Indiana big man Cody Zeller has been named a finalist for the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award, presented annually to the men’s National Freshman of the Year. Zeller is averaging 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, all while shooting a Big Ten-leading 64.8 percent. One of only a couple new faces for the Hoosiers this season, Zeller is the biggest reason for Indiana’s turnaround, which has seen the team go from 12-20 a year ago to 19-6.
A six-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week recipient, Zeller joins Duke’s Austin Rivers, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Washington’s Tony Wroten as Tisdale finalists. An impressive group of freshmen, to say the least.
Zeller isn’t the only talented freshmen in the Big Ten, though, as Iowa’s Aaron White, Michigan’s Trey Burke, Michigan State’s Branden Dawson and Northwestern’s Dave Sobolewski, among others, are having strong first seasons.
The Wayman Tisdale Award winner will be announced at the USBWA College Basketball Awards Breakfast on Fri., March 30 in New Orleans in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Previous Big Ten winners
1992 Chris Weber, Michigan
2011 Jared Sullinger, Ohio State