Cody Zeller Biography
Cody “The Big Handsome” Zeller is a basketball player from Washington, Indiana who played for Indiana University. He played forward for the Hoosiers for two seasons from 2011-13. He was recruited by Tom Crean and entered the NBA draft after his sophomore year and was drafted in the first round, 4th overall in the 2013 draft to the Charlotte Bobcats.
- Name: Cody “The Big Handsome” Zeller
- Position: Power Forward / Center
- Nationality: USA
- Age: 30 years old
- Birthday: October 5th, 1992
- Hometown: Washington, Indiana
- High School: Washington High School
- Height: 7’0″ (213 cm)
- Weight: 240 lb (109 kg)
- Seasons: 2 (2011-13)
- Jersey: #40
- Current Team: Portland Trail Blazers
- NBA Draft: 2013 / 1st Round, 4th Overall to Charlotte Bobcats
- Twitter: @CodyZeller
- Instagram: codyzeller
Awards and Accolades
- 2014 NBA All-Rookie Second Team
- 2013 Consensus Second-Team All-American
- 2013 First Team All-Big Ten
- 2012 Second Team All-Big Ten
- 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
- 2012 Big Ten All-Freshman team
- 2011 McDonald’s All-American
- 2011 Indiana Mr. Basketball
Cody Zeller Recruiting Profile
Cody Zeller was a 5-star power forward from Washington High School in Washington, Indiana. The 7’0″ power forward was ranked 10th overall in the class of 2011 and was the second best player to come from the state of Indiana behind Marquis Teague from Pike in Indianapolis who committed to Kentucky. Cody is the youngest of the trio of brothers that went to play basketball professionally. Brothers Tyler and Luke Zeller went to committed to play for Notre Dame and North Carolina respectively.
Cody entered high school in 2007 and averaged 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game for his team the Washington Hatchets who won the Class 3A IHSAA state championship. As a sophomore, he became more involved and increased his productivity to 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. As a junior, he progressed to 20.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game while leading the Hatchets to another state championship. His senior season, Zeller averaged 24.6 points and 13.1 rebounds per game and led to another state championship. To honor his play, he was awarded the 2011 Indiana Mr. Basketball award and became the third brother in the family to win the award.
In addition to his high school team, Zeller played AAU for Indiana Elite and led the USA 2011 squad to a Adidas Nations Championship in Chicago during summer of 2010. He was a 2011 McDonald’s All American player and scored 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists in the all-star game.
Cody Zeller committed to play for Indiana University on November 11, 2010 who’s current head coach was Tom Crean. He turned down offers to play for Butler and North Carolina who recruited Luke Zeller several years prior.
- 247 Composite Ranking: 5-Star (0.9953)
- Rivals: 5-Star (15th Overall, 5th PF)
- ESPN: 97 rating
Cody Zeller’s Seasons with the Hoosiers
27-9 (11-7 Big Ten)
🏅 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
29-7 (14-4 Big Ten)
🏅 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Cody Zeller’s Indiana University Statistics
Cody Zeller’s Career at Indiana University
Cody Zeller committed to play for Tom Crean and the Hoosiers on November 11, 2010 while turning down offers to play for North Carolina and Butler. He had immense pressure placed on him immediately as many labeled him to be “the savior of Indiana basketball.” Crean lauded Zeller’s ability to be mentally focused and have mental toughness especially with the pressure of succeeding surrounded him.
Zeller had an immediate impact for the Hoosiers when he played his freshman season. He averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for the Hoosiers while shooting an impressive 62.3% from the field and 75.5% FTs. As a freshman, he was ranked fourth in the country in field goal percentage, led the conference and posted the second best percentage in Hoosier history. Zeller won Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times and won the Freshman of the Year award for the conference. He won additional honors of being Second Team All-Big Ten and First Team Freshman All-American. He was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award for freshman of the year, a John Wooden award and Oscar Robertson Trophy candidate as well.
Zeller had a big impact in leading a turnaround for the program at Indiana. The Hoosiers had a 15 game improvement in their record which was the biggest turnaround in that year. Indiana made the NCAA Tournament and was seeded as a 4-seed. Indiana defeated New Mexico State in the second round, VCU in the third and lost to eventual national champions Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen.
Zeller was projected to be a Top 10 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, but opted to return for his sophomore year alongside teammate Christian Watford.
I grew up hoping that one day I would get the opportunity to play in the NBA, but at this point I’m not ready for my college experience to be over…My college experience at IU this year has exceeded my expectations, on and off the court. I look forward to playing at Assembly Hall next year in front of the greatest fans in the country.Cody Zeller
Indiana finished the season as outright Big Ten champions in the 2012-2013 season. The addition of standout freshman Yogi Ferrell made the Hoosiers the No. 1 ranked team in the country at the start of the season. The combination of Zeller and Oladipo was an efficient and difficult to defend combination. Cody ended the season as the conference’s third highest scorer with 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 57% shooting percentage which was only behind teammate Oladipo. Indiana went to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed and defeated James Madison and Temple in the second and third rounds. They lost to No. 4 Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen. Indiana ended the season with 10 weeks ranked No. 1 in the country and all besides two weeks in the top-5. They accumulated a 7-1 record against top-25 teams and no other Big Ten team had an above 0.500 record in that category.
He accumulated many post-season awards including being named a 2013 All American by USBWA (2nd team), and Sporting News (3rd team). He was named First Team All-Big Ten and First Team Academic All-American.
Zeller entered the 2013 NBA Draft with teammate Victor Oladipo. Oladipo was selected No. 2 by the Orlando Magic and Zeller was selected No. 4 by the Charlotte Bobcats.
Cody Zeller’s Career after Indiana University
Zeller was selected No. 4 overall by the Charlotte Bobcats and played predominantly as a bench player in his first season with the team as he only started 3 games, but appeared in all 82 games and 4 playoff games. He averaged 6.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in his first season. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team at the end of the season.
The Bobcats were renamed the Hornets after his first year and he started to have a more prominent role on the team and was a starter for most of the other seasons he played for the Hornets. The first time he broke 20 points was on January 31, 2015 when he scored 21 in a 104-86 win over the Denver Nuggets. They made the playoffs again in 2016 and Zeller had five double-doubles during that season.
Zeller has faced several injuries to both of his knees including a torn medial meniscus to his left knee on December 6, 2017 against the Warriors. He played a career low 33 games in 2017-18 due to this injury. He also suffered a broken right hand on December 31, 2018. He came back to the court for about 2 months and on February 25, he made 13 of 14 shots form the field and finished with a career high 28 points in a 121-110 loss to the Warriors.
Zeller earned his bachelor’s degree when he graduated from the Kelley School of Business in May 2017.
Cody Zeller Videos and Highlights
Check out the rich history of Indiana Hoosiers basketball!
Every week, we are publishing new articles on former and current Indiana University basketball legends, historical figures, and other IU history. Our goal is to capture the history of the Hoosiers all in one place. Click here to see our current collection of articles on Indiana basketball tradition.
Have a favorite Indiana Hoosier basketball player, coach, or event?
Help grow the Hoosier basketball history books by being a contributor to one of our IU athletics history pages! IndianaHQ is always looking for writers of all ages and experience levels. If you think you have what it takes, drop us an email here or send us a tweet!
Contributor: Dakota Thompson