Did Cody Zeller and Derrick Nix exchange groin shots, or did they fake reactions?

Cody Zeller Derrick NixDerrick Nix was scolded by ESPN announcer Dick Vitale for an “immature action” he supposedly committed against Cody Zeller during Indiana’s 72-68 win over Michigan State Tuesday, but video replays suggest Zeller may have been at fault.

Before we get into the play that resulted in a reaction from Vitale, let’s start with the play that set things up. Matters appeared to start when Zeller received a pass in the low post and may have caught Nix in the groin with an elbow while spinning around him for a layup:

Then with about two minutes left in the game, Zeller and Nix were fighting for position down low when Zeller went down after appearing to get punched in the groin. The video shows that Zeller may have pulled Nix’s arm into his body and then flopped in an attempt to draw a call:

Zeller’s reaction led referees to review the play, and they did not call a foul on Nix, possibly because they saw Zeller’s grab. Meanwhile, Vitale lit into Nix for the alleged infraction.

“There’s no doubt about it. He catches him with the elbow. See that, Magic?” Vitale said to Magic Johnson, who was also commentating.

“There’s no place for that. No place for that in basketball. Play the game, play with good sportsmanship, play the game. Don’t ruin it because of some stupidity, and some immature action.”

It turns out that Nix may not have done anything wrong, which could explain why Zeller was so forgiving after the game.

“Just two competitors going at it. It’s the Big Ten. Nothing,” Zeller said after the game regarding his interactions with Nix, per MLive.com.

Michigan State was leading 66-63 at the time when Zeller appeared to fake being hit in the groin, so it’s possible he was looking for any trick to help his Hoosiers. His actions may have worked.

Around The Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.knopsnyder Justin Knopsnyder

    You are seriously deluded.  Zeller’s contact on Nix was obviously unintentional as he was making a basketball move to go up with the ball.  He didn’t stick his elbow out as he pivoted towards the basket.

    On the second incident, there is no way that Zeller is responsible for the snapping of the wrist of Derrick Nix.  It’s very clear in that video that Nix snapped his wrist to initiate the contact on Cody’s man-parts.

    I sure hope you don’t try to advertise yourself as an unbiased sports writer as you come off more as a scorned Michigan State Spartan fan. 

  • Hendy329

    Seriuosly Justin, you’re delusional. Zeller shows in both Videos that he has No Class!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gunnar-Lovebone/100000268264561 Gunnar Lovebone

    non issue all the way around.  Indiana was tougher and better than MSU.  Both teams squandered free throw shots and made mistakes. In the end, it was the Hoosiers who played better ball and made the plays when it mattered.  That’s the result of a well coached and balanced team.  They very well could run the table playing like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.knopsnyder Justin Knopsnyder

    Since I’m delusional, point out where I’m wrong instead of droning about how Zeller has no class.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.lapalme Jeff LaPalme

    Our two big man had to sit because of miscalled dirty plays, I don’t see how that is a non issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.lapalme Jeff LaPalme

    The video isn’t enough?  Zeller grabs Nix’s arm and pulls it towards him.  Nix’s arm is limp until after contact is made.  Zeller grimaces before contact is made, and the contact is high, more lower stomach area than crotch.  Then the first point that Nix reacts and moves his own arm is pushing him back after Zeller is already bending over and grimacing and still holding onto his arm.  The whole sequence really shows that it was intentional by Zeller, from the pull to the grimace before the contact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gunnar-Lovebone/100000268264561 Gunnar Lovebone

     really, like the trumped up BS call on Sheehy in the final seconds where your boy could only brick the front end of  three free throws?  Or how about the clock official who couldn’t start the clock twice when all game there was no issue.  Please come back with something better.  If your big man plays better, he doesn’t get calls against him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.lapalme Jeff LaPalme

    The clock issues effected both teams poorly.  Because the refs were looking at the clocks, they didn’t call the foul on the Harris layup.  Please come back with something better.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XKOUC3RQNW4PRQRERN5PLAC74Q A

    Zeller intentionally elbows him when spinning for the shot in the first video.  The second video obviously shows Zeller pull his arm into him to try and draw the foul with his fake flop.
    I thought Zeller had more class than this.

  • Coltsnut

    If I remember, Nix said it was going to be a Blood bath…. Well, If you Talk the Talk…
    take off your Green Glasses and watch the whole game. There’s no way that Mich.St . didn’t beat the hell out of Cody &  Watford….It was one very physical game. A Very well played game at that, for both teams. Both teams had their chance to win.
    As for Nix…well he’s still an unknow… 

  • Ehron Wright

    I don’t follow the rule book that closely these days, but has college ball now added an extra step to the travelling rule?  Zeller clearly picked up his dribble, took two full steps, THEN jumped into the air after slapping Nix in the nards.  Yes, I said slap, as it appears to me from the slow mo that his right hand dipped down for a little tap as he turned in, knowing their bodies would screen it from the officials.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.knopsnyder Justin Knopsnyder

    You guys are incredulous.  Which of you guys would willingly hit yourself in the sack?

  • Neophyte

    Rumor has it Cody
    practiced the move with his girlfriend the night before the
    game.  Numerous times.

  • Hendy329

    Zeller obviously pulls Nix’s arm into him. And the one in the paint. Really? What are you blind?