Last season, the Zeller brothers were two of the best and most feared big men in all of college basketball. Tyler Zeller was a senior for the University of North Carolina, while his younger brother Cody Zeller was a freshman at Indiana University.
This season, Cody is the unanimous preseason player of the year. Basically, every single preseason poll has the Indiana forward as the best player in the country. Zeller is also the main reason why Indiana is the top team in the country heading into the season.
The Zeller brothers achieve high standards, both on the court and in the classroom. While doing this they like to be kids at the same time.
The younger of the two, Cody likes to play pranks and joke around a lot in the classroom. In a profile of Cody written by Matt Crossman of The Sporting News, he shares a few pranks he liked to play:
One thing Cody enjoyed doing, as stated by Crossman, was to arrive to class early and set the clocks ahead 10 minutes, hoping to get out of class 10 minutes early. Another thing Crossman said was that he would hide his mom’s (who worked in the school) stapler in the ceiling tile which only Cody could reach.
So, I guess there is a lighter side to Cody, then.
The one moment in the profile that really made Cody stand out, however, was a comment he made about his older brother Tyler. It was a comment made about his older brother after he had let up a game winning 3-pointer to Austin Rivers in the Battle for Tobacco Road. As Crossman said in Cody’s profile; “In a game between Virginia Commonwealth and Indiana in the NCAA tournament, the Rams needed a 3 at the buzzer to tie the game. In the huddle Cody told his teammates he would get out on a 3-point shot, he wasn’t going to have a Tyler moment.” Cody did just that as the Hoosiers came out with the victory.
Sure, you could see this as Cody taking a shot at his brother; but he also showing the ability to learn from his older brother’s mistakes.
That’s how Cody goes about making himself and his team better. You might even say that his will to learn is one of the biggest reasons why Cody is the best player in the country, and has his team ranked at the top as well.