Former Hoosiers Archive

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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Oladipo, Zeller earn NBA All-Rookie honors

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Former Indiana All-American and Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo was named to the 2013-2014 NBA All-Rookie first team, the league announced on Thursday afternoon.

Oladipo, who finished as the runner-up to Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams in Rookie of the Year voting, averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in his first NBA season.

Joining Oladipo and Carter-Williams on the NBA All-Rookie first team are Utah’s Trey Burke, Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee and New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr.

Former Indiana forward Cody Zeller, who was drafted fourth overall in last June’s NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, was named to the All-Rookie second team.

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Oladipo finishes second in Rookie of the Year voting

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Former Indiana All-American Victor Oladipo was the runner-up in the 2013-2014 NBA Kia Rookie of the Year award voting, the league announced on Monday morning.

Oladipo, who averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in his first NBA season for the Orlando Magic, received 16 of the 124 available first place votes.

Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams received 104 first-place votes to win the award. Carter-Williams averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game for the 76ers, who finished 19-63.

Utah’s Trey Burke was third in the voting.

Oladipo was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in December and February, becoming the first Indiana player to earn that distinction since Eric Gordon was the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in January of 2009 with the Los Angeles Clippers.

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