A quarter of the way through their first NBA seasons, Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo have been thrust into very different roles.
In Orlando, the Magic, in the midst of a major rebuilding effort, are taking their lumps on their way to a 7-15 start. Oladipo was inserted into the team’s starting lineup after 10 games and he’s averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 31 minutes per game.
In Charlotte, which signed free agent Al Jefferson in the offseason and currently sits in fifth place in a very weak Eastern conference outside of Indiana and Miami, the Bobcats are taking a more conservative approach with Zeller. The 7-footer is Charlotte’s first big man off the bench and is averaging 5.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game behind veteran Josh McRoberts.
Given the very different paths the former Hoosier teammates took to make it into last June’s NBA draft lottery, it’s only fitting that each is taking a different path to becoming established in the league.
On Wednesday night, the two squared off for the first time as professionals with Oladipo’s Magic claiming a 92-83 victory in Charlotte.
Both played well, with Oladipo scoring eight of his 10 points in the second half and Zeller matching his season-high with 10 points and also adding six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
An off day for both teams on Tuesday allowed the two to catch up, compare notes on their rookie seasons and also reminisce on their careers at IU.
After picking up his second foul, Yogi Ferrell exited Tuesday night’s win over Oakland at the 15:45 mark of the first half. Evan Gordon entered in his place and went on a tear. The fifth-year senior scored 12 of Indiana’s 19 points in a stretch before he was subbed out for Ferrell at the 7:29 mark.
While it was an impressive run and a half the Hoosiers posted an excellent 1.38 points per possession and an eFG% of 66.6, Oakland’s weak transition D paid Gordon and IU some favors. It’s a defense as a whole that KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric places at just No. 257 in the nation.
Four of Gordon’s points came on two layups on the break. One of those was a outlet breakaway in which he didn’t even have a defender in front of him. Another two points came on a one-and-one opportunity where he was fouled on the floor out on the perimeter on a ball screen hedge in the halfcourt. The remaining six came on two wide open 3-pointers.
We’ll take a look at those two 3-pointers as well as a Noah Vonleh and Stanford Robinson score from this same stretch in the latest edition of Film Session:
I. Jeremy Hollowell grabs a rebound and brings the ball down the court. Hanner Mosquera-Perea tries to find a seam in the middle of the defense:
Class of 2015 Trenton Catholic (N.J.) wing Malachi Richardson is ready to announce his college decision.
As first reported by Justin Albers of AllHoosiers.com last week, Richardson confirmed his plans for a Friday announcement earlier this afternoon on Twitter.
“I will be making my college decision Friday at 2:30 at Trenton Catholic,” Richardson said on Twitter.
The 6-foot-6, 191 pound wing, rated the No. 16 prospect nationally by the 247Composite, is considering Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Syracuse, Rutgers and Villanova.
Indiana picked up its eighth win over the season in convincing fashion on Tuesday night with an 81-54 rout of Oakland at Assembly Hall.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the victory over the Golden Grizzlies:
· Indiana’s first half offense was stellar: Indiana fans were spoiled by the team’s offense the past two seasons. Game in and game out, the Hoosiers produced an offense that was high scoring, efficient and a lot of fun to watch.
This season, it’s decidedly different as Indiana has stretches where it looks great and then goes long periods without producing a field goal. Against Oakland, the Hoosiers were very good in the first half, scoring 1.41 points per possession and posting an effective field goal percentage of 66.6.
So why was Indiana effective offensively through the game’s first 20 minutes?
You can certainly point to the 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting by Evan Gordon as a reason, but Troy Williams (4-of-6), Jeremy Hollowell (3-of-5) and Noah Vonleh (3-of-5) all pitched in to give the Hoosiers balance. We’ve written plenty about Indiana needing consistent scoring options beyond Yogi Ferrell and Vonleh and last night, seven different players scored six or more points, led by Gordon’s season-high 26.
· Gordon gaining confidence: He’s received far less notoriety than his older brother Eric and even his younger brother, Eron, but Evan Gordon is finding his niche as a scorer off the bench for an Indiana team that desperately needs the production.
After the game on Tuesday night, Oakland coach Greg Kampe walked back to his team’s locker room with a hand to his head.
Moments earlier, the buzzer at Assembly Hall sounded that finalized an 81-54 Indiana (8-2) win over the Golden Grizzlies (2-8). It was a game in which the Hoosiers shot 50 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from beyond the arc and held the Grizzlies to a season low in points off only 32.2 percent shooting.
It’s also a game that Kampe already is looking forward to moving past.
“It’s Indiana in Assembly Hall,” he said after the game. “If they make shots they’re going to beat a lot of teams. So I pat Crean on the back, said ‘Great job,’ and we’ll move onto the next one.”
But coming into the game, Kampe thought Indiana’s shooting ability — or lack thereof — would enable his team to stay in the game. After all, IU was shooting only 28.8 percent from beyond the arc and only 45.6 percent from the field overall. He thought it was the Hoosiers’ biggest weakness.
However, in the opening 10 minutes of Tuesday’s game, Indiana shot 64.7 percent from the field. By then, the Hoosiers were up, 27-16.
Kampe also thought the game was going to come down to rebounding. By halftime, Indiana would have double the amount of rebounds Oakland would. The Hoosiers were again strong on the offensive boards, rebounding 38.7 percent of their misses in the contest.
Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 81-54 win over Oakland on Tuesday at Assembly Hall.
Watch his postgame comments in the media player below:
A full transcript is available after the jump.
Oakland coach Greg Kampe met with the media following his team’s 81-54 loss to Indiana on Tuesday at Assembly Hall.
Watch and listen to his postgame comments in the media player below:
Quotes are available after the jump.