Scouting Cody Zeller vs. Southridge

Dylan Burkhardt

zellerCommenter Josh Houchin made the trip out to see Cody Zeller play over the weekend. He managed to get some video footage as well, which will be up soon which you can find here. At this point Zeller still has a lengthy list of schools that he is considering including Butler, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Purdue, and many others. His full report is after the jump.

I got the chance to head over to my alma-mater to take in their game against Washington High School, and their highly sought after big man Cody Zeller. Zeller’s listed at 6’10” and 205 lbs. He might be an inch or two shorter than that, but seeing that’s he’s only a junior in high school, has plenty of time to grow. He’s also a captain on his team, although, I didn’t see many signs of leadership from where I was sitting, but again, that will come in time.

Southridge is better equipped to handle him than most, as they a starting lineup that goes: 5’11” – 6’3” – 6’2” – 6’5” – 6’6”. They stuck with their standard zone defense for much of the game. It’s kind of a hybrid 2-3/3-2. I would consider it more of a 3-2, but that’s open to interpretation.

Now, on to the actual game. Zeller’s team is going to be tough to stop if they keep hitting their shots. Everyone, Southridge included, spends most of their energy in knowing where he was on the court at all times. This lead to some easy buckets for his teammates early on. They ended up winning the game 54-44. Southridge is no slouch. They’re in the same class as Washington and had a record of 15-3 coming in to the game. They’re also in the same Sectional, so there’s a chance they could see each other again in a couple of weeks.

Zeller’s a very good passer for his size. He’s used to seeing double-teams, and you can tell it because he’s aware of where they’re coming from, and he didn’t turn the ball over once on the night where the double-team was a factor. He also seems like a very smart player on the offensive side. He knows what his coach wants, and was constantly working to get open against the zone.

I’m going to give him an incomplete as far as his post game, since he faced a zone most of the night. He did have a few nice post moves, including an effective hook shot when going to his right.

He definitely has a smooth midrange game though. He played most of the game, and scored most of his points, from the 10-15′ range. He’s got pretty good shooting mechanics for a guy his size as well. He does seem to float around the perimeter a little bit, but again, that might be contributed to the zone he was facing. Also, with saying that, he didn’t attempt a 3, but definitely seems to have that range, from watching him in warmups.

Rebounding-wise, he doesn’t really overwhelm you. It seemed that most of his rebounds came to him because he was the tallest guy on the floor, not because he was outworking his man for the position, although I’ve definitely seen worse when it comes to the effort to get position.

Defensively, he actually moves his feet pretty well on the perimeter. However, he does have a tendency to lose his man occasionally, because he likes to float around the middle and try to block shots, as a guy his size should. A lot of this can be contributed to his size. He’s so big that he can make up for losing his guy without getting hurt at the high school level.

Overall, I see a lot of potential in him. Both of his brothers played Division 1 basketball at a high level. Luke played 4 years at Notre Dame, and Tyler is a sophomore at North Carolina, so the genes are there. He seems to play more like Luke at this point than Tyler, since he likes to play around the perimeter. He doesn’t seem to have the mean-streak that Tyler had. He seems like he’d be a very good fit at the 4 in Beilein’s scheme.

With the early offers he has, it’s easy to see that he’ll be playing college ball in two years. It’s way too early to tell where he might end up, but from seeing him play, I can say that I’d love to see him in Maize and Blue.

Final Stats:
19 points on 7/15 shooting
5/7 from the Free Throw line
12 rebounds (6 Off./6 Def)
1 Assist
2 Blocks
2 Turnovers

  • Evan

    He sounds good hopefully we can get Amir Williams or him to top off our class next year with one of them and brundidge

  • DaveR

    Zeller looks like a perfect fit, just the post player Michigan needs. But what are Michigan’s chances since one brother is already playing at NC? If NC offers, it would seem that Michigan wouldn’t stand a chance. And they’d also have to beat out OSU and his home state teams, Indiana and Notre Dame(where another brother played), among others.

    It looks like Michigan’s in the running for several other top 50 or so post players including Quincy Miller (seems like NC again would be hard to beat), Marshall Plumlee (Duke might be impossible to beat with 2 brothers playing there) and Amir Williams (maybe the only guy near the top that Michigan has a great shot at). They also appear to be in the running for several post players ranked about 100-150, including Michigan native Percy Gibson.

    Miller seems like an ultra long shot and may not be the best fit, since he’d likely be a one and done. But it would great to have that worry.

    Do you think Michigan might be hesitant to burn a scholarship on Horford since that would leave only one for 2011 (if they get Zeigler)?

  • Not a Gibson fan at all. He plays for Southeastern and he was no one compared to Amir Williams. Gibson didn’t show me anything, his ranking is way too high right now, wouldn’t expect a U-M offer ever.

    Quincy Miller, huge longshot.

    Zeller, Plumlee, Williams… Who knows because they are so far away from a decision. They obviously have a ton of big time suitors though.

    I’m sure it will calculate into what Beilein wants to do but you’ve always got the “bird in the hand is better than two in the bush” thing going…

    It’ll be interesting to see how the 2010 class closes, then it’s full steam into 2011 this spring/summer.

  • MaizeNBlue2

    As I mentioned in the report, Southridge and Washington could meet again. Assuming Southridge takes care of business against Vincennes Lincoln, they’ll be matched up again in the second round of Sectional. I might have to make the trip to the Hatchet House for the rematch if it occurs. I might even be able to get some more video if I’m lucky.

  • Bluebufoon

    Justin Gant posted 21 points but just four rebounds in a big match-up versus Carmel’s 6-10 soph AJ Hammons earlier this week.

  • MichWolve

    I heard that he was leaning to Butler actually…

  • michigan4204

    Yeah Justin Gant will go to Butler. He grew up a Butler fan and an even better fit for their system than he is for ours. He is a mid major talent that should have a Matt Howard type career, production wise. Good player but I hope he wasn’t one our must have’s

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  • Jamiriquo

    No, he was talking about Cody Zeller. Butler leads for Zeller. They havent offered Gant

  • Nicholas

    What do you guys think about Michigan trying to get Chasson Randle? It doesn’t seem like a fit for what they need but it seems like there trying pretty hard to get him. Can anybody update me on why Michigan is targeting him like crazy.

  • Nicholas: Have you seen many articles w/ Randle talking U-M? I haven’t…