Draft watch: Oladipo’s stock on the rise

IUUNCITH0012The last time Indiana had two first round NBA Draft picks was in 2008, which followed one of the most tumultuous seasons in school history. In June of 2008, both Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers) and D.J. White (Detroit Pistons, traded to Oklahoma City Thunder) both had their names called by David Stern.

Could the Hoosiers be on their way to multiple first round picks again this summer? Inside the Hall takes a look at the current stock of IU’s potential draft candidates:

Cody Zeller
ESPN: (5) Draft Express: (3) NBADraft.net: (1)

· Analysis: Despite taking criticism from some in the national media for not being dominant enough through IU’s first 14 games, Zeller’s position is still in the top five of just about every mock draft out there. He’s easily the most effective running big man in college basketball and is incredibly polished for a seven-footer who just turned 20. His numbers may not make the dramatic jump that some were expecting because of IU’s incredible balance on offense, but you get the feeling that Zeller’s best basketball is still ahead of him this season.

· Expert opinion: “He runs the floor, he can play center and power forward. He’s not gonna have a major impact as far as scoring, but he’s going to have a major impact as far as being a team player because he’s got it all. He can block shots, he runs the floor, he’s got pretty decent moves, he can shoot a little bit. I think he’s going to be a really, really good player immediately for an NBA team.” – NBA scout to Inside the Hall’s Justin Albers

Victor Oladipo
ESPN: (31) Draft Express: (28) NBADraft.net: (34)

· Analysis: Oladipo has been called IU’s best player so far this season and that’s a fair analysis given how he’s impacted the game on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he’s continued to relentlessly attack the rim and convert, but he’s also mixed in a more reliable perimeter shot that makes him more attractive to the next level. Defensively, Oladipo is building a list of top scorers on the opposition that he’s been able to take out of games. Given how much he’s improved in his 30 months in Bloomington, there’s no reason to believe Oladipo shouldn’t continue to get better for the foreseeable future.

· Expert opinion: “Love him. One of my favorite players in the country. He’s gonna be a first round pick in this year’s draft. If he can convince scouts that his 45% shooting from beyond the arc isn’t a fluke — lottery isn’t out of the question.” – ESPN.com’s Chad Ford

Christian Watford
ESPN: (155) Draft Express: (No. 23 senior) NBADraft.net: (N/A)

· Analysis: After a 27-point performance against a loaded Kentucky team in last year’s NCAA Tournament, Watford saw his stock rise slightly and as a result, he considered entering last June’s draft. But after receiving feedback, the Birmingham native decided to return for his senior season. His stock has actually fallen fairly significantly in the ESPN rankings since the summer. While he’s a very good college player, Watford’s best chance to make a NBA roster will be as a 3-point specialist with size. At this point, he appears to be a longshot to be drafted.

Yogi Ferrell
ESPN: (150) Draft Express: (No. 29 freshman) NBADraft.net: (N/A)

· Analysis: Ferrell isn’t going anywhere after this season, but we include him here because he’s already getting some love from both ESPN and Draft Express. As of now, the Worldwide Leader lists him as favorable in these areas: basketball IQ, mid range game, pushing the tempo, toughness and aggressiveness with his 3-point shot as well as strength as areas for improvement.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Nowhere to put this, and no one will read it, but did anybody watch Mich last night? Holy moley, they look good. Very concerning.

  • CreanFaithful

    I did. Northwestern looked really bad, but Michigan looked great. I’m guessing it was a combination of both. Anytime you beat a B1G opponent by 40 at their place, you’ve got a great team. I’m thankful that we don’t match up with them until the end of the season…

  • BlakeD1223

    I get concerned whenever I watch another team play. I guess I’m easily intimidated. The bottom line is if we play the way that we did against UNC then we will be fine. The way were jumped out of the gate against them is how we are going to have to play against these other great teams. I think we may have been a little over hyped at the beggining of the year. I think Duke deserves the number one spot. There’s a lot of good teams this year. I’ll be very nervous in March. We have a lot of potential though. I think next years team will be much better. Especially if Olidipo stays. Perea is going to be fun to watch improve.

  • BlakeD1223

    I get concerned whenever I watch another team play. I guess I’m easily intimidated. The bottom line is if we play the way that we did against UNC then we will be fine. The way were jumped out of the gate against them is how we are going to have to play against these other great teams. I think we may have been a little over hyped at the beggining of the year. I think Duke deserves the number one spot. There’s a lot of good teams this year. I’ll be very nervous in March. We have a lot of potential though. I think next years team will be much better. Especially if Olidipo stays. Perea is going to be fun to watch improve.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    I am the same way. I think there’s something about watching a team a lot and really caring about the result that makes you see the flaws more than the good points.

    We need some Wolverines fan to log on and say how scared he is about the Hoosiers. That might make me feel better. And it’s all about me.

  • BlakeD1223

    ha ha…. Yeah, we as fans seem to find what is wrong with our team and always see what’s great about other teams. You are only as good as your last game as well. IU stresses me out. I guess that makes me a fan, I don’t know. I just want another championship so bad that I can taste it. I get ticked off if we don’t get the jump ball at the start of the game!! ha ha.

  • DarkSouth

    Shelvin Mack just got called back up and is getting 22 minutes a game immediately, as another example.

  • http://twitter.com/BlairDMckee Blair D. Mckee

    This is kind of a fun problem to have – predicting which players on this program will give up their eligibility to go make $8m! Something IU hasn’t had to worry about for 5 years! Looking around, UK plans for this and the Freshmen coming there expect that there really won’t be much upperclassmen to compete with for PT. Butler doesn’t expect it, and losing two guys to the NBA in two years was both an incredible anomaly but probably also seriously cost them in the 2011 tournament and their poor showing in 2011-12. IU has got to keep that pipeline filled to avoid such a slump.

  • calbert40

    I’d like the NBA to adopt a similar rule to the MLB: you can go pro straight out of HS, but if you go to school, you have to stay for at least 3 years. Case closed.

  • HoosierDD

    I will be curious to see what Michigan looks like against Iowa on Sunday so we can compare them to a common opponent.

  • Shooting-from-the-elbow

    My rose-colored projection—I.U. wins the national title in March, and like Florida’s Noah et al, both Vic and Cody decide to skip the draft and come back so as not to abandon Will. Then I.U repeats in March of 2014. I am less confident that I.U. football will also be ranked #1 in the same year as was Florida’s when both its basketball and football teams were #1 in the same season

  • http://twitter.com/Odoyouknow O

    Oladipo is ready to make the jump to the NBA. I believe he is a Top 20 pick as of right now with his stock rising. Could potentially be a lottery pick. Athletic, Defensive Lockdown, has the size, continues to get better offensively, tough minded, works hard, and a great character that you would want on your roster. He will represent IU well. I think Zeller should and will come back for his junior year. There is a lot that I think he can improve. Rebounding being the most important. He has tons of potential on becoming a great NBA player. Even though he would be a lottery pick I just don’t think he is ready to battle NBA Bigs and would benefit from another year of college basketball.

  • Matt

    Even better there, because you don’t declare. They draft you if you’re ready, they leave you if not. That would solve the issue of guys leaving early when they aren’t ready.

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