Scouting Cody Zeller and Yogi Ferrell

Dylan Burkhardt

A Guest Post by Josh Houchin from the IHSAA State Finals

Cody Zeller

Class of 2011 PF/C

20 points, 26 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers
4/13 FG (1/2 3pt) — 11/17 FT — Video interview



Zeller’s coach told him that rebounding would be a huge to key to beating Lew Wallace, and he definitely took it to heart. He finished with 20 points and 26(!) rebounds. He battled tough on the inside, grabbing nearly everything within his reach. He also blocked a couple of shots, while altering several others.

Zeller was actually one of two players in the frontcourt bring the ball up against the Wallace press in the first half. He turned it over a couple of times in the first quarter in this role, but overall, I thought his ball handling was solid for a guy that’s 6’10+. Wallace was very physical with him, but he rose to the occasion and helped lead his team to a state title as a junior (something neither of his brothers were able to accomplish.)

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell

Class of 2012 PG

20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover
7/21 FG (1/7 3PT), 5/8 FT

Video: Previously posted here


Ferrell didn’t have the best day shooting the ball, but there’s a lot to like about this sophomore. He can handle equally well with both hands (a rarity nowadays), and he’s incredibly quick. He’s also a very good rebounder for his size, and can jump really well.

I think the most telling number about his performance in this game was an unofficial stat that I kept. He had 7 WBA (would-be-assists). He found the open guy time and again, and his teammates just couldn’t deliver. After Wheeler saw this in the first half, they made a change and sent a double team at Yogi nearly every time he touched the ball. This team really wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t this kid, and the fact that he even got them to this point at such a young age is a tribute to his ability. He’s probably going to end up having offers from pretty much everyone in the country by the time it’s all said and done. If he grows a couple of inches, look out.

  • GrandChamp

    Zeller would be a perfect fit in the Beiline system. Getting him and Plumlee would be amazing. It’s ok to dream, right?

  • ScottGoBlue

    Hey, so with many good prospects in 2011, why are we posters here so eager to get more 2010 guys? I know the proverbial wisdom is to get the bird in the hand. But with so many birds in the bush in 2011 and no new scholarships opening up after this coming year, why not keep some spots open for 2011?

    I know we feel like we need a 3 to replace Manny, but don’t we have enough guards to fill up the 1-3 roles, even without Zeigler or Sykes?

    I’m playing devil’s advocate here. But seriously, why do we need Zeigler or Sykes?

    Go Blue!

  • Erik

    Zeigler is amazing. We need him.

  • MaizeNBlueJ


    One of the guys at ITH said that he doesn’t believe the top 2 talk:

    “Not buying the tweet saying Butler and Indiana, in that order, lead for Cody Zeller. Could be speculation, but it didn’t come from Zeller.”

  • Believe me ScottGoBlue, we need Zeigler. With 7 seconds remaining in the shot clock who is going to be able to create their own shot? Who is going to be able to drive to the basket and finish? For that matter who is going to be able to drive to the basket. I hope you aren’t relying on LLP for that?

    Beilein needs Zeigler. Zeigler is the real deal. He may look relaxed on film, but he lets the game come to him and is quicker than he seems. Trey – please stay in MI.

  • mark

    GoBlue, I agree with you. I didn’t understand offering Horford a ship since hee won’t be able to help the team next year. I wanted Trey then Sykes and save the others until 2011.

    I cannot figure out the point of using all the ships since JB normally likes to play 8 guys and a 9th only when needed.

  • Brian W

    Trey is a need for sure. The athletic dynamic player, who can drive and score/dish plus spot up and shoot, is something U-M needs. That type of player makes it easier for spot-up shooters to get open looks since the defense may collapse/help on the guy who drives the lane. Darius can drive, and Stu does it a little. But Trey is more of a Manny-type of player. A difference-maker.

    Horford is a need because the team needs height/length, and Morgan’s been snakebit with injuries. If Morgan’s knee flares up or there are unexpected complications to his shoulder injury, you’d want another big guy other than just McClimans and Smotrycz.

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Oh, BTW, I’m switching my name on here from MaizeNBlue2 to MaizeNBlueJ (just so you guys know it’s the same person), so it matches my twitter account.

  • Old Style

    After seeing a bit more of Sykes I say Trey or bust. If UofM strikes out on Trey, save the scholarship for all the possible players next year.

  • I’m curious about the degree to which Darius seems to have receded in everyone’s estimation about the future. If we don’t get Zeigler, obviously Darius looms pretty large again. But–even if Zeigler comes–I expect that from frosh to soph we’ll see Darius’s biggest leap. Taking it to the hole, for god’s sakes finishing, yeah. But I hope he’s in the gym taking 7,000 mid-range jumpers and another heaping helping of 3s as I write.

    Have I seen anyone write about what it might look like w. both of them in the game? Some nice height there, anyway. . . and now the defenses have to guard every inch of the floor.

  • Brian W

    Mattski, good point on Darius. As his confidence grew at the end of the year, he was more assertive. Darius seems like a hard worker, so I’d expect him to be better this fall. Before I saw Sykes play against Kalamazoo Central, I’d mentioned that a lineup with Darius, Trey and Sykes could be like Georgia Tech’s Lethal Weapon 3 combination from back in the day in terms of athleticism. I’ve cooled on Sykes after seeing him play in a whole game (albeit on my computer monitor), but the coaches evidently still like what they see since he visited over the weekend. With that said, Darius and Trey would help Stu, Vogrich and Novak get open looks. Darius is a good passer, and Trey has that part to his game also.

    I think Stu will be improved in the fall also.

    Off to work now.

  • Bluebufoon

    Dylan do we have the date and time Marshall Plumlee will be on one of the ESPN channels later this week ? I know its coming-up but I’m not sure of the specifics The Christ School versus Winter Park, Florida and Austin Rivers. Thanks

  • mark

    Just wanted to make a point on Skyes. The Skyes you saw was not the same player from a few games in. He was obviously still hurting from his ankle injury. He didn’t have the same quickness and ups pre-ankle injury.

    As for Michigan needing heights and length I agree with that but Michigan needs height and length that will be able to helps us in the next couple of years. I would be amazed if Horford played one minute next season.

  • JB

    Scottgoblue – Zeigler is a consensus top 30 player in the country. Sykes is more of a fallback option, and if he isn’t… We need talent in a hurry. If we take both, which I doubt, then chances are the coaches know a lot more than we do about expected attrition and such. They remain very interested in the 2011 big men recruits and will be sure to have at least a scholarship come 2011.

  • Bergs

    I really like Yogi’s ball handling and driving ability for being only a sophomore, tho there were times when the defense collapsed and a kick out would’ve been the best option. Also, that jumper needs a lot of work. That or better shot selection. Zeller was pretty impressive. I like the way he went after rebounds and played solid, straight up defense instead of swatting at everything. He certainly needs to get stronger when dealing with contact and finishing around the hoop tho.
    I definitely think we need Zeigler, as he seems to be the best fit out of either classes. I’m not sold on Sykes. I never liked getting someone based off of pure potential and athletic ability (Brent Petway). Maybe as an energizer off the bench, but not as the face of your program. I think Horford has a shot with this team. He has good bloodlines, which mean good basketball IQ and, if he’s a hard worker, it’s hard for someone with that type of size and length not to be at least decent.

  • Yinka Double Dare

    Maybe it’s not official that Butler and IU are the top 2 for Zeller, but one would think this Final Four run for Butler isn’t exactly hurting their chances. Matt Howard graduates the year before Zeller would come in, so there’d probably be a starting spot waiting for him.

  • Brian W

    This is when Christ School and Marshall Plumlee play in the ESPN Rise tourney.

    April 1:
    4 p.m. on ESPNU

    If they win…

    April 2:
    12 p.m. on ESPN2

    If they reach the finals…

    April 3:
    1:30 p.m. on ESPN

  • Sam

    Mattski, it’s funny you say that about Darius, cause I actually was just walking to the baseball game yesterday when I saw him and he said he was going to go work out, so I’m guessing he’ll be pretty dedicated.

  • Gordie Bell

    Zeller looks like he needs at least a couple more years to mature physically in order to play in the Big Ten. It was painful watching Zeller miss bunny after bunny due to lack of strength.

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Gordie, he doesn’t necessarily lack strength. I agree, he needs to get stronger and more physical to compete in the Big Ten, but he’s a junior in high school, and honestly, he just didn’t have a good night shooting the ball.

    He also isn’t used to be banged around like he was in that game. I’m sure that’s something he’s never experienced before. A lot of those shots just didn’t want to fall for him that night. I’ve watched him before, and he’s hit those shots.

    Also, keep in mind, he basically does have a couple of years to mature physically before he’d be playing Big Ten ball.

  • coach indiana

    I have coached teams that had zeller and plumlee. I know for a fact that Cody and Marshall both love Michigan. Plumlee is a very realistic get for Michigan. Beilein followed us everywhere and Marshall took notice. Marshall’s dad also loves Coach B. If Marshall does not go to Duke, I think he will end up at Michigan. He is a great kid who would be a benefit to your program.

    Cody would be perfect for Beilein’s offense. He can really shoot it, out to 22-23 feet. He also has nice body control and a very good passer, with improving ball handling skills. Also a great family. Right now, I think IU and Butler leads, but I would not count out Michigan or UNC.

    You guys have a great chance with Plumlee, Zeller, I think you are hanging in there.