INDIANAPOLIS — Former teammates Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo were reunited on Wednesday evening for Indiana’s “On The Road” tour stop at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The two joined George Taliaferro, Bobby “Slick” Leonard and Anthony Thompson in signing autographs for fans for more than a hour before the event and afterward, spoke to assembled media about a variety of topics.
In addition to Oladipo and Zeller, five members of the Miami Heat will also workout in Bloomington: Dwyane Wade, a former player for Tom Crean at Marquette, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem and Josh McRoberts.
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.
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.
The latest non-conference game to be confirmed is Grand Canyon University, which is coached by former Phoenix Suns guard Dan Majerle.
The Antelopes finished last season 15-15 overall, No. 241 in the KenPom.com rankings, No. 205 in the RPI and will visit Assembly Hall on Dec. 13.
According to AZCentral.com, Tom Crean was a student at Central Michigan when Majerle played there in the 1980s, which helped facilitate the game.
Grand Canyon, which is in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), added 2,000 seats to its arena this offseason.
Thus far, Indiana has three neutral site non-conference games confirmed for next season in Louisville, Butler and Georgetown and five non-conference games at Assembly Hall.
The home non-conference games released so far are SMU, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Lamar and Grand Canyon.
NBA summer league to feature several Hoosiers
We’ve already highlighted the additions of Christian Watford (Detroit, Golden State) and Will Sheehey (New York) to the NBA summer league, but each of IU’s lottery picks over the last two years will also participate.
“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.
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: