Christian Watford 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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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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An updated look at members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team in the pros

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Periodically throughout their seasons, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our March update:

· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.5 steals in 31.7 minutes per game

Notes: Oladipo and the Magic aren’t in the NBA playoff race, but he is in a battle with Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams for the Rookie of the Year award. Carter-Williams is the leader at this point and Oladipo missed a couple of games since our last update with an ankle injury, which certainly didn’t help his cause. Regardless of who wins the award, it’s hard to look at Oladipo’s debut NBA season as anything less than a success when you look at the numbers he’s been able to put up from an individual standpoint.

Notable recent performance: 15 points, six assists and three rebounds in a 105-101 loss to Washington on March 14.

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Another look at members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team in the pros

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(Photo credit: Sportowefakty.pl)

Periodically throughout the season, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our latest update:

· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals in 31.5 minutes per game

Notes: Oladipo participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge last Friday at NBA All-Star weekend and finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists for Team Webber, which fell to Team Hill, 142-136. The former IU star remains in the hunt for the league’s rookie of the year award with Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams, the current front runner, and Utah’s Trey Burke. He has struggled, however, coming out of the All-Star break with just a total of 10 points in losses to Cleveland and Milwaukee.

Notable recent performance: 23 points, four rebounds and four assists in a 93-92 win over Indiana on Feb. 9.

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An updated look at members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team in the pros

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Periodically throughout the season, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our latest update:

· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals in 31.8 minutes per game

Notes: Oladipo currently sits at No. 2 on NBA.com’s “Rookie Ladder” rankings, just behind Philadelphia guard Michael Carter-Williams. His minutes and scoring are up since our last update and it currently appears to be a three-man race for Rookie of the Year with Oladipo, Carter-Williams and Utah’s Trey Burke as the contenders.

Notable recent performance: 35 points, eight assists and four rebounds in a 128-125 triple overtime loss to Chicago on Jan. 15. Oladipo played 57 minutes.

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A look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in the pros

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Periodically throughout the season, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our first update:

· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 steals in 30.2 minutes per game

Notes: Oladipo’s most recent effort was a strong one as he scored 22 points and added eight rebounds and five assists in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The former IU All-American has started 16 of Orlando’s 34 games, but has struggled at times with turnovers. That said, he was named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for December and is a major piece of the ongoing rebuilding effort for the Magic.

Best game: 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 126-125 double overtime loss at Philadelphia on Dec. 3. Oladipo played 52 minutes.

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Watford becomes fifth from 2012-2013 team to sign professional contract

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Indiana’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team has a fifth player in professional basketball as Christian Watford signed with Hapoel Eliat in Israel on Wednesday.

Watford joins Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Bobcats), Jordan Hulls (Slupsk Energa Czarni/Polish Basketball League) and Derek Elston (Floriana Francesco Fenech Greens/Maltese Powerade League) as the latest Indiana player to ink a professional deal.

Watford, who was not picked in June’s NBA Draft, played for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando Summer League and the Dallas Mavericks in the Vegas Summer League, opted to head overseas for a guaranteed contract rather than trying to catch on in the NBA via the Developmental League.

“I had four or five offers from different places in Hungary, Russia Germany but I felt this was the right fit for me,” Watford told IUHoosiers.com. “What really persuaded me to go to Eilat was the great feedback I got from Americans who had played on that team.”

As a senior at Indiana, Watford averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and shot 48.4 percent from 3-point range.

He finished his career in Bloomington in the No. 9 spot on the all-time scoring list.

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