NBA Position: C
Hometown: Washington, IN
High School: Washington HS
Ceiling: Brook Lopez
NBA Comparison: Andris Biedrins
- Basketball IQ
- Mobile Big
- Runs The Floor
- Good Footwork
- High Percentage Shooter
- Quality Passer Out Of The Post
- Good Hands On Defense
- Inconsistent Rebounder
The skill level that Cody Zeller exhibits is not common among big men today. He has the ability to score inside out, but is so efficient inside that is all you see game in and game out from Zeller.
Last year he had the opportunity to be a Top 10 pick, but coming back gave him the chance to shine as the top overall prospect.
As the season has progressed Zeller has been efficient and effective on the offensive end as the centerpiece of one of the best teams in the Nation. He is subjected to double-teams, zone coverage, and all kinds of different schematic advantages that teams can throw at him. Despite that he is still able to score at a very high level.
Zeller is capable of scoring on either block and finishing with either hand.
Athletically Zeller is average in terms of explosiveness for his position. He has short arms and typically finishes with finesse over the standard dunk. In terms of athleticism, he is more fluid than explosive.
On the break Zeller is much like his younger brother Tyler with the ability to get up and down the court finishing in transition.
Offensively he can step out and hit the 16-17 foot jump-shot. He does not do it often for Indiana because he shoots 61.2% from the field for his career. Off the block Zeller is a good passer getting the ball to cutters and making sound decisions out of double-teams.
When he catches the ball on the block his size allows him to see over the top of the defense getting the ball to an offensive player.
He is not a great rebounder, but corrals roughly 13% of his team’s offensive boards. On the offensive glass Zeller does a good job tipping the ball to himself and outworking his opponent to get the loose ball.
Defensively he is limited, but plays smart. He is not a great athlete on this end, but is sound in his fundamentals. This is Zeller’s biggest area of improvement as he is a polished offensive player, but an average defender. His lack of length and explosiveness allow more athletic big men to score on the perimeter and around the basket.
Zeller has dropped down most draft boards, not because of his skill, but rather due to his own polish and others rising with their play. It may work out better for him landing on a better team with lesser expectations.
As a freshman so far in Indiana Zeller has shown he has a ton of skill. He is a very mobile and active big man, a shade under 7-0, but nonetheless a talented prospect. On the block he is very skilled and has advanced footwork. He uses his athleticism to move around the less mobile, stiffer big men and his size to score over the smaller defenders.
So far Zeller has exceeded any and all expectations as a freshman. He has become not only one of the Nation’s top freshmen and centers, but arguably one of the best overall players.
The younger Zeller is likely coming back to Indiana next year and it will be for the better. He is projected as a lottery pick by most outlets, but he will be a project with those projections. He has the ability (see Meyers Leonard this year) to improve his strength and develop his game in another year of college. In the end Cody should be the better of the brother.