Men’s basketball lands four recruits, misses Zeller

The Bulldogs boast a promising recruiting class for the 2011-12 season, including Roosevelt Jones of O’Fallon, Ill., Jackson Aldridge of Sydney, Australia, Kameron Woods of Louisville, Ky., and Andy Smeathers of Bargersville, Ind.

However, the Bulldogs missed out on one big-name recruit.

Cody Zeller, one of the top college basketball prospects for the class of 2011, announced Thursday he would sign with Indiana University.

With senior Matt Howard graduating at the end of this season, Zeller could have filled the void in the post.

Despite this setback, Butler head coach Brad Stevens is optimistic about the recruits he did acquire.

“We’re really excited to welcome what we think will be a terrific class to Butler next year,” Stevens said. “Jackson, Roosevelt, Andrew and Kam will all bring individual strengths enhanced by their winning mindsets.

“They are a very versatile group, and all of them have won at a high level.”

Jones was the leading scorer and rebounder for O’Fallon High School last season, averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. He also led O’Fallon to 30 wins and a fourth-place finish in Class 4A of the Illinois State Tournament.

Aldridge played on the Australia under- 18 team, which won a gold medal at the Albert Schweitzer Games this past spring. He was selected to the All-Tournament Team for his play.

“We’ve known about [Aldridge] for a long time and have been impressed with him, not only as a good player, but as a leader,” Stevens said. “He’s a tough, skilled guard with good athleticism who has won in every situation.” Woods, a center for Kentucky powerhouse Eastern High School, averaged seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots per game last season. He was the first Eastern basketball player to earn a triple-double in nearly a decade.

Zeller, the Washington (Ind.) High School student had previously narrowed his choices to Indiana, North Carolina and Butler.

“Until about a week ago, I didn’t know [the fit] was right,” Zeller said during his announcement. “The biggest thing was the players and the coaches.

“[Indiana] had a good combination of the two.”

Zeller, a 6-foot-10-inch center, hails from a strong basketball family. His brother Luke played at the University of Notre Dame from 2005 to 2009 while his brother Tyler is a junior on the University of North Carolina basketball team.

Zeller was one of the most highly touted recruits in the nation, showcasing his skills as a member of the Indiana Elite team at the prestigious Adidas Invitational at North Central High School in Indianapolis last July. Coaches from across the nation attended the summer tournament, including Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.