IU Inks 17th Rated Recruiting Class with Etherington and Zeller
Nov. 11, 2010
Bloomington, Indiana - Indiana University men's basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that Austin Etherington, a 6-6, 185 pound small forward from Hamilton Heights (Ind.) High School and Cody Zeller, a 6-11, 220 pound power forward from Washington (Ind.) High School have signed national letters of intent to attend Indiana University and play basketball for the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers have the 17th ranked recruiting class according to Scout.com.
As a junior, Etherington averaged 22.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 blocks for coach Chad Ballenger. The year before, he averaged 15.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game during the final 13 games of his sophomore campaign. He was an Indiana Junior All-Star who played for the Indiana Elite AAU program and was coached by Mark Adams.
Scout.com has him as the 22nd ranked small forward and 98th best player in the country, is ranked as the 25th best small forward by ESPN.com, and was invited to the NBA Top 100 camp this past summer.
He is the son of Brett and Missy Etherington and has two brothers, Alex and Aaron. His father played basketball at Butler from 1987-91.
As a junior, Zeller led Washington to a Class 3A state championship, averaging 20.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Following the season, he was named an Indiana Junior All-Star. During his sophomore campaign, he averaged 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds. As a freshmen, he averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 boards on another Class 3A state title team. He has been coached by Gene Miiller at Washington and also played AAU basketball for the Indiana Elite program and Mark Adams.
He also led the USA 2011 squad to the adidas Nations Championship in Chicago this past summer and was invited to the NBA Top 100 camp.
ESPN.com has him ranked the 15th best prospect in the country and fourth at his position, Scout.com has him rated 16th nationally and fourth at his position, Rivals.com has him slotted 20th in the country and fourth at his position.
He is the son of Steve and Lorri Zeller and his oldest brother, Luke, was a 2005 McDonald's All-America and Mr. Basketball in Indiana and played at Notre Dame. Another brother, Tyler, was a 2008 McDonald's All-American and Mr. Basketball and plays at North Carolina. His uncle, Al Eberhard, played for four seasons with the NBA's Detroit Pistons after a standout career at Missouri.
Coach Crean on Etherington
"But the thing I love is that he loves basketball. He has a high-level of athletic upside and this summer is when he really started to take shape. One thing that is big in our recruiting is that we want to recruit year-round winners and certainly Austin is that way. Whether it is the winter time or the summertime, he is a year-round winner."
Coach Crean on Zeller
"But getting to know Cody and getting to know his family, much like Austin's, it would have been an absolute shame to not be surrounded by those guys and what they mean as people. The basketball is going to be without question, there is no doubt about that. Cody will continue to improve and the rate of improvement that he has been in over the last year and then watching where he was at over the summer to where he is at now...when you use the phrase "the sky is the limit," you can put Cody Zeller's name next to it. I see no ceiling right now for that young man.
"Athletically, ability-wise, stature...but when you look at the entire package and what he has as a human being that is what makes him stand out for us. He is as good of a defensive rebounder as I have ever recruited, not just because of his size but because of his tenaciousness. He has improved his range, he has improved his skill set. He is outstanding at the elbow area and is very good around the post. But what he is getting now more than ever is the ability to shoot the ball from range."
Coach Crean on the Current Players and their Impact on Recruiting:
"As I said to the players, one of the highlights of this job is when one of the greats come in and I never want to miss the opportunity for them to talk to the team. (Former assistant coach and grandfather of Jordan Hulls) Jim Crews had an opportunity to do that today for the first time and that was special.
"When these players came, especially a couple years ago, they didn't have it like John (Laskowski) or Jim Crews did or Eric Gordon did or all the players did before. They didn't have anybody in here to look up to. They didn't have anybody in here to teach them the way. They literally, when you look at Verdell (Jones) and Tom (Pritchard) and Matt (Roth), they didn't have anyone here to recruit them. They were recruited riding around on a golf cart or going to spring football practice or driving around the campus. They didn't have all of that. Along the way, these players have become the face of the program. That's why it's so important to me and to all of us that they are successful. What they mean to the present day Indiana family and what they mean to the future family is really, really important. These guys have done a phenomenal job of helping build this program. They have recruited some of the guys that are here now, like Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, but most importantly what they did in the class we signed yesterday and today.
"Without a doubt, one of the greatest selling points we have at Indiana University are our players and these guys have backed that up. That's why I want to see these guys be successful here and successful for so many years down the road because it is so different for them. They are the ones that are bridging the gap here and we have to make sure that we are working to the fact that they leave a legacy on the court as well as what they are doing to make this program better.
"We would not be recruiting at the level that we are without our players. I cannot make that any more definitive. Players that spearhead parts of this and prior relationships, certainly those are very valuable. But it is the way the team has come together. There are a lot of different ways to form leadership, but this group is forming leadership.
"You may not get to see a lot of Kory Barnett on the court, but there is not a much more valuable guy to this program, in the sense of bonding his teammates and making it better. I single him out because he doesn't get singled out on the court just yet. But that is the kind of stuff that makes this program the way it is. I hope you are able to find places in your video and in your stories to make sure that the headline that we would not be doing this without our players. They did not have anyone in here to teach them the ropes. Frankly, we did not want anyone in here to teach them the ropes. They are the ones that are doing this job, and for that I publicly say (to the team) thank you for what you continue to do and let's keep it rolling."
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