Indiana Hoosiers in the NBA

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

How is the Indiana program currently performing in the NBA?

Indiana is a program that really struggled to send anyone to the NBA for a number of years in the latter half of the 90s and early part of the 2000s. However, in recent years - that has started to turn around. The turnaround was cemented last year when Victor Oladipo went #2 and Cody Zeller went #4 - both drafted before anyone from vaunted Kentucky. The recent tradition looks like it will continue this year with Noah Vonleh expected to be a Top 10 pick and could actually rise into the Top 5 if his workouts go well. With the NBA Draft rapidly approaching, it seemed like a good time to take a look at how the Indiana program is currently doing in the NBA.

Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic)

Minutes

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Steals

Turnovers

31.1 (4th)

13.8 (4th)

4.1 (6th)

4.1 (2nd)

1.6 (1st)

3.2 (last)

It was mostly a memorable year for Oladipo, who is widely expected to finish runner up to Michael Carter-Williams of the 76ers in rookie of the year voting. He recorded one triple double and seven double doubles throughout the year and scored 30+ points on two occasions with a season high 35 against the Chicago Bulls on January 15th. He almost recorded a triple double in that game as well - unfortunately one of the categories in question was turnovers in which he had eight. If there would two areas to really point out as weaknesses for Oladipo in year one - it would be turnovers and shooting percentage. He finished dead last on the team in turnovers per game and finished in the bottom half in shooting percentage which is not good for a guy playing shooting guard. However, a lot of this can be attributed to a rookie learning his way through a year in the league. He played a lot of minutes for a rookie and took advantage with several highlight reel dunks like the following:

While the team certainly struggled to a 23-59 record, the fans have to be pretty excited about what Oladipo could bring in future years. One thing that is never going to change is Victor's work ethic and everyone that knows him knows he will be that much better next season.

Cody Zeller ( Charlotte Bobcats)

Minutes

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Steals

Turnovers

17.3 (11th)

6.0 (11th)

4.3 (5th)

1.1 (9th)

.49 (11th)

1.1 (5th worst)

Cody was put in a bit of a difficult situation right from the get go as he was loudly booed on draft night when the Bobcats took him instead of Nerlens Noel from Kentucky (who sat out the entire season with a knee injury). However, I think he quickly won over Bobcat fans with this hilarious NBA Rookie video of Zeller being Zeller:

Zeller was put into a much different role in Charlotte compared to Oladipo in Orlando as he played behind Josh McRoberts which limited his playing time for most of the year. His best game of the year came on April 5th against the Cleveland Cavaliers where he played 37 minutes and went for 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. His highest point total of the year was 15 against the Washington Wizards on March 31st. The Bobcats did make it to the post season, so Zeller's season is not yet over as they currently trail the Miami Heat 0-1 in the first round. He scored 4 points in 11 minutes against the Heat in Game 1. Traditionally, big men take longer to develop in the NBA and Zeller clearly started to play better basketball down the stretch which is good news heading into next year for Bobcats fans. While being the #4 pick in the draft means there is a lot to live up to, I think most are still confident Zeller will pan out as a very serviceable NBA player over the years.

Eric Gordon (New Orleans Pelicans)

Minutes

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Steals

Turnovers

32.1 (4th)

15.4 (3rd)

2.6 (12th)

3.3 (3rd)

1.16 (4th)

2.1 (3rd worst)

Gordon completed his sixth NBA season and it ended in similar fashion to most of his other seasons with the Pelicans - in injury. Since joining the Pelicans in 2011-2012, he has played 9, 42, and 64 games. His latest knee injury may end up costing him his starting job heading into next year as Tyreke Evans really blossomed with Gordon out of the lineup. He did hit a career high 39.1% from the three point line this year, so he does still have some relevance to a Pelicans team currently led by big man Anthony Davis. If Davis continues to draw defenders down low - Gordon could certainly benefit, whether it be in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. Eric is only 25 years old, so his career is nowhere near over, but I have a feeling he will be taking on a different role going forward no matter what team he plays for and that might be best for his knees. He will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this offseason and hopes to be back healthy to start the year next season.

D.J. White (Charlotte Bobcats)

White was out of the NBA for most of the season, but the Bobcats signed him to a ten day contract on March 21st and saw enough from him to sign him to another ten day contract on March 31st and then finally just signed him for the remainder of the season which will finish in the playoffs. He has only play 5 minutes during the span and has recorded two rebounds and a steal. This was White's seventh consecutive year playing at least a game in the NBA. His best season was 2011-2012, also with the Bobcats, where he played in 58 games and started 11 of them while averaging 6.8 points per game. While he has certainly reached the twilight of his NBA career, it is likely White will continue to play basketball overseas for a number of years still.

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