Photo courtesy of Henny Ray Abrams | McDonald’s
Cody Zeller left Indianapolis after winning the 3A state championship and headed to Chicago, where practices for Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game began on Sunday.
Such is the life of a top prospect.
Part of Sunday’s festivities included going to the Ronald McDonald House, where the players met with the families there and also, it seems, made cookies (as you can see by the above photo, Zeller likes his sprinkles).
Dustin and I will be at the game on Wednesday, but decided not to attend any of the pregame festivities. Smart move – the list of participants for tonight’s slam dunk, 3-point and skills contests did not include Zeller.
The game, by the way, will be at 10 p.m. (eastern) on ESPN.
Another photo after the jump.
INDIANAPOLIS — Three state titles in four years. The Trester Mental Attitude Award winner. Signed to play at Indiana University. And saying a bad word about him is like hating on white bread and whole milk.
Cody Zeller will win Mr. Basketball. South’s Dee Davis should finish second, and he would be a runaway Mr. Basketball winner during so many seasons; he’s just a victim of age, and had the misfortune to enroll in school the same year as Washington’s last Zeller brother.
Zeller is everything the Mr. Basketball award is supposed to be about and, truthfully, he profits from the pro-Indiana bias in the voting and the fact brothers Luke and Tyler each won the award and subsequently represented the state as well as anyone could have hoped.
But while the race between Zeller and Davis would be neck-and-neck if his name was Cody Johnson and he was headed to Illinois, Zeller is a most worthy winner.
He proved that again in his final high school game, scoring 20 points and pulling down 18 points as Washington beat Culver 61-46.
“It’s definitely fun winning it,” Zeller said. “It gets better every time. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and my coaches.”
INDIANAPOLIS — It was not Yogi Ferrell’s best day, but a freshman teammate had his back.
Trevon Bluiett scored 21 points and pulled in eight rebounds — the last rebound a put-back, and-one situation that led to the game-winning free throw — as Park Tudor won the 2A state title against previously-undefeated Hammond Bishop Noll, 43-42.
“We worked hard all year and the coaches have prepared us so well,” Ferrell said. “I feel like we deserved to win this game.”
Ferrell had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds, but was 6-of-15 from the field and 1-of-5 from 3-point range. He admitted afterwards it was not his best game, but he did win the state title that eluded him and Park Tudor a year ago.
“All the hard work — I didn’t want it stop here,” Ferrell said. “I wanted to come out with seven wins in March, and that’s what we did.”
Indiana’s defensive line is looking at it’s third different scheme in three years.
Through 2009, the Hoosiers were in a standard 4-3. Last year they mixed 3-4 and 4-3, but even when they were in a 4-3 alignment, they used a stand-up defensive end.
This year, the alignment will be relatively similar, but the technique they will use will be different from anything they’ve ever done.
The new defensive staff is asking its defensive linemen — tackles and ends — to focus on attacking their blockers rather than shooting for gaps. Defensive coaches say the linemen will still be able to make plays, but their stated purpose will be to hold gaps and blockers to allow linebackers and defensive backs more freedom. (more…)
Every long-time friend who committed to Indiana made the school more and more attractive to Jeremy Hollowell.
The Lawrence Central junior swingman wanted to make sure he was picking the right school for him, but he came to realize that the opportunity to play with Ron Patterson, Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin — not to mention Austin Etherington and Cody Zeller — was what made Indiana the right school.
“In Indiana, I see something pretty amazing, and I wanted to make sure I was a part of that,” Hollowell said.
On Thursday, he did, announcing that he had verbally committed to Indiana over Purdue, Ohio State and Cincinnati at a ceremony at Lawrence Central High School.
Before Hollowell came into the conference room where he was making the announcement, coach J.R. Shelt laid out hooded sweatshirts from Ohio State, Indiana and Purdue. When he made the announcement, Hollowell grabbed the Indiana sweatshirt and put it on.
The 6-foot-7, 190-pounder gives the Hoosiers a versatile wing scorer in that class who can score from the post and the perimeter. Shelt said he can also defend every position 1-5, especially if he puts weight on as expected.
Hollowell said Indiana coach Tom Crean envisions him having a similar role to Christian Watford where his versatility will be utilized.
“I’ll be playing guarding multiple positions,” he said. “Guarding different players. I’ll just be playing wherever they need me.”
And he’ll also be recruiting. Just as the players in the 2012 class who committed before him worked hard to get him in the fold, so too will he.
His focus, he said, was obvious. Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris, the No. 24 player in the Class of 2012.
“I think we all know I’m gonna go after Gary Harris pretty hard,” Hollowell said. “… He knows I’m going to come after him hard.”
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