top freshman for the 2011-12 college basketball season.

Selected to the USBWA’s National Freshman of the Year Watch List are the Wildcats’ Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, all ranked among the top 10 recruits in the country. Davis, a 6-10 forward, is considered by many to be the nation’s No. 1 recruit.

Others named to the watch list are Bradley Beal, Florida; Chane Behanan, Louisville; Khem Birch, Pittsburgh; Andre Drummond, Connecticut; Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State; Austin Rivers, Duke; Adonis Thomas, Memphis; Josiah Turner, Arizona; and Cody Zeller, Indiana.  Zeller is the lone Big Ten freshman on the list.

Bradley Beal, Florida (G, 6-3, 207, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.)
Chane Behanan, Louisville (F, 6-6, 245, Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio)
Khem Birch, Pittsburgh (F, 6-9, 220, Fr., Montreal, Quebec)
Anthony Davis, Kentucky (F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.)
Andre Drummond, Connecticut (C, 6-10, 270, Fr., Middletown, Conn.)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.)
Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State (G/F, 6-7, 230, Fr., Dallas, Texas)
Austin Rivers, Duke (G, 6-4, 200, Fr., Winter Park, Fla.)
Marquis Teague, Kentucky (G, 6-2, 189, Fr., Indianapolis, Ind.)
Adonis Thomas, Memphis (F/G, 6-6, 222, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.)
Josiah Turner, Arizona (G, 6-3, 192, Fr., Sacramento, Calif.)
Cody Zeller, Indiana (F, 6-11, 230, Fr., Washington, Ind.)

The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU’s Chris Jackson was the recipient. Other previous winners of the award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber. Last season, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger won the inaugural Wayman Tisdale Award.

The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. A permanent Wayman Tisdale Award is on display at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

The Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award presented by Devon is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to supporting various charitable causes, including funding prosthetic devices for needy individuals through the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation, educational scholarships through the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and funding of youth basketball programs throughout the state of Oklahoma through Wayman’s Lightning Basketball League.

All-Time USBWA National Freshmen of the Year
1989 Chris Jackson, LSU
1990 Kenny Anderson, Georgia Tech
1991 Rodney Rogers, Wake Forest
1992 Chris Webber, Michigan
1993 Jason Kidd, California
1994 Joe Smith, Maryland
1995 None selected
1996 None selected
1997 None selected
1998 Larry Hughes, Saint Louis
1999 Quentin Richardson, DePaul
2000 Jason Gardner, Arizona
2001 Eddie Griffin, Seton Hall
2002 T.J. Ford, Texas
2003 Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse
2004 Luol Deng, Duke
2005 Marvin Williams, North Carolina
2006 Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
2007 Kevin Durant, Texas
2008 Michael Beasley, Kansas State
2009 Tyreke Evans, Memphis
2010 John Wall, Kentucky
2011 Jared Sullinger, Ohio State


  1. it seems Zeller is getting a lot of attention and praise, from award watch lists to national recruiting analysts to hit intro at hoosier hysteria..i hope all these pressures dont get to him and cause a shaky start to his career

  2. I think a lot of his extra attention is due to the success Tyler Zeller has had. Cody has come in as a more highly touted recruit, and the way Tyler has developed has caused people to have higher expectations for Cody. Whether that is fair or not, who knows, but all Cody can do is play his best and good things should happen.

  3. Cody has been preparing for this his whole life and he has gone through it vicariously twice already. It won’t phase him.

  4. Zeller will be fine. What does IU put around him and how the team is coached up will determine success hopefully right around the corner. By success I mean a 30 win season his junior year and national championsip contention and a national championship by his senior year…that’s what success means in IU basketball history.

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