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July 2, 2013

IU recruiting nation's top 2015 post player

Indiana is recruiting one of the nation's elite young frontcourt players.

The Hoosiers have been in contact with center Stephen Zimmerman, ranked No. 2 overall in the nation in the 2015 Rivals150 and the No. 1-ranked center.

The 7-foot, 215-pound Zimmerman from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas spoke with Peegs.com about Indiana's interest and what he's been hearing from the Hoosiers.

"I've been talking to them a little bit, but I'm sure my parents have been talking to them even more," Zimmerman told Peegs.com. "They're interested in me, and they're going to recruit me. I was talking to them on the phone recently."

Zimmerman has offers from Arizona, Baylor, UConn, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Ohio State, Texas, UNLV, UCLA and a host of other major programs.

Zimmerman said Indiana has been actively recruiting him, but the Hoosiers haven't yet offered.

"They have a great program. They use all their players really well and they know how to win," the left-hander said, also noting how Indiana used 7-footer Cody Zeller, the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

"He wins. He's a great player. They really developed him, and that's what I want in a team," Zimmerman said.

For the rest of the summer at least, Zimmerman said his focus is on development, and he's not worrying about who is recruiting him.

"It's early. Probably next year is when I 'll start taking more unofficials and stuff like that," he said. "My parents are making me slow down and keep my head in it."

For all of the hype that has surrounded him since he entered high school - he plays at the same high school, Bishop Gorman, and for the same AAU program, Dream Vision, as Shabazz Muhammad - Zimmerman's demeanor hasn't changed much.

Zimmerman has almost a Zeller-like even keel to his play and how he carries himself off the court.

"That's just because I love doing this. I would rather do this than anything else," he said of playing basketball. "I've been around a lot of successful people, Shabazz and tons of successful people. I see where getting your head blown up, what it can do to you.

"I'm just trying to make my ultimate goal, which is going to the league."

Peegs.com watched Zimmerman quite a bit recently at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp in Virginia.

Zimmerman was very impressive, including in a battle with 6-foot-10 Karl Towns, ranked No. 9 in the country in the 2014 class.

While not a sprinter, Zimmerman moves very well for a 7-footer, has very good quickness, is a good shooter out to 15 feet, can score over both shoulders and is a good decision maker.

At the Top 100 camp, he showed a maturity as each game progressed about picking his spots and knowing when to face up and use his mid-range game and when to go in the post and play with his back to the basket.

After struggling during a few early possessions against the Kentucky-bound Towns, Zimmerman started using his quickness and drew repeated fouls on Towns. Zimmerman was a solid free throw shooter.

Zimmerman isn't a bouncy shot-blocker on defense, but he positions himself well, has tremendous size and knows how to disrupt things in the paint.

"I've gotten better in clutch situations, being able to finish with the game coming down and stuff like that, and getting a little bit more physical," he said. "I need to get a lot more physical. I need to improve on making some of the right decisions earlier in the game and always working hard."



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