Former Hoosiers Archive

Jordan Hulls signs deal with Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo

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Former Indiana guard Jordan Hulls has a new professional home.

After spending last season with Energa Czarni in Poland, Hulls said Wednesday on his Twitter account that he’ll play this coming season with Sigal Prishtina in Kosovo.

Sigal Prishtina plays in the Kosovo Super League.

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Christian Watford signs non-guaranteed deal with Boston Celtics

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Former Indiana forward Christian Watford has signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Boston Celtics, he told Inside the Hall early Thursday morning.

Players on non-guaranteed contracts are typically invited to training camp with a chance to make the team’s roster, but can also be cut at any time.

Watford, a 2013 IU graduate, played last season with Hapoel Eilat in Israel and had multiple NBA Summer League stints last month, with the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors.

In 37 games for Eilat, the 6-foot-9 Watford averaged 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and posted an effective field goal percentage of 61.1.

With the Pistons in Orlando, Watford averaged 8.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and averaged 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game with the Warriors in Las Vegas.

Watford finished his IU career with 1,730 points — ranking ninth in school history — and a 42.4 career 3-point shooting percentage — also ninth in school history.

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Zeller stands out in NBA summer league

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Five former Indiana players — Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Noah Vonleh, Will Sheehey and Christian Watford — participated in the NBA summer league, which concludes later today in Las Vegas.

Oladipo played in the Orlando summer league, while Watford played both in Orlando and Las Vegas. Zeller, Vonleh and Sheehey played in Vegas. Here’s a look at how all five players performed:

· Zeller, Charlotte: 15.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals in 27.7 minutes per game.

The sample size was small — just three games — but the results were encouraging for Zeller, who may be in line for a bigger role following the departure of Josh McRoberts to Miami via free agency. Most impressive about Zeller’s play was his shooting from the field (58.6 percent) and the fact that he got to the line 20 times over three games.

His play was enough to draw the praise of Amin Elhassan at ESPN Insider:

Zeller has looked a lot more assertive on the floor this year and more sure of himself, and that confidence has definitely manifested itself in the box score, where he has shot an impressive 63 percent from the field (over his first two games). His combination of size and speed makes him an extremely tough cover, and he’s finding ways to get open looks around the rim by being active and taking full advantage of his physical gifts.

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Report: Oladipo named to USA Basketball select team

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Former Indiana All-American and Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo is among the group of players selected to compete against the USA Basketball men’s national team players at a three-day training camp in Las Vegas later this month, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Oladipo, who was the runner-up in the NBA’s rookie of the year voting this past season, averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game in his first professional season.

According to reports, Oladipo is expected to be joined on the select team by New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr., Phoenix’s Miles Plumlee, Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee, Boston’s Marcus Smart, Orlando’s Tobias Harris and Chicago’s Doug McDermott.

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Watford to play for Pistons, Warriors in NBA summer league

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Former Indiana forward Christian Watford hasn’t given up on his dream of making the NBA.

As first reported by David Pick of Eurobasket.com and Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times, Watford will play with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Pro summer league from July 5-11 in Orlando and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA summer league from July 11-21 in Las Vegas.

Watford is coming off his rookie season in the Israel Winner League with Hapoel Eilat, where he averaged 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 37 games. The Birmingham native shot 51.5 percent from the field and 79.3 percent from the free throw line.

Last summer, Watford played in for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando summer league and the Dallas Mavericks in the Vegas summer league.

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Rookie review: Victor Oladipo

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“Rookie review” is Inside the Hall’s in-depth look at the debut NBA season for Indiana’s 2013 NBA draft lottery picks, Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. We’ll recap the rookie season of both players as well as look to the future both from a team and individual perspective. Next up: Oladipo. (Previously: Zeller)

Prior to his junior season at Indiana, you couldn’t find Victor Oladipo on many 2013 NBA draft boards and when you did, he was listed as a second round pick at best.

So when you call the rise to where he ended up last June “meteoric”, there’s little exaggeration. Oladipo was the No. 2 overall pick to the Orlando Magic, which was a reward for a brilliant junior season in Bloomington. It wasn’t  that Oladipo didn’t have an impact or a national profile over his first two college seasons, but his third season saw his game elevate to another level.

After last June’s draft, Oladipo found himself in the midst of a major overhaul in Orlando, a situation he compared to the one he faced his first season at Indiana. The Magic were coming off a trade of Dwight Howard to the Lakers about 10 months earlier. And still held captive by the albatross contract of Gilbert Arenas, the franchise had little choice other than to place hope in the pieces it acquired for Howard and rebuilding through the draft.

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Rookie review: Cody Zeller

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“Rookie review” is Inside the Hall’s in-depth look at the debut NBA season for Indiana’s 2013 NBA draft lottery picks, Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. We’ll recap the rookie season of both players as well as look to the future both from a team and individual perspective. First up: Zeller.

In a decision that was a surprise to many, the Charlotte Hornets, known as the Bobcats at the time, took Cody Zeller with the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NBA draft last June. Going into Zeller’s sophomore season at Indiana, many had pegged him as a potential No. 1 overall pick, but his stock had fallen somewhat and most projections had him going in the bottom half of the lottery.

But after a strong NBA draft combine showing and encouraging workouts, the Hornets snagged Zeller at No. 4, the first move of an offseason that would also include the signing of free agent Al Jefferson and the re-signing of veterans Gerald Henderson and Josh McRoberts.

Suddenly, the franchise had a team that could compete for a playoff spot in a depleted Eastern conference. And for Zeller, unlike many rookies drafted that high in the lottery, Charlotte’s offseason moves, particularly the acquisition of Jefferson, would allow him to be eased into the rotation surrounded by a solid core of veterans.

The numbers

- Regular season: 6.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 42.6 FG%, 73.0 FT%, 13.12 PER, 17.3 minutes in 82 games.
- Postseason: 2.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, 0.5 assists, 33.3 FG%, 50.0 FT%, 13.3 minutes in 4 games.

With Jefferson and McRoberts already established in the frontcourt, Zeller was brought along slowly by first-year head coach Steve Clifford and was primarily used as Charlotte’s first big man off the bench who provided energy.

After a first half of the season that was viewed as a bit of a disappointment, Zeller began to take off after the all-star break:

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