Zeller Heading to NBA after Skipping Draft Last Year

Zeller Heading to NBA after Skipping Draft Last Year

Indiana big man Cody Zeller shocked everyone by skipping the NBA draft last year to make Indiana the favorite to win the title. However, he has now joined teammate Victor Oladipo, Kansas’ Ben McLemore, and Louisville’s Russ Smith in the exodus of underclassman headed to the NBA. Very few players play all the way to their senior year and then make the NBA–if they are good enough they go early. In fact, no senior is expected to go in the first 12 picks on June 27 (see list of the 35 underclassmen expected to be in the draft and be selected below).

Too often a player who sticks around for an extra year gives up millions of dollars, such as Jared Sullinger who hurt his back at Ohio State last year and went from lottery pick to later in the first round.

Zeller, a seven footer, is a skilled big man who may lack the physical presence to be a dominant big man in the NBA at this stage. Nevertheless, his talent will land him as a lottery selection.

The Hoosier averaged 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game over the course of his career. He was also a second team All-American selection and was an integral part of Indiana’s success the past two years. The list below is based on the listings on www.draftexpress.com.

Proj Underclassmen Year School
1 Nerlens Noel C Freshman Kentucky
2 Ben McLemore SG Freshman Kansas
3 Marcus Smart PG Freshman Oklahoma State
4 Anthony Bennett PF Freshman UNLV
5 Victor Oladipo SG/SF Junior Indiana
6 Cody Zeller C Sophomore Indiana
7 Trey Burke PG Sophomore Michigan
8 Otto Porter SF Sophomore Georgetown
9 Shabazz Muhammad SF Freshman UCLA
11 Alex Len C Sophomore Maryland
12 Michael Carter-Williams PG Sophomore Syracuse
14 Kelly Olynyk C Junior Gonzaga
15 Isaiah Austin C Freshman Baylor
17 Gorgui Dieng C Junior Louisville
18 Archie Goodwin SG Freshman Kentucky
19 James McAdoo PF Sophomore North Carolina
20 Steven Adams C Freshman Pittsburgh
22 Jamaal Franklin SG Junior San Diego State
23 Tony Mitchell PF Sophomore North Texas
27 Shane Larkin PG Sophomore Miami FL
28 Lorenzo Brown PG Junior N.C. State
29 B.J. Young SG Sophomore Arkansas
30 Allen Crabbe SG Junior California
32 Reggie Bullock SF Junior North Carolina
34 Russ Smith PG Junior Louisville
35 C.J. Leslie SF/PF Junior N.C. State
36 Adreian Payne PF/C Junior Michigan State
38 Doug McDermott PF Junior Creighton
39 LeBryan Nash SF Sophomore Oklahoma State
40 Myck Kabongo PG Sophomore Texas
44 C.J. Wilcox SG Junior Washington
46 Phil Pressey PG Junior Missouri
49 Deshaun Thomas SF/PF Junior Ohio State
51 Tim Hardaway Jr SG Junior Michigan
59 Tony Snell SF Junior New Mexico