Victor Oladipo picked 2nd, Cody Zeller selected 4th in NBA Draft

  • 06/27/2013 8:38 pm in

IUUMITH0020It didn’t take long for Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller to go off the board in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Oladipo was selected No. 2 overall by the Orlando Magic and Zeller went two picks later to the Charlotte Bobcats at No. 4.

Both players were selected before Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, who was widely expected to be the top overall selection but slipped to No. 6.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Oladipo told reporters at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. “They’re in a rebuilding process. I’m just glad they chose me so I could be a part of that. In Indiana we had a huge rebuilding process, so I know what it takes. I’m looking forward to going there and working hard and playing at a high level and help impact winning.”

Oladipo, who was ranked in the 140’s by multiple national recruiting services coming out of high school, averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the Hoosiers last season. He continued to climb the draft boards throughout the season and into the offseason when he impressed at the May draft combine in Chicago.

The Magic won only 20 years a season ago, so Oladipo will be part of a rebuilding project in Orlando. Jameer Nelson and Aaron Afflalo made up Orlando’s starting backcourt last season, but Afflalo has been mentioned in several recent trade rumors and could be moved before the summer is over.

The Magic also have E’Twaun Moore and Doron Lamb at the shooting guard position.

“We’re really excited,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan told ESPN. “Victor’s a guy we followed all year long. We just really like what he’s about and we like his work ethic. We feel like he plays efficient basketball.”

Most draft experts had Zeller coming off the board sometime around the No. 10 spot, but Charlotte general manager Rich Cho was reportedly infatuated with Zeller and worked to convince others within the organization that he was the right pick.

The Bobcats were 21-61 last season and have never made the playoffs as a franchise. Charlotte has a young core that includes point guard Kemba Walker and former Kentucky standout Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Byron Mullens got the majority of the minutes at center for the Bobcats last season, but he is a restricted free agent this summer.

“I’m so excited for Charlotte, playing with the Bobcats,” Zeller told reporters. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s one of my top choices just because it’s a young group of guys with Kemba Walker and Kidd?Gilchrist especially. Guys with good motors that play the right way.  They get up and run. It’s a good group of young guys. Charlotte seems like a great city. I think all around it’s a great fit for me.”

Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in his sophomore season for the Hoosiers last year. He is more likely to play the power forward position at the NBA level, but he may have to do both in Charlotte.

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  • Gregory Spera

    Two Indiana players taken top 5 in the NBA draft. Wow. Congrats to Oladipo and Zeller. I guess we really DID underachieve this year.

  • Oldguyy

    I guess you’re ignorant of the huge role randomness has in a single-elimination tournament. Or do you think they should have finished higher than first in the Big Ten?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I guess there are some NBA teams and GM’s that care about getting high character, quality individuals instead of one-and-done, entourage toting, bad attitudes waiting to happen like when you draft a pUKe player! HAHA

    Congrats to Vic and Cody . . . they deserve it!!!

  • mharv2631

    Two IU players drafted in the top 4. All you recruits see that! Maybe Jaquan should have waited.

  • RichardMandeville

    Isn’t J.J. Reddick with the Bucks now?

  • Maverick19

    These guys are certainly worth their draft positions. These teams will be better for having them on their teams. I can’t help but think the Hoosier’s SERIOUSLY underachieved in the NCAA Tournament w/ two players in the Top 5, NBA draft. (missed opportunity) I hope Crean can continue to improve his coaching ability to utilize the future talent he brings to Indiana. Great for future recruiting, NO DOUBT!!

  • Hoosierfan60

    Oldguyy, I think that Mr. Spera’s comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

  • Hoosierfan60

    Coach Knight probably wouldn’t have had any better success against Syracuse that night under the same circumstances.

  • B-TOWNdawgs

    NBA draft tickets at the Barclays Center- $165
    Custom suit and vest rental- $500
    Vintage NBA snapback – $30
    The look on Nerlens Noel’s face after seeing five players taken before him- priceless.

  • Gregory Spera

    Maybe I should have used a winking emoticon. 😉

  • Ole Man

    Oldguyy drinks koolaid. Just ignore him.

  • Ole Man

    It wasn’t just Syracuse.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Ok, this might be a dangerous question, but: Is Charlotte a good landing spot for Zeller? As I pointed out in a previous thread, Cody needs to be in a face-the-basket, high post role (either that, or one where he’s running the floor and scoring in transition). If Charlotte sticks him in the low post, he can do it, don’t get me wrong, but it won’t be optimal use of his skillset.

  • Gregory Spera

    No. No it isn’t. Charlotte isn’t a good landing spot for anyone.

  • lolman

    Maybe Crean prepared IU correctly and they didn’t perform? Sometimes players don’t always play to their abilities. Maybe, just maybe, IU simply sucked that game and had an off night.

  • lolman

    Zeller will get to work with NBA hall of fame center Patrick Ewing. I think this will be a great fit for him.

  • PDXHoosier

    Congrats to VO and CZ.

    I’m actually surprised CWat didn’t get taken in the second round. Some of those picks were bizarre

  • ScoopGeoff

    He’s not a center. If they try to turn him into one he won’t live up to his potential, I’ll be pissed, and it’ll be a waste of a pick, and a disservice to Cody. Hopefully Ewing keeps his distance.

  • Matt Sievers

    I love IU!

  • Matt Sievers

    We did underachieve.

  • Oldguyy

    Ole man is evidently incapable of a reasoned rebuttal.

  • ryiufan

    Happy for both VO and Cody and I live in NC so look forward to going to see the Bobcats next year! They have been so bad since making the playoffs in 2010 and hopefully Zeller can be part of another successful rebuilding project.

  • CreanFaithful

    If you haven’t been accused of drinking the koolaid, you are doing something wrong…

  • MillaRed

    This is probably the best recruiting tool IU has ever had. I gotta give major props to Coach Crean. The most prominent achievement he’s had since D Wade IMO. Cannot emphasize enough how big of a deal this is.

  • MillaRed

    Not sure how Coach could have recovered from Yogi’s abysmal first half. It set the tone for the entire game.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree…if TC can not leverage this event into a couple commitments and/or serious interest in IU I would be surprised. The player development angle should have some real impact for Hoosier b-ball. Comments by Zeller and VO..and their potential ability to contact recruits should also be a plus.

  • Kenneth234

    The Bobcats have back to the basket players in Okafor, Mullins, and McRobets. He will more likely play at a 4 except when the Bobcats want to play much faster. In a smaller lineup they can play him with Byombo or Thomas with some perimeter players and beat almost anyone down the floor.

    Not to mention, there will be opportunity for him against some guys in the post, and that is where learning from Ewing will come into play. He can learn the skills that will help him take advantage of his size in those situations while also being able to use his other skills to take advantage of his foot speed against slower post players. Ideal situation in many ways, the question is, what is the Bobcats roster going to look like in a couple more seasons? Because this is a team that is going to have to move some players, and will also get some more lottery picks to add to what they are already building.

  • Kenneth234

    Very true, but I am not sure that the 2014 class is where we need to be shopping for a guy who is real high on recruiting boards. We have a deep team at most positions for next year and the season after. The only major question is at the Center position, and if Jurkin can turn into a player who can be a defensive role player by is Junior and Senior season, then it solves itself. 2015 will be the class where we need to start bringing in top rated players. Perhaps that is the class where we will have to replace another crop of NBA ready players from the Hoosiers.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Congrats to the Big Handsome and VO….was just trolling illini blogs and they seem so upset that Paul didn’t get drafted and VO went so high…..awwwweee don’t be mad 🙂

  • 5_Banners

    Look I hate Kentucky, too but Noel tore his ACL which is why he dropped to 6. If he was healthy, he would have been the #1 pick in the draft.

    I actually felt bad for the kid…it wasn’t his fault he dropped.

  • 5_Banners

    The dude is 19 years old of course he’s needs to bulk up. He was passed up because of his knee injury…and nothing else.

    He’s the #1 pick in the draft if not for the ACL injury.

  • Candy Striped Kid

    I am so happy for both Cody and Victor. These guys deserve it so much. I hope they have long NBA careers with plenty of championships and all-star nominations!

  • HoosierTrav

    I felt bad for the kid bc thats what he is….. A kid! He seems as though he is a soft spoken gentle giant too. I have no problem rooting for him to have a good career. I do, on the other hand, wonder how pissed off Calipari was that he slipped so far. I’m sure he feels like UK players are entitled to those top two spots.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Now THIS is what I was hoping to hear (er… I mean read). I know everyone and their father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate automatically classifies a 7 footer as a center, but honestly, I think we IU fans all realize that Zeller will better be utilized in the NBA as a power forward complimenting a true low-post guy.

    I know a lot of people have a low opinion of the Bobcats. Heck, I confess, I called them – possibly unfairly – the Charlotte “LOLCats” in another blog (I am not proud of this… but dammit, sometimes the jokes just write themselves). However, if their makeup suits Zeller’s game then it might just be an excellent place for him to be.

    We’ll see. Here’s to hoping he has a long career in front of him.

  • HoosierTrav

    Kobe and Lebron have worked with Hall of Fame centers to polish their weaknesses…..Its just to improve his low post game and make him more versatile. He’s going to need to be able to learn how to play down there and facing the basket. I think you are looking at it way too negatively. Ewing could hit some mid range jumpers as well. I dont think this can do anything than help Cody, working with a Hall of Fame NBA post player.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Well, yeah, I hear that too. But sometimes, franchises turn things around. In football, the Indianapolis Colts were mostly a running joke before 1. The incredible AFC championship game with Harbaugh coming just one completion short of going to the Super Bowl, and 2. Peyton Manning being drafted. And how many years before Reggie, Smits, Dale and Antonio Davis, etc. were the Pacers a laughingstock?

    I *never* want a player to land in a bad situation. But at the same time, some of those situations are opportunities in disguise. I don’t know what the case is with Charlotte – for all I know, they compare with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders for consistent ineptitude – but I can only hope that Zeller manages to find a good situation with a hopeful future in front of him.

  • HoosierTrav

    Noah and Troy have the ability to do the same thing. Keep building the resume CTC. If we land Exum, there is a possibility that he could go #1-3 in that draft. KEEP IT GOING!

  • HoosierTrav

    This is going to be huge for 2015-2017 five stars

  • HoosierTrav

    High School rankings mean NOTHING unless you want to work like Cody and Vic. Kids that are being recruited by Tom Crean need to realize that their dreams are achievable if they follow his model that he’s created and duplicated. I’m sold! Where do i sign?

  • Cehlerding

    Okafor plays for Washington now

  • lolman

    Why are so mad scoop?

  • Ole Man

    Old guy–I’m happy with our season after what we’ve experienced in the short past. But I believe we had the pieces to win it all. To me, the ‘Cuse loss is a copout.
    To analyze what we did, that didn’t work, in an effort to improve IS not critical; nor, is it assigning blame. There are some posters on these boards that think that Crean is the second coming of Christ.
    Personally, I think he’s a good coach, excellent recruiter, and a coach young enough to grow and get better at coaching certain parts of the game.
    Now what is wrong with that thought?

  • Ole Man

    We only have one open scholarship left for next year.

  • Ole Man

    Yes; some GMs are that stupid.