NBA Draft Profile: Cody Zeller


6-11, 240 lbs.

School: Indiana

Class: Sophomore

Photo: AJ Mast/Icon SI

Photo: AJ Mast/Icon SI

STRENGTHS: Zeller came into the season as a favorite for National Player of the Year, and although he didn’t win the award, he put together a solid campaign. The big man averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 boards in helping Indiana to a Big Ten championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. He is a mobile, smart center who knows how to use his body to position himself on the low block. He’s also very active down low and has proven to be a tough defender and capable shot blocker. Zeller has a solid post game and good passing skills, and has a knack for making the right decision. He’s got a high basketball IQ and can score in a variety of ways, particularly on the offensive glass, where he can be a beast. Unlike his older brother Tyler (now with the Cavs), Cody has an NBA-level offensive game and can be counted on for buckets down low. He’s also a solid jump shooter, and shot 75% from the free throw line.

WEAKNESSES: His strength is an issue at this point, although he should be able to add muscle as he adjusts in the NBA. He can be pushed around at times by bigger guys down low, and needs to learn how to bang under the boards on a more consistent basis. Zeller isn’t going to wow you with his athleticism and could have trouble defending elite-level athletes at the next level.

BOTTOM LINE: Zeller wasn’t quite as dominant as he was expected to be this season at Indiana, but there’s still a lot to like about the 6-11 big man. He’s skilled offensively, has a good post game and works hard on every possession. He’s going to need to get tougher underneath, and needs to add muscle in order to bang with the big boys in the NBA. If he can put it all together, Zeller has the chance to become a starter and solid contributor.

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