Pre-draft Interview: Day 2 – Cody Zeller June 19, 2013

Charlotte, NC June 19, 2013 – Former Indiana big man Cody Zeller was in for a draft workout on June 19 in preparation for the 2013 NBA Draft. Zeller averaged 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks with the Hoosiers in 2012-13, increasing his game from freshman year numbers that earned him a consensus freshman All-American pick and the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He helped IU to back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and to its first outright Big Ten regular season championship since 1993. He leaves after his sophomore season with honors including the IU record for career field goal percentage (.591), First Team All-American honors from both Basketball Times and Sports Illustrated, and a spot on the John R. Wooden All-American Team.

Cody Zeller workout with Charlotte Bobcats(What are your thoughts on the workout today?)
I thought it went well; it was good to come out and talk to some of the coaches.

(Have most of the workouts you’ve had been individual or group workouts?)
Six of the eight have been individual – it’s fun in that area to have people to work with.

(What does this group setting enable you to show off a little more?)
The group setting it’s not as intimidating on (everyone) individually. It’s fun for me to be out there and be able to compete.

(You said you’ve had eight workouts, at the top of the draft it seems like everything is in flux and nobody knows where anyone is going to end up. What kind of feedback are you getting?)
Like you said it’s tough to tell what’s going to happen. There’s going to be a lot of moving parts and a lot of things that are going to be going on on draft night. I just try to impress (each team) and see where the chips fall. It’s crazy how close it is.

(You mentioned where the chips fall, do you maybe have a little bit of chip on your shoulder knowing that last year you came in and people were saying you would probably be the number one guy in the draft this year?)
I always have a chip on my shoulder. I don’t worry about last year – I just work hard every day and see what happens.

(Are you getting any advice from your brother (Cleveland Cavalier Tyler Zeller) as you’re going through this process?)
Not too much, I talked to both of my brothers (Tyler and Luke Zeller- former Phoenix Suns player) a lot as they were going through the process so I kind of knew how it went before I started the whole process.

(What about this Bobcats team, how much do you know about them?)
I know quite a bit, I’m a huge basketball fan (outside of playing) and I’ve played against a lot of the guys that they have here. (Knowing this team you know that we need help inside – What would you be able to bring to this team right away?) I’d be able to bring in another big guy to run the floor with Kemba. I think we’d be good together – I think this could be a good fit for me.

(Do you think you want to go to a younger team with your athleticism and being about the run the floor the way you can?)
Yeah that’s one of my strengths so I think I’ll be able to bring that to any team I’m on.

(Will you describe what it is that you think you’ll bring to an NBA team more specifically?)
More than anything I think my work ethic. I think that has carried me to this point and I think that’s going to carry me a long way.

(You’ve got a lot of experience in college, which has to help you in this whole journey…)
Yeah definitely, I always wanted to play on the biggest stages against the best competition. So I think that’s going to help my transition from college to the NBA.

(Is there anything specifically your brother has told you about what to get ready for this?)
It does help (having siblings that have been through this), I’m really close to both Luke and Tyler and they’ve help me through a lot of things because they usually go through similar things a couple years before me. They told me just to enjoy this whole process because it goes by fast and just to enjoy every moment.

(What about Victor (Oladipo) – have you guys had a chance to swap stories about what’s going on and workout for both of you?)
Yeah Vic and I are close; we’re always texting and comparing stories. I got to work out with him a couple weeks ago, so it’s definitely fun. We always bring out the best in each other just because we’re so competitive. I’m hoping for the best for him and he’s hoping for the best for me.

(A lot of these (mock drafts) have quite a few Big Ten guys up there. Do you like the way to Big Ten has bounced back this year?)
I think it was the best league in the country this year. Every night you’re going against a first rounder or a great team and that’s what I wanted.

(Going back to Victor, how did you see him evolve over the two years you were at Indiana?)
He has a great work ethic; he improved in so many different areas. The same thing that’s going to carry him a long way and he’s going to keep on improving.

(What was it like to watch his rise? With First Team All-American and what-not.)
It was really neat, to get to see all his hard work pay off and it was great for our team. I think we both helped each other. They said how competitive we both are so I think we both pushed each other.

(What does he do well?)
He’s so explosive, beating his man off the dribble and he’s a great defender. He brings a lot of energy to the team.

(What is one skill that you want to add to your game?)
There are a lot of things that I have to improve at from college to the NBA, but I’m excited to learn and I’m excited to get to know a coaching staff.


HEAD COACH STEVE CLIFFORD ON DRAFT WORKOUTS

Your browser does not support iframes. (First off Coach just talk to us a little bit about how workouts went?)
They were very good. I think all the guys did a good job. You know with the draft part of (things) for the coaching staff this is really the only look you get. Obviously,  (General Manager) Rich (Cho) and (President of Basketball Operations) Rod (Higgins), along with the scouting department are a lot more involved in the draft than the coaching staff is. You have notes and information, but it’s really more to reinforce their thoughts and get a chance to see (the players) live.

(Is it more beneficial for you guys to bring in more players during a workout or is it more beneficial to have a smaller workout?)
I like the size that we had today because you got to see technique, one-on-one live and also they played three-on-three. So you see basic skill level, what they have as individuals to offer but also what they have to offer when playing with other people.

(In the first workout we got a chance to see Cody (Zeller), what is your take on him?)
I think really again just reinforcing everything Rich and Rod had told me about him before. Exceptional worker, great approach and obviously he’s physical too. I wouldn’t say (we got to see) anything that we didn’t already know. We had a good workout.

(We had a chance to talk to Alex (Len) yesterday when he was in, is it difficult for you guys to analyze these guys without having a chance to see them work out because of injuries?)
To me the workout is a very small part of the whole process. As a coach, my feelings are you’re just reinforcing (what you know). The scouting department, they’ve been watching these guys for years. I think that the worse thing a coaching staff can do is to come in watch a guy for an hour and then say no I like him better. To me this is not my area. If it was something that I really disagreed with, I would voice my opinion, but this is why you have a scouting department and why they’re working hard over time.

(You had a lot of local people out here today, what’s you assessment of those guys?)
Again these are hard questions for me I don’t have a grasp of the total draft. This was the first time I’ve seen them play, I thought they all did a great job today and obviously if they weren’t talented players then they wouldn’t be here today. I don’t feel comfortable saying there’s going to be a second round draft pick because that’s not really my area.


OTHER PLAYERS IN FOR JUNE 19, 2013 WORKOUT
Jake Cohen
Cohen led the Davidson Wildcats as team Captain his senior year by scoring in double figures in 22 games and leading the team in scoring and blocks. He was also named the SoCon Player of the Year and First-team All-SoCon at the conclusion of his senior season.

Tyshawn Good
Good concludes his college career at Belmont Abbey as a two-time First Team All-Conference selection. Good’s honors also include the 2012-13 Southeast Region Player of the Year and leaves at Belmont Abbey’s fifth all-time leading socrer with 2,015 points.

C.J. Harris
Harris averaged 15.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists during his senior season as a Wake Forest Demon Deacon. His honors include being named Third Team All-ACC by the coaches and honorable mention All-ACC by the media. He also led the ACC is free throw percentage (.847) during his senior year.

Jordan Henriquez
Henriquez finished his senior season at Kansas State by locking down the school record for blocked shots with 210 and the third-best single-season total for blocked shots with 64. During his career as a Jayhawk Henriquez also received the honor of being named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team his junior year.

Marcos Knight
Knight was a leader on the Middle Tennessee State team this year, leading the team in scoring 21 times and scoring into double figures 28 times. Knight was named First Team All-Sun Belt his senior year and Second Team All-Sun Belt the year prior.

Zeke Marshall
Marshall led the Akron Zips in scoring and blocks during his senior season while ranking second in blocks. Marshall’s college laurels include MAC Defensive Player of the Year as both a senior and a junior, All-MAC First Team as a senior, All-MAC Second Team as a junior and MAC Tournament MVP as a sophomore.

Brock Motum
A native of Canberra, Australia, Motum attended Washington State through his senior year to lead the Pac-12 in scoring average for thesecond-straight year. Motum was named Second Team All-League as a senior and the Pac-12 Most Improved Player after his junior season.

Trevin Parks
Parks earned the distinction of being ranked first in the CIAA and third nationally in socring with an average of 25.0 points. Parks scored in double figures in all 27 games played and scored a career-high 41points against St. Augustine’s.

Keith Rendleman
Rendleman leaves UNCW with the record for career rebounds (1,055), fourth in career points (1,516) and sixth all-time CAA in career rebounds. His 2012-13 laurels include First Team All-CAA for the second straight year, CAA’s All-Defense Team and one time CAA Player-of-the-Week.

Angelo Sharpless
During his senior year Sharpless averaged 20.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists, which earned him CIAA Player of the Year. He was also named to the 2013 CIAA All-Tournament Team and Box to Row Division II Player of the year.

Scott Wood
Wood completes his senior season with the North Carolina State Wolfpack leading the ACC in both three-point percentage and three-pointers per game. Throughout his career he made 104 three-pointers, equaling the school’s record and ranking 12th nationally. Wood was also named to the ACC’s All-Tournament Team after averaging 19.0 points.

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Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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