April 10, 2005
Notre Dame, Ind. – Incoming Irish freshman Luke Zeller, who signed a national letter of intent in November of 2004 to attend Notre Dame, was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball. The announcement was made in this morning’s (Sunday, April 9) Indianapolis Star.
Zeller becomes the second Mr. Basketball in Indiana to attend Notre Dame. Four-tear starting point guard Chris Thomas, a native of Indianapolis and attending Pike High School, was the recipient of the state’s most prestigious accolade in 2001 after leading his prep team to two state titles during his career.
Zeller, a 6-11, 245-pound center, was a four-year starter at Washington High School. A member of the 2005 McDonald’s All-American team, he averaged 19.6 points and 9.6 rebounds during his final scholastic season. Zeller received 101 of a possible 247 votes cast by coaches and members of the media. Dominic James, who is headed to Marquette, finished second, while Josh McRoberts, who signed with Duke, was third.
Zeller capped of his prep career with a storybook ending in leading his team to the Class 3A state championship with a 74-72 victory over Plymouth. He tallied 27 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists in the title game, including a three-pointer from just outside the half-court stripe as time expired.
A first team all-state selection, Zeller also was the recipient of the Trester Award for mental attitude.
“I’m a happy for Luke and it is very well deserved,” Irish head coach Mike Brey said. “With the way he finished the season, it was a storybook ending. After he hit that shot, I was hoping that this would be the way it would end for him. He’s a classy young man who has handled himself so well off the court.
“This is certainly great for us to have another Indiana Mr. Basketball attend Notre Dame. First it was Chris (Thomas) and now it’s Luke. One of the things we have really tried to concentrate on since I’ve gotten here is to recruit this state more because there are great players and great coaches all over Indiana.”