WASHINGTON — An earlier than expected exit from the 2013 NCAA Tournament quickly brought questions about the futures of Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, both of whom are projected as lottery picks in this June’s NBA Draft.
But in the immediate aftermath of IU’s disappointing 61-50 loss to Syracuse, neither player was prepared to talk about what will come next.
“I have no clue. I don’t know how it goes, I don’t know what happens from here,” Zeller told reporters. “I was putting everything into this team, this tournament. I haven’t thought about it at all.”
“I haven’t even been thinking about that,” Oladipo said of his future. “I’m just really disappointed about the loss because we wanted to go all the way. I haven’t really been thinking about my future at all, just been in the present.”
Both players will have roughly a month to decide whether they’ll return to school as the NBA’s early entry deadline for the draft is Apr. 28.
Indiana coach Tom Crean was asked about the role he’ll play in assisting both Oladipo and Zeller with their respective decisions in his postgame press conference.
“I’m sure I will do what I would always do, try to be a voice of reson, do the right research, try to give them as honest of an assessment as I possibly can,” Crean said. “It won’t come from dotcoms and scouts, it will come from general managers, scouting directors, people like that that really have an investment in what those picks mean and where they would potentially go.
Tom Crean, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford, Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls addressed the media Wednesday afternoon at the Verizon Center before Thursday night’s Sweet Sixteen matchup with the Syracuse Orange.
Sunday afternoon’s game had so much to it, it was difficult to digest it all immediately after the game. Especially when a late March snowstorm was staring right at the greater Dayton area.
So, after more than 24 hours to think about and analyze the Hoosiers’ 58-52 win over Temple, and how they got there, I took a look at the game in a much more complete way.
First, when I said in my column from Sunday night that the Hoosier won ugly, I wasn’t kidding. It was UGLY in every possible way, and Indiana undoubtedly caught some breaks (like the fact that every Temple player not named Wyatt seemed to forget how to score), but to advance in the NCAA Tournament, you sometimes need an element of luck. Ask Marquette. Or Ohio State. Or Miami.
The fact of the matter is, in a game they had no business winning, the Hoosiers found a way to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year. And ultimately, that’s all that matters. I remember sitting on my couch watching the 2008 team play in the Tournament. There was no fight, no will, no desire. The Hoosiers faced adversity, and they quit.
When Tom Crean took control of the program, he vowed to change the culture. So give him credit because he has done that. Even when the Hoosiers trailed and couldn’t seem to do anything right against Temple, they kept believing. They played hurt. They made winning plays.
That, more than anything, is what I take from Indiana’s third-round win. Sure, it was ugly and there are many things that need to be corrected before it sees Syracuse on Thursday night, but we now know that this team has no quit in it (if we didn’t already).
Who’d Wyatt score on?
Not everything about the Hoosiers’ win over Temple, of course, was pretty. There was this guy, Khalif Wyatt, who went off in the first half and poured in 31 points. Wyatt’s done it many times before, but his production against Indiana was a bit surprising because the Hoosiers knew how dangerous he was. And they had the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in Victor Oladipo to check him.
But nevertheless, Wyatt went off in a losing effort. So how much does it mean? How troubled is Indiana’s defense going forward?
DAYTON, Ohio — Watch and listen to what the IU players had to say inside their locker room of the University of Dayton Arena following the Hoosiers’ 58-52 win over Temple in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
High-definition quality video is available in the embedded media players below: