In the second week in December, the Indiana Hoosiers were voted the number one team in college basketball for the sixth straight week. The leader of the Hoosiers is seven-foot center- power forward Cody Zeller, a popular preseason pick for college basketball player of the year and the potential number one pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

In today’s world of one-and-done star freshmen who declare for the pros after a single college season, Zeller is increasingly unusual – he’s a sophomore. The other two players most often mentioned as the potential 2013 number one pick – Nerlens Noel of Kentucky and Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA – are both freshmen.

But Zeller decided to come back after Indiana’s dramatic turnaround in his freshman season. After winning just 28 games the previous three seasons, Indiana went 27-9 and made the Sweet 16 with Zeller leading the way. Had Zeller declared for the draft, he would likely have been a top pick.

Zeller’s brothers are also basketball players

Zeller has two older brothers who are already playing the NBA. All three brothers were named “Mr. Basketball” in Indiana, an award given out to the state’s top high school player. But only Cody would go on to the University of Indiana. Luke, a member of the Phoenix Suns, went to Notre Dame, and Tyler, a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, went to the University of North Carolina. Both Luke and Tyler stayed in school though their senior seasons.  Tyler was the 17th pick in the first round in 2012 and Luke was undrafted in 2009.

The brothers also have an uncle, Al Eberhard, who played in the NBA in the 1970s.

No sophomore slump for Zeller

As a freshman, Cody Zeller’s .623 field goal percentage was third-best in the NCAA and led the Big Ten.  Zeller was fifth in blocks, sixth in rebounds, seventh in steals, eighth in points and ninth in field goal percentage in the Big Ten.

After nine games of his sophomore season, Zeller was first in rebounding, second in field goal percentage and fourth in points per game in the Big Ten.

Zeller’s rebounding was way up as a sophomore. He had 6.6 rebounds per game as a freshman and 8.9 so far as a sophomore. His points-per-game, field goal percentage and blocks were fairly similar from year to year (15.6, .623, 1.2 as a freshman vs. 15.4, 6.25 and 1.4 as a sophomore).

For leagues that include NCAA tournament games, Zeller is a good fantasy college basketball pick because the number-one rated Hoosiers are expected to advance deep into the tournament.