Zeller has looked great in IU's first two games
Indiana's Cody Zeller is already off to a great start in the 2012-13 season.
In his first two games, the star sophomore is averaging 20 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Zeller, a preseason First team All-American pick, is the best player on the best team in the country. Tom Crean's Indiana Hoosiers are ranked No. 1 in the country and have come a long way to the top from a program in dismay at the beginning of the 2008-09 season.
Zeller's numbers in his freshman season were good (15.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 62.3% FG, 75.5% FT), but look for those numbers to improve as he continues to mature as a player.
Here is a game-by-game breakdown of what Zeller will do in the 2012-13 season for the Indiana Hoosiers.
Zeller will put up solid numbers against Sam Houston State.
Stat Line: 17 PTS, 9 REB, 2 BLK, 7-11 FG, 3-4 FT
The Hoosiers will win this one again in blowout fashion. Zeller will put up solid numbers but won't need to do too much and shouldn't see more than 26-30 minutes.
A big stage will mean a big game for Zeller.
Stat Line: 24 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST, 9-14 FG, 6-7 FT
Big stage, big game for Zeller. He will have his best game of the season yet in Brooklyn, leading the Hoosiers to their fourth straight victory to open the season.
The Bulldogs already have lost to Youngstown State and will be no match for the Hoosiers. While they possess some size—forward/center John Florveus is 6'11"—Zeller will be too quick on the fastbreak.
Zeller will lead the Hoosiers over the Bruins.
Stat Line: 21 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST, 8-13 FG, 5-6 FT
Zeller will be the reason the Hoosiers stay unbeaten, putting together another efficient line against the Wear brothers of UCLA.
Tom Crean has done a remarkable job at IU and will not let his big man slouch against inferior competition.
Stat Line: 18 PTS, 7 REB, 3 BLK, 6-9 FG, 6-9 FT
The Cardinals do not have any player above 6'8" who plays significant minutes, which will allow Zeller to feast on an undersized frontcourt.
Zeller will put up good numbers in another blowout victory, giving way to the bench halfway through the second half.
Zeller will have his hands full against UNC.
Stat Line: 23 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST, 9-15 FG, 5-8 FT
This is a huge showdown between two likely Top-10 teams in Bloomington, with the key matchup between Zeller and fellow sophomore rising star James Michael McAdoo.
McAdoo is off to a stellar start (22.5 RPG, 12.5 RPG). While Zeller has three inches and 10 pounds on his counterpart, it is sure to be a great matchup that a more game-experienced Zeller will have the edge in.
Zeller will not have to do much against Coppin State.
Stat Line: 13 PTS, 6 REB, 2 BLK, 5-10 FG, 3-4 FT
This is once again another soft non-conference foe. After a tough tangle with UNC, Zeller will be rested a lot in this one and not put up huge numbers.
Stat Line: 23 PTS, 10 REB, 4 BLK, 9-14 FG, 5-7 FT
The Hoosiers will have a full week of rest before taking on another weak foe in an extremely weak December schedule.
The Blue Devils have nobody taller than 6'6" who plays significant minutes, meaning Zeller will give them fits inside.
Stat Line: 19 PTS, 9 REB, 2 BLK, 3 STL, 6-11 FG, 7-10 FT
This contest will be played at a neutral site, the home of the Indiana Pacers. Brad Stevens' Bulldogs will always put up a fight.
Zeller scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 33 minutes in a 75-59 win over the Bulldogs last season.
Look for Zeller to perform even better than that with the Bulldogs struggling to match up with him.
Stat Line: 16 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL, 7-12 FG, 2-2 FT
Another day at the office for Cody against another weak opponent, as the Hoosiers continue to blow out teams.
Santa will be giving this little boy another IU win, compliments of Zeller.
Stat Line: 15 PTS, 8 REB, 3 STL, 5-9 FG, 5-7 FT
Florida Atlantic does have 7-foot center Dragan Sekelja to combat Zeller, but he will not have the quickness to keep up.
Stat Line: 25 PTS, 11 REB, 3 BLK, 11-16 FG, 3-5 FT
Like many smaller basketball programs, the Dolphins do not have the interior size to keep up with a dominant inside game.
Zeller will finish the nonconference schedule with a statement game telling Big Ten foes he is ready to take them on.
The Hawkeyes knocked off the Hoosiers last season.
Stat Line: 16 PTS, 9 REB, 2 BLK, 4-8 FG, 8-11 FT
The Hawkeyes toppled the Hoosiers 78-66 at Iowa last season, so they'll be looking to do it again. In that game, Zeller still managed 15 points and 13 rebounds, but the Hawkeyes held him to 5-of-12 shooting from the floor.
Both matchups last year featured little defense, so look for Zeller to be running the court like a gazelle as the Hoosiers gain a measure of revenge on the Hawkeyes.
The Hoosiers beat the Nittany Lions three times last season.
Stat Line: 11 PTS, 5 REB, 4-7 FG, 3-5 FT
Zeller averaged 15.7 points per game in three matchups against Penn State last season. I see this as more of a game to rest for Zeller with a tough schedule upcoming.
The Golden Gophers will try to pull off the upset in Bloomington.
Stat Line: 29 PTS, 11 REB, 3 BLK, 3 STL, 11-17 FG, 7-10 FT
Minnesota beat Indiana 77-74 in Assembly Hall last year. The Golden Gophers are more than capable of doing it again.
Zeller scored 23 points in that game, but it wasn't enough. In the latter matchup, the Hoosiers rolled, but Zeller had one his worst games of the year with seven points—as he was in foul trouble.
This time around, Zeller will have a monstrous game that stirs Player of the Year talk.
The Badgers were a thorn in the side of the Hoosiers last season.
Stat Line: 14 PTS, 6 REB, 2 STL, 5-11 FG, 4-6 FT
The Badgers are one of the few teams in the country who have size on the inside that could give Zeller problems. In two matchups last year, he averaged a meager 12.0 points and 2.0 rebounds as the Hoosiers fell both times.
Wisconsin's defense is very stingy, so Cody will have to create to score.
Zeller gave Bill Carmody's Wildcats headaches last year.
Stat Line: 20 PTS, 7 REB, 2 BLK, 8-13 FG, 4-5 FT
In their lone matchup last year, Zeller scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting in a 71-66 Indiana win.
The sophomore will rebound from a subpar performance against Wisconsin to play well against a Northwestern team still desperate for an NCAA Tournament berth.
Stat Line: 13 PTS, 6 REB, 5-9 FG, 4-6 FT
A balanced attack will be the theme of this game, as Zeller will be one of six Hoosiers in double figures.
Tom Izzo's Spartans are always a tough opponent.
Stat Line: 12 PTS, 8 REB, 2 STL, 4-11 FG, 4-5 FT
Zeller had his worst game of the season last year in IU's first loss of the season, coming to MSU. He was plagued by foul trouble and only scored four points, but he scored 18 points in the latter matchup.
Tom Izzo's Spartans opened with a loss to UConn, but they proved they are one of the best teams in the country with a comeback win over Kansas.
Look for Zeller to struggle a little bit with big bruisers Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix in a physical, low-scoring contest.
Stat Line: 22 PTS, 11 REB, 4 STL, 8-14 FG, 6-9 FT
Look for the preseason All-American to rebound from two-straight subpar games with a big performance at Mackey Arena.
Zeller and the Hoosiers have their hands full with the Wolverines.
Stat Line: 19 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 3 BLK 7-13 FG, 5-7 FT
The Wolverines are primarily a guard-dominated team, and this could be a showdown of two top-five teams.
Zeller didn't go bananas against Michigan last year (14.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG). However, this game could show whether he or Michigan guard Trey Burke is more deserving of Big Ten Player of the Year.
Stat Line: 22 PTS, 6 REB, 6-9 FG, 10-13 FT
Against Illinois last year, he got to the line an outstanding 14 times, converting on 12 of those free throws.
Look for history to repeat itself in this game, as the Fighting Illini will simply not be able to match up with him.
Zeller didn't deliver any big performances against OSU last year.
Stat Line: 15 PTS, 8 REB, 7-12 FG, 1-2 FT
He didn't put up huge numbers (15.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG) in two meetings with the Buckeyes last year. In the first contest (a 74-70 win over then No. 2 OSU), Zeller fouled out, and in the final matchup he had four fouls.
The departure of Jared Sullinger should make life easier on the inside for the sophomore, but this will also be a pressure-packed game that has conference-championship implications.
Herbie Husker's spirits will be crushed by Cody Zeller.
Stat Line: 31 PTS, 7 REB, 3 BLK, 11-16 FG, 9-12 FT
With such a well-rounded Hoosiers squad, it is hard for Zeller to go off for a big game. I think this is the one he does that.
The Hoosiers suffered a bad loss at Nebraska last year, and Tom Crean will make sure his team is ready this time.
The Boilermakers aren't the same without Robbie Hummel
Stat Line: 20 PTS, 5 REB, 7-11 FG, 6-7 FT
The Boilmakers don't look like they will be the same team they were with star Robbie Hummel around. They already have an early-season home loss to Bucknell.
Zeller will continue his push for Big Ten Player of the Year with a strong showing.
Stat Line: 13 PTS, 5 REB, 6-12 FG, 1-2 FT
Zeller is an excellent player, but I just feel it will be difficult for him to grab a lot of rebounds against a big MSU frontcourt.
The Hoosiers are so deep that they don't necessarily need him to score 20 a night. This will be the case in this contest in East Lansing.
Stat Line: 17 PTS, 13 REB, 6 AST 6-10 FG, 5-5 FT
This could be a trap game for IU, who will be contending for a league regular season crown.
Look for Zeller to have one of his best all-around games of the season and set season-highs in both rebounds and assists.
Cody will be determined to give the Hoosiers a Big Ten regular season crown.
Stat Line: 24 PTS, 8 REB, 3 BLK, 2 STL, 10-15 FG, 4-5FT
It would be easy for the Hoosiers to look past this game with games against OSU and Michigan to close the season.
It won't happen. Zeller will have a big game against the Hawkeyes with two tough battles on the horizon.
The Buckeyes will find a way to stop Zeller and force other Hoosiers players to win the game.
Stat Line: 9 PTS, 6 REB, 3-10 FG, 3-4 FT
The man is due for a poor game, even if it will come at a crucial point in the season. He only had four single-digit scoring games in his freshman year, and this will be his only one of the season.
Stat Line: 20 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST, 2 BLK, 8-14 FG, 4-5 FT
This showdown could be a winner-take-all matchup between the Hoosiers and Wolverines.
Zeller will have to be at his best if IU wants to take down Michigan in Ann Arbor. He will deliver a great performance under the spotlight.