The Washington Times-Herald

The "Z" Watch

June 28, 2013

Bobcats' Zeller says he can be perimeter threat

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cody Zeller has confidence he can be a perimeter threat as well as a low-post presence for the Charlotte Bobcats.

But he might need a quick refresher course on his jump shot first.

Zeller attempted just two 3-pointers during his two seasons at Indiana, but the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft may be asked to knock down jumpers more at the NBA level. Zeller said he's not worried about that task if the Bobcats decided to use him as a "stretch 4" player as they've indicated.

"It's not a huge adjustment," Zeller said at an introductory press conference Friday. "I shot outside in high school and AAU. In college I didn't need to as much because we had so many perimeter shooters and didn't have a post presence other than me. I had to be that guy. I'm a team guy and if that's what the team needs from me than that's what I'm going to do."

The Bobcats seem equally convinced Zeller can handle that role.

The 7-footer impressed new Bobcats coach Steve Clifford during the team's predraft workouts with his shooting stroke and ability to drain 3-pointers.

At one point during the workout, Clifford said he turned to general manager Rich Cho and said, "that was eye opening."

Zeller's stroke was just one of the little things that convinced the Bobcats to take him, although they've been roundly criticized nationally for passing up on Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, Maryland's Alex Len and Kansas' Ben McLemore with the fourth overall pick.

"He's the best big athlete in the draft and the best big athlete to come out in many years," Cho said of Zeller.

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