Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Perfect Birthday Present

Cody Zeller and Christian Watford will return
to play for Indiana next season
April 10th, 1987 was the night I was born so yes, today is my birthday.  25 big ones.  It seems that every year, my recurring wish is for the Cubs to win on my birthday.  Tonight, Paul Maholm will try and do just that.

Today, though, I got one of the best birthday presents I've ever gotten, as a fellow Hoosier pointed out to me that BOTH Christian Watford and Cody Zeller will return to Indiana to play basketball.

I had less doubt about Cody returning than Christian, because of how his brothers handled college.  Both of his older brothers stayed all four years at their schools (Luke at Notre Dame and Tyler at North Carolina).  His family definitely values education, and it seems they've instilled those values in Cody.  That being said, Cody is the best of the Zeller brothers, and he's projected as the #6 NBA Draft prospect.

I think Cody will eventually be in the NBA, but I think he needs to fill out a little more before he'll be able to compete with some of the beefier big men in the league.  He's got a good offensive post game, and he runs the floor as well as anyone (and not just big men), so I think his skill set fits well.  We'll see how long he stays.

As for Christian Watford, he's sort of in between an NBA 3 and 4.  I think he's too skinny to play the 4, but might not be quick enough to play the 3.  One reason I thought he might go was that his stock has never been higher.  The game winning three against Kentucky put him on the map, and his stellar play in the NCAA Tournament was a help as well.

Adding those two back into the mix makes the Hoosiers one of the most formidable teams going into the season next November.  It's been a long time since Indiana could post a starting lineup like this:

PG: Jordan Hulls (Senior)
SG: Victor Oladipo (Junior)
SF: Will Sheehey (Junior)
PF: Christian Watford (Senior)
C: Cody Zeller (Sophomore)

And none of those starters are part of the top ten recruiting class that Tom Crean has assembled.  Add in upperclassmen role players like Derek Elston and Maurice Creek, and sophomores Remy Abell and Austin Etherington, and Indiana might be the deepest team in the country.

Look out college basketball, the Hoosiers are here to stay!

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