Indiana sophomore 7-foot sophomore Cody Zeller made it official, announcing he has decided to declare for the NBA daft.
The announcement by the former standout at Washington High comes just 24 hours after IU junior guard Victor Oladipo declared for the draft on Tuesday.
After electing not to turn pro after his freshman season in Bloomington, Zeller said he knew during his sophomore season that he was ready to move on from college and had talked to his brothers, particularly Tyler, about the NBA.
Tyler Zeller, who had a standout four-year career at North Carolina, is in his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Tyler talked about it is a lot different, the style of play,” said Cody Zeller. “It’s just one of those things you have to find out for yourself … I’m just ready for the opportunity.”
With Oladipo and Zeller departing early along with senior starters Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford, the Hoosiers will have to replace four starters next season. Derek Elston was also a senior this season.
The loss of those five players means the Hoosiers will need to replace 67.8 percent of the offense and 62 percent of their rebounding from a team that finished 29-7, won the regular-season Big Ten title and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for a second-consecutive season.
Zeller began the season as the consensus pick to be the player of the year but he ended up sharing the spotlight with Oladipo, who was named a first-team All-American, The Sporting News Player of the Year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Oladipo and Zeller were both first team all-Big Ten, but Zeller’s stock slipped nationally. He was second-team NABC and Associated Press All-American. He led IU with averages of 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds.
During his two years in Bloomington, Zeller scored 1,157 points in 72 games in his IU career. He averaged 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in college.
The Hoosiers were 56-16 with Zeller and made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. This year, Indiana won its first outright Big Ten championship since 1993 and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Zeller’s two older brothers, Luke and Tyler, have been on NBA rosters this season. Tyler is averaging 8.2 points and 5.9 rebounds with the Cavs. Luke, who played at Notre Dame, has played in Europe and in the NBA Development League and began this season on the roster of the Phoenix Suns. However, the Suns waived him on Feb. 21.