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Cody Zeller put on a ‘dunk highlight show’ against Hawkeyes


Mike Miller

Cody Zeller did this a lot Sunday vs. Iowa. And by “a lot”, I mean pretty much every time he shot the ball.

Indiana’s fabulous freshman scored a season-high 26 points, hit 11 of 12 shots and ensured the No. 16 Hoosiers ran away from Iowa, 103-89, a score that’s not usually associated with the Big Ten – or many games other not involving VMI. But if you ask Zeller, his part was easy.

“I had a pretty easy job, just catching it and dunking it,” he said. “Our guards did a really nice job of finding me in the alley a couple times. Verdell [Jones] did a very nice job of passing tonight. I thought it was a good team effort.”

Well, except on defense. But that figures.

Iowa has the conference’s worst defense and Indiana’s is average. Also, both love to run. Maybe that’s why neither team struggled to score.

Indiana (17-5) made 55 percent of its 67 field goal attempts (and only took 16 3s). The Hawkeyes were even better, hitting 63 percent of 54 shots and were 8 of 15 from deep. But they got killed on the boards and no answer for Zeller, who was doing his best Shaq impersonation out there.

“I want to go back and look at the dunk highlight show that he had,” IU coach Crean said.

Indiana better be ready to make the transition from up-tempo to grind it out, though. It heads to Michigan on Wednesday, a team with a more efficient offense but is just as content to run down the shot clock until it finds someone open for a 3-pointer.

Last time the two played, Indiana won by two, at home. If the Wolverines come close to matching Iowa’s shooting proficiency, the Hoosiers may be in trouble. But that’s for tomorrow.

“Yeah I’ll worry about that later,” Crean told the Indianapolis Star. “I’m just glad we got the win.”

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.