Opening night of the NBA season is less than a month away and training camps have opened across the league this week along with media day events taking place.
Here’s a look around the league at former Indiana players and their start to the 2014-2015 season, which includes some video interviews, quotes and links:
· Victor Oladipo is expected to take on larger role in his second season in Orlando and will look to help bring along rookie Elfrid Payton, who has a similar background in many ways.
· In Charlotte, rookie Noah Vonleh is still recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia, but is hoping to get medical clearance soon.
According to the Charlotte Observer:
Vonleh said he was playing pickup basketball on Indiana’s campus when he felt a “pop,” which he thought was just a groin pull. But the pain grew worse, and he had an MRI that revealed a tear. Vonleh is now able to work out on an elliptical machine and start some light shooting and jogging. He says he’s feeling much better in the last week.
Tom Crean, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller addressed Indiana fans on Wednesday night at Lucas Oil Stadium as part of the “on the road” tour stop in Indianapolis.
Watch their comments in the media player below:
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.
Watch both interviews in the media players below:
VICE Sports is producing a four-part series on Orlando Magic and former IU guard Victor Oladipo and the second installment, which was published late last week, takes you behind the scenes with the former Hoosier at the NBA summer league.
(Previously: Video: At home with Victor Oladipo)
In the second part of the series, Oladipo, an NBA All-Rookie first team selection last season, talks about playing with some of the new talent that has arrived in Orlando, his leadership and more:
With three lottery picks in the last two years, Indiana has established itself as one of the top programs in terms of developing NBA talent in recent seasons.
And now some of that talent is returning to Bloomington to work out this week, sources tell Inside the Hall.
Former Indiana All-Americans Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, who will appear Wednesday evening at IU’s “on the road” tour stop at Lucas Oil Stadium, are expected to workout in IU’s facilities this week.
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.
NBA.com: Derrick Rose: Oladipo is a “Big-Time Talent”
Here is a sampling of some of the comments about Oladipo’s inclusion in the USA Basketball system and his future with the Magic:
From Chicago star point guard Derrick Rose, who looked on in amazement last January when Oladipo pumped in 35 points, eight assists and three steals: “He’s a great player already. I love how he plays and he plays with so much confidence. He totally deserves to be up here (with team USA) and I’m already a big fan of his. I love how he takes the game so serious.
“I’m here for him if he ever needs me,’’ Rose said after hearing that Oladipo hopes to pick his brain during his time with USA Basketball. “I know how serious he takes it. He’s such a talent with his size, what he can do on the floor and how he reads opponents, especially defensively. He’s a big-time talent.’’
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.