Thursday, August 5, 2010

Breaking down Cody Zeller's choice of colleges

Cody Zeller, a rising Indiana high school senior and brother of UNC's Tyler Zeller, has narrowed his choices for college to Butler, Indiana and North Carolina.

Zeller, announcing the finalists Thursday, says it will come down to the coaches, his comfort with teammates, the quality of the business school and the facilities.

All three coaches are excellent: Indiana's Tom Crean, which has turned that program around; Butler's Brad Stevens, one of the best young coaches; and Roy Williams, who is one of the winningest coaches of all time. Edge? Probably UNC. Williams has the most stature, experience and the highest ranking on various online polls.

As for teammates, it depends on if he means talent or guys who he can relate to and enjoy being around. If he's talking about talent, then the edge goes to UNC again. The Heels have the most talent of the three. But if he means comfort as far as being able to relate, Butler would have a slight edge over Indiana. Butler has nine players from his home state of Indiana and eight of them are white like Zeller. Indiana has five players from the state of Indiana and four of them are white. Except for whatever walk-ons make the Tar Heels roster, there is only one white player and only one from Indiana on the Heels squad and that's his brother Tyler. With Butler having enough talent to make the final two last year, I'd give the edge to Butler.

While mentioning Indiana having a good business school, it's actually Carolina's Kenan Flagler business school that ranks highest of the three by Businessweek magazine. UNC comes in 14th while Indiana is 19th. Butler's business school in not ranked in the top 50. The ranking and educational reputation of UNC should give the edge here to Carolina.

As for basketball facilities, the bigger schools of UNC and Indiana would have the edge here. Since Indiana is picked more often in the top five for atmosphere in the arena itself, I'd give a slight edge to Indiana here.

Unless he really wants to stay in the state of Indiana, the overall edge would have to go to Carolina. Tyler Zeller would be playing his senior year during his brother's freshman year. A final decision is expected in November. By the way, the oldest brother Luke Zeller played at Notre Dame.

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