The Washington Times-Herald

The "Z" Watch

June 28, 2013

Bobcats' Zeller says he can be perimeter threat

(Continued)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Crean believes the Bobcats will be thrilled with the pick.

Crean said Zeller is more than capable of being a quality perimeter shooter, pointing to a game last season against Michigan State where he knocked down four jumpers in the 15- to 17-foot range.

"It's in his skill set," Crean said during a conference call Friday. "It's just a matter of Cody getting comfortable with it."

But he said Zeller brings so much more to the table.

Crean said Zeller could run the floor just as well as Kentucky's Anthony Davis two years ago as a freshman and that this past season "nobody was close to him in terms of running the floor" at the college level.

That suits the Bobcats' plans well.

"We're a running basketball team and he fits that," Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said.

Clifford shed more light Friday on how the Bobcats plan to use Zeller, stressing that his size and versatility are his biggest assets. He sees Zeller primarily as a power forward but said he's too versatile to pigeonhole.

"This league is more about matchups," Clifford said. "When he has a less mobile 4 man, we're going to put him in pick-and-rolls. Against the smaller 4, then he will have the ability to take them inside and score in the post."

Clifford also likes that Zeller comes in with a working knowledge of defending the pick-and-roll.

Crean is convinced the Bobcats made the right move.

He lauded Zeller's work ethic and said he's mentally tougher than any player he's ever coached.

"That's definitely one of my strengths -- that nothing really fazes me, whether it's the fans or coaches. I keep it pretty levelheaded," said Zeller, who was joined at the press conference by brothers Tyler and Luke, who both played in the NBA last season.

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