Report: IU Among Zeller's Three Finalists

According to a published report, Indiana is one of three finalists for Cody Zeller. Zeller's hometown Washington (Ind.) Herald Times reported today that the 6'10", 210-pound junior has narrowed his list of potential college destinations to...

According to a published report, Indiana is one of three finalists for Cody Zeller.

Zeller's hometown Washington (Ind.) Herald Times reported today that the 6'10", 210-pound junior has narrowed his list of potential college destinations to Indiana, Butler and North Carolina.

The decision to cut the list to three instead of five comes as a bit of a surprise, since Zeller has long indicated that he planned to take all five of his official visits. But barring a late change of heart, Zeller will make just the two in-state visits along with a stop at North Carolina, where his older brother Tyler is a junior.

The importance of landing Zeller has been long obvious for IU and Coach Tom Crean, who has been eyeing the youngest of the Zeller brothers virtually from the first day he was able to go out on the road recruiting. He's clearly established himself as not only Indiana's top recruiting priority in the 2011 class, but a potential tide-turner for an IU program that desperately wants to get back to attracting the state's top high school basketball players to Bloomington.

A five-star recruit who is ranked as the 14th best player nationally according to Scout.com, Zeller is clearly one of those players. He averaged 20.5 points and 11.4 rebounds as a junior, highlighted by a 20-point, 26-rebound performance in Washington's 65-62 overtime win over Gary Wallace in the Class 3A state title game.

To ultimately land Zeller, though, Indiana will have its work cut out for it. North Carolina offers not only the opportunity to play alongside his older brother, but also one of the nation's most successful programs in recent years. Butler, meanwhile, is coming off an improbable run to the NCAA title game in the spring, which offered some evidence to players that the Bulldogs' mid-major status wouldn't necessarily keep them from contending for high seeds in the NCAA Tournament and deep runs in the postseason.

HoosierNation will have more on Zeller's process in the coming days and weeks.

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