While there are no questions, or concerns, regarding the NBA qualifications of his college teammate Victor Oladipo, Indiana center/forward Cody Zeller has been fielding inquiries about his professional worth since attending the NBA Combine last month. Oladipo is a sure-thing top-5 pick in the June 27 draft, and the shooting guard could be the first or second at his position chosen, depending upon a team's need. For Zeller, 7 feet, 240 pounds, the answers are not as clear-cut. Can he shoot from deep outside? Is he a power forward or a center? Can his range improve in the NBA? Even though Zeller averaged 16.5 points per game for the Hoosiers this year, much of his scoring was done inside, where he shot 56 percent, while pulling down 8.1 rebounds per game. It was all according to the plan for Indiana's success crafted by coach Tom Crean, according to Zeller. "It was what Coach Crean said was best for our team and I was in complete agreement," Zeller told reporters at the Chicago combine. "It just wasn't our game plan. But I know I can shoot from the outside. I can see myself catching the ball in the mid-post and then using my quickness to get my shot. As for the NBA 3-pointer, it just wasn't something we practiced in college. I think as I get more reps with it, I'll be a lot more comfortable." Zeller is a long, athletic big man who runs the floor well and handles the ball surprisingly well for a player his size. NBA director of scouting Ryan Blake also praises Zeller's basketball IQ. "He's a good athlete and unselfish guy," said Blake. "You know he had to play post, but he's a guy who can spread the defense. That didn't show a lot in college, but he can. He needs to prove that he's a better shot blocker (he averaged 1.2 blocks a game in his two-year career at Indiana). And he has to show more presence on the defensive end.
Indiana's Cody Zeller has a not-so-clear-cut NBA future
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Jun 22