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

  • 01/08/2014 11:06 am in

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.

NBA: Preseason-Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Bobcats

(Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports)

· Cody Zeller, Charlotte Bobcats
Stats: 5.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists in 17.1 minutes per game

Notes: Zeller’s player efficiency rating is poor (8.95) and his shooting percentage is just 36.5. He’s still managed to stay in Charlotte’s rotation, serving as a backup for Josh McRoberts. The Bobcats have been a surprise team in the woeful Eastern Conference as they currently sit in seventh place at 15-21.

Best game: 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a 111-110 win over Milwaukee on Dec. 23. Zeller played 22 minutes.

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· Christian Watford, Hapoel Eilat (Israel)
Stats: 10.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.2 assists in 26.5 minutes per game

Notes: Watford is a starter for Hapoel Eilat, which is 7-7 and currently seventh in the Winner League. The former IU forward hasn’t shot the ball particularly well so far in Israel, as he’s just 15-of-44 from behind the 3-point line.

Best game: 21 points and four rebounds in a 91-75 loss to Hapoel Jerusalem on Oct. 28. Watford played 25 minutes.

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· Jordan Hulls, Energa Czarni (Poland)
Stats: 9.0 points, 3.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals in 22.3 minutes per game

Notes: At 8-5, Energa Czarni is currently fifth in its league. Hulls is the team’s starting point guard and he’s shooting 41.9 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Best game: 22 points and four assists in a 78-67 loss to AZS Koszalin on Dec. 8. Hulls played a team-high 31 minutes.

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· Derek Elston, Floriana (Malta)

Notes: The most recent update available on Elston is from December’s Times of Malta, which reported that he was named the MBA player of the month for the second straight month. According to the story, Elston “was an inspirational figure behind the Greens’ results, scoring 124 points and being the best scorer for November in the championship, also nailing four three-pointers in the process. The American player also had an average of 13.75 rebounds, 3.00 steals and 2.50 assists per game.”

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  • Rkeg

    Not surprised by CZ stats – needed one or maybe even 2 more years in college to be a ligit NBA player – but can’t blame the guy for running with the $$$$$

  • Candy Striped Kid

    Are the stats for Christian, Jordan, and Derek US customary or metric?

  • NC Hoosier

    Clearly Zeller made the right decision by going pro, as he was selected #4 overall. However, it doesn’t surprise me at all that he is struggling and coming off the bench. He may be a seven footer, but he plays much smaller. Don’t know why he constantly crouched down with the ball instead of playing big. His small arms don’t help matters.

  • Alex

    Derek Elston. Monster.

  • Dee McDonald

    I wish he would have been healthy enough to do that during his time at IU! He could have been a monster there too….

  • Candy Striped Kid

    Apparently, all Derek Elston needs is some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and he’s fine.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Awesome read and thanks for the updates. Wouldn’t mind some more updates/interviews with other former and retired players. Where are they now? type of content.

  • Richard Rubwright

    So basically Oladipo is the only one actually doing anything.

  • mk

    That is not really true (IMO). It is impressive to play basketball as a profession on any level, obviously most impressive to play in the NBA. I’m not sure of the odds on being a productive NBA player when you are born but I’m assuming they are outrageously low – that is just my opinion though.

  • mk

    google image searched “malta” and I have a feeling Elston doesnt mind waking up every day. Look at it like a year abroad after college in a beautiful country, but you are also getting paid

  • Spring_Break_87

    CZ has short arms, this is killing him and will for some time if not forever in the NBA where almost everyone has a wingspan longer than their height. I believe CW will return to the US to play in the NBA someday as he is sized right and his biggest problem is between his ears and not willing to realize he can be a star.

  • Spring_Break_87

    +1

  • SCHoosier

    Being expected to shoot layups at IU hasn’t helped his pro-game much either.

  • jack_j100

    Agreed, he needed at least one more year. He played incredibly soft after the Minn game last year. Teams began to mug him and it took him out what he done so successfully prior. But… I would have taken the money also.

  • Lance

    NBA $$$ has all but ruined college basketball. Even here at IU we paradoxically root for our best players to turn pro rather than stay and lift our program. Why? Tacitly, we admit money is most important, loyalty coming in farther back in the pack. That’s not the Indiana ethos I remember or respect.

    Speaking as long time fan (since Alford’s frosh days), I care about the IU team, not what NBA team our guys jump ship to cash in at. Sure, I want them to succeed and have happily-ever-after lives fading into the sunset, etc, but IU is my first concern, not some millionaire’s bank account.

    Who will speak up for the fans?

  • JethroTroll

    Watford isnt athletic enough to play the NBA 3, and not big enough to handle an NBA 4. The guy can shoot, but he’s got slow feet and he doesnt play above the rim. He’s a tweener, and he would have to become an absolute lights out shooter from behind the arc to make the NBA.

  • Hoosiers__1

    Exactly… instead of working on his jump shooting, he just lowered his shoulder and tried to get an easy layup. That can work against smaller college players, but not so well in the NBA. I don’t know if the coaches told him to do that or what, but it would’ve been nice to see more jump shots from him.

  • JethroTroll

    ?
    NBA money has always been there, thus it has always been a draw to the elite players. You mentioned Alford, but IU, and other programs, had to deal with premature entries to the draft before then. Isaiah left after 2 years. Magic Johnson after just 2 at MSU. Jordan after 3 at UNC. This isnt a new problem, though I would agree that leaving early has become more prevalent over the last 10 years or so.
    The game is still in good shape. You just have to accept that nothing stays the same forever, for better or worse.

  • Hoosiers__1

    Anybody know the salaries for either Jordy, CWat, or Elston?

  • ILive4IUBball

    It’s an island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Who wouldn’t love it?

  • mk

    the get low thing is something that coaches talk about when he was driving against other bigs – being able to turn the corner. Dakich is slways talking about “getting low” on his telecasts. I believe the coaches thought that Cody’s ability to drive would be a mismatch against other bigs – while that may be true I thought we would have been better served playing him more traditionally, dumping it in the post or using his jumper in the high post. Not having him run the dribble drive against other bigs even if it was a mismatch.

  • JethroTroll

    Why dont you ask them?

  • Candy Striped Kid

    if you are on twitter… follow these guys @ProBallHoosiers they tweet each game stats for all hoosiers in the pros. even guys like earl the pearl calloway and jeff newton

  • Lance

    You bring up some good points: Isaiah left after 2 years and a banner. However, he had family reasons to head for the money (less than VO or CZ were offered, mind
    you), and there’s a strong case to be made that he had nothing else to gain from Indiana basketball. (FWIW, Isaiah was a pretty rare bird, and we haven’t seen the likes of him since, and probably never will.)

    Even still, my point is he would have made IU an even better team had he stayed–which is what I’m interested in.

    I can’t think of anybody else leaving early that we can point to and say “that was good move.” AJ Guyton? Jay Edwards? Anybody?

    Also note the MJ tenure at NC. Arguably the best player in bball history stays in college for 3, while CZ was persuaded to leave after 2.

    But had VO and CZ stayed, what’s the gain for them and Indiana? We’re a top 3 team, possibly a banner in the rafters–and their draft stock rises even higher, especially Cody’s. Imagine his projection after this season. He would likely be a consensus All-American and nearly a lock on the #1 pick in the draft. AND Indiana would be a better program for it. AND he’d have even more
    money at the end of it all.

    Instead, money trumps all at IU basketball and we encourage players to think this way. I’m aware of the risk of injury, but my point is that premature departures aren’t serving Indiana’s interest, and this tendency is accelerating of late, as you note, and this drains my team of talent, relegating us to seasons like the present one we’re enduring.

    In short, the game is not in good shape, as noted by CZ’s stat line and our 0-2 start in the B1G.

  • Outoftheloop

    They are all “doing something”, living their dream, getting paid to play basketball! So what is your job?

  • Eric Sir

    Kirk Haston also is a big one. If we had him vs. Maryland, we would have 6 banners and he would always have a National Championship. Instead, he left for $ and played in 29 total games.

  • Outoftheloop

    So that he can use his speed and athletic ability! At some point this season Cody will have a breakout game: 18-20 pts, 10-12 rebounds, and some freakish steals and run-outs. The Bobcat/Hornet Coaches will really start to use his talents (Josh McRoberts is not going to help to lead any team into the play-offs). Cody will have a 15 year career in the NBA and be a leader on a playoff team. The Pacers could use him today to come off the bench for West and add some offense, and then replace West when he calls it quits..

  • Outoftheloop

    This is a joke right? You don’t think that Cody Zeller worked on his jump shooting EVERY DAY while at IU? Maybe YOU were not there to see it, but he did the work! He has played less than 1/2 of an NBA season, he will play 15 full seasons before it is all done. The one thing that you know about Cody and Victor is that they will be better next month… and better the following month…etc. It is called great work ethic. So should the Pacers have “fired” Hibbert after his poor first year? Of course not. Some people have a brain and see more than last night’s box score.

  • Outoftheloop

    Actually NBA money has NOT always been there, just ask Oscar Robertson!

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Who was rooting for our players to leave?

  • Ole Man

    Sounds like Elston has found himself a home where his game is growing. Great news as he was one of my favorites.
    Also, unless Cody gets out of Charlotte, he may never progress. That organization is so inept.

  • Ole Man

    He wasn’t getting that much better playing here. So, I’m not sure how one or two more years in IU’s system would have helped him.
    Just an opinion.

  • b_side

    Oladipo and Zeller wouldn’t crack the top 5 in 2014. Their games would be scouted even tighter by opposing coaches and NBA personnel. The more sample of games they have to work with, the more time they can break down the game and start limiting the ceiling of “potential” (that ugly word that dictates the draft).

    The 2014 class is looked at as the deepest in years and heavy on top tier talent. Wiggins, Parker and Aaron Gordon would all be drafted ahead of Vic/Cody based purely on potential. That’s the reality because when it comes to the draft, it’s all about showing your game without showing too many holes to nitpick.

    Jared Jeffries left early, and in my opinion, at the right time. He led us to the national championship and his stock would never have been higher.

    As far as who will speak up for the fans…well, stop watching college basketball. As long as we continue to watch the current product, networks will pay billions for the rights. Perhaps NBA owners or the Players Union will indirectly speak up for us by instituting a further requirement of 2 or 3 years minimum in college.

  • b_side

    And had Haston injured himself that senior year like he did in the NBA, he never would have received a dime. Two sides to every story. Can’t blame a player for maximizing the economic opportunity.

  • Hoosiers__1

    Alright… I call them right them up. I forgot I had all their numbers haha.

  • b_side

    Cody wouldn’t see the floor for the Pacers. Luis Scola is one of the best backup PFs in the league.

  • Hoosiers__1

    I was just talking about during gameplay. I’m sure you’re right in that he worked on his jump shot in practice, but I wish he displayed more of that in games.

  • Eric Sir

    What happened to him?

  • Lance

    Conventional wisdom around these parts last April was that VO and CZ would be better off leaving–mainly because of money and draft stock not rising any higher. It was generally agreed that these values trumped an interest in Indiana basketball.

    Of course, we’ll never know what a national title (and the mental toughness and experience it brought them) would have done for their game and draft position. A seven footer with a national title would probably have gone #1.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    That’s not “rooting” for them to leave

  • Lance

    Well it sure isn’t encouraging them to stay. It’s adding to their incentive to leave.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree that both were right to go $$$ wise. 2013 was both player’s best chance to be a top 5 pick and it worked. Also, as a practical matter, VO will likely develop into a STAR in the league, regardless of coming out in ’13. CZ will never be a star in the league, regardless of coming out in ’13. So ultimately, good decisions all around.
    But wouldn’t it have been fun to see CZ play next to NV?

  • b_side

    Oh man, I’d love it. Perfect complements to one another. And I think many of us (me included) expected Cody to stay for 3 years and get his biz degree. But the reports from GMs were strong enough to keep his name in the draft as a lottery pick. His ability to climb into the top 5 was likely all a result of his impressive workouts (agility, athleticism, etc).

  • IUBizmark

    Derek Elston = The Michael Jordan of Malta

  • calbert40

    I understand the sentiment, but look at it from an inward perspective instead of an outward perspective. If another employer offered you $20 million guaranteed regardless of your job performance, would you turn it down to stay with your current employer, because it would make that company better? No, and no one would expect you to stay either. People would call you “stupid,” if you stayed.

    You may not care about “some millionaire’s bank account,” but if you were the one with millions and millions of dollars staring you in the face, I think you’d probably take the money and run. I know I would, and if I had a son in that position, I would advise him to do the same.

    The NBA hasn’t done college basketball any favors, but I don’t think the money, or the leaving early, is going to change any time soon, unfortunately.

  • marcusgresham

    Don’t forget, Haston lost family in a tornado so he had to support himself. Hard to begrudge the guy.

  • marcusgresham

    Icarus

  • marcusgresham

    The Maltese Falcon!

  • SCHoosier

    DE has dropped some weight..new hair cut and become a star. Better bolt the door and hide the ladies in Malta:)

  • Lance

    Agree with your perspective, and don’t necessarily mean to say I’m holier than thou. I understand the pull of money in our society and have made my share of decisions based on it, some of which I have regretted. My point is we’re a worse team (and society, IMO) for it.