Cody Zeller has been considered a top prospect in the 2013 NBA draft for the duration of his sophomore season. With that in mind, it's still a bit surprising to learn the big man will reportedly declare his intention to enter the draft on Wednesday afternoon.
Update: Wednesday, April 10, at 4:25 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
247 Sports' Zach Osterman passes along this quote from Zeller, confirming that he'll be entering the 2013 NBA Draft:
Zach Osterman @ZachOsterman
Zeller: "It’s been a great 2 years, but at this point in my life, I think it’s best for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA." #iubb4/10/2013, 8:20:46 PM
---End of Update---
According to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, the IU superstar will hold a press conference to make the announcement.
Bob Kravitz @bkravitz
Cody Zeller will declare for the nba draft, a source tells The Star. Presser at 44/10/2013, 1:29:18 PM
After his excellent freshman campaign, many scouts and analysts had pegged Zeller as a surefire lottery pick, but the seven-footer elected to return to Indiana for another chance at glory in 2012-13. Unfortunately, the Hoosiers fell short in the 2013 NCAA tournament, getting bounced by the Syracuse Orange in the Sweet 16.
Instead of sticking around for a third attempt at a national title and taking his chances in a potentially loaded 2014 draft class, Zeller has decided to leave school early.
While March Madness shortcomings may have hurt Zeller’s stock, he’s still a lottery lock due to his big frame, efficient scoring (16.5 points per game on 56.2 percent shooting in 2012-13) and uncanny ability to run the floor and be effective in transition.
Had Zeller shown more of an improvement from his freshman season into his sophomore campaign, he’d likely be a consensus top-five selection.
However, the big man only improved his averages from 15.6 to 16.5 points per game and 6.6 to 8.1 rebounds per game. His field-goal percentage and steals dipped, while his assists remained stagnant and his turnovers went up.
Regardless, the Hoosiers star has enough promise that it would be downright foolish for some of these lottery-bound teams to pass on him.
Zeller put together a storied career during his short time in Bloomington, but this is an opportune time for him to make the leap to the NBA.