Hoosiers In The NBA: Gordon’s Success As A Sixth Man

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Stat Comparison: Gordon As A Starter Vs Gordon As A Reserve

When James Harden moved to point guard, the idea of starting him along with Eric Gordon became a very intriguing idea from an offensive standpoint. However, with both players being less than stellar defenders it made more sense to have a plus defender start alongside Harden.

With Patrick Beverly finally healthy and Gordon fully entrenched in his role as sixth man, I wanted to compare Gordon’s performance as a starter to his performance off the bench:

Gordon as a starter: 15.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 39.6% FG, 36.1% 3FG, 32.3 minutes (8 games)

Gordon off the bench: 16.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 43.3% FG, 40.7% 3FG, 30.6 minutes (10 games)

One of the first things that stands out is that while Gordon’s statistical numbers are similar in both roles, the Houston Rockets have a much better record when Gordon comes off the bench, going 7-3 in those games compared to just 4-4 in games where Gordon starts.

Gordon has also had his best games this season when playing the role of sixth man, as four of his five 20+ point games have come in games he hasn’t started.

At the end of the day, the Rockets’ success will be tied to how well Harden plays, but it’s worth noting that Gordon is turning into a big asset for the Rockets as a secondary scorer coming off the bench.


Williams’s Chance To Start

The Memphis Grizzlies went through an injury apocalypse last season and this season isn’t starting off any better as the recent injury to Mike Conley is yet another blow to a promising team that is already without some key players.

For Troy Williams it’s somewhat bittersweet as two of those injured teammates are the players ahead of him on the depth chart (Chandler Parsons and James Ennis). As a result, Williams has been given the opportunity to start the past two games and will likely get a few more starts before one or both return in the next week or two.

During his second career start and first since November 1st, Williams played a huge role in helping the Grizzlies beat the Miami Heat as he scored a career-high 18 points, including two clutch three-pointers in the fourth quarter that put the Grizzlies ahead.

While he’ll likely be relegated back to the bench soon, there’s a lot of hope that his performance these few starts will give him the confidence to make a bigger impact when comes off the bench in the future.


Eric Gordon: Guard, Houston Rockets:

Season Averages:

16.0ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.4apg, 0.72spg, 0.50bpg, 1.9tpg, 2.2fpg, 41.7% FG, 38.7% 3FG, 82.5% FT, 31.4mpg (18 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Oklahoma City (L 105-103): 13 points (5-20 FG), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, block, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 39 minutes.

vs Portland (W 126-109): 16 points (6-15 FG)(2-3 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 24 minutes.

vs Utah (W 111-102): 20 points (7-16 FG)(2-2 FT), 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 37 minutes.

@ Detroit (W 99-96): 0 points (0-5 FG), rebound, 2 assists, steal, block, 2 turnovers, personal foul, 29 minutes.

vs Toronto (L 115-102): 9 points (4-13 FG), rebound, 2 assists, steal, block, 4 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 28 minutes.

@ Sacramento (W 117-104): 14 points (5-13 FG), 2 rebounds, assist, steal, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 29 minutes.

@ Portland (W 130-114): 26 points (9-15 FG)(2-3 FT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, steal, turnover, personal foul, 30 minutes.

@ Utah (L 120-101): 24 points (8-17 FG)(4-5 FT), 2 rebounds, assist, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 32 minutes.


Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell: Guard, Brooklyn Nets:

Season Averages:

5.8ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.9apg, 0.22spg, 0.22bpg, 1.6tpg, 1.2fpg, 35.4% FG, 29.6% 3FG, 62.5% FT, 16.6mpg (9 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Oklahoma City (L 124-105): 6 points (1-5 FG)(4-4 FT), 4 rebounds, assist, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 19 minutes.

vs Portland (L 129-109): 0 points (0-3 FG), assist, 12 minutes.

vs Boston (L 111-92): 0 points (0-3 FG), rebound, 8 minutes.

@ Indiana (L 118-97): 10 points (3-9 FG)(2-4 FT), 2 rebounds, steal, 3 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 21 minutes.

vs Sacramento (L 122-105): 5 points (2-6 FG), rebound, assist, block, 2 turnovers, personal foul, 17 minutes.

vs Los Angeles Clippers (W 127-122): DNP – coach’s decision


Victor Oladipo: Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder:

Season Averages:

16.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.00spg, 0.37bpg, 1.7tpg, 1.9fpg, 46.0% FG, 40.2% 3FG, 67.4% FT, 34.6mpg (19 games)

Recent Game Logs:

vs Houston (W 105-103): 29 points (12-18 FG), 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 4 personal fouls, 40 minutes.

vs Brooklyn (W 124-105): 26 points (11-17 FG)(1-1 FT), 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 turnovers, 4 personal fouls, 36 minutes.

vs Indiana (L 115-111): 14 points (6-14 FG), 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 38 minutes.

@ Los Angeles Lakers (L 111-109): 14 points (6-13 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, block, 3 turnovers, personal foul, 39 minutes.

@ Sacramento (L 116-101): 18 points (7-15 FG)(1-2 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 36 minutes.

@ Denver (W 132-129): 26 points (11-19 FG)(2-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, turnover, personal foul, 42 minutes.

vs Detroit (W 106-88): 18 points (6-10 FG)(3-6 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, 2 personal fouls, 33 minutes.

@ New York (W 112-103): 8 points (4-11 FG), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, steal, block, 2 personal fouls, 31 minutes.


Noah Vonleh: Forward, Portland Trail Blazers:

Season Averages:

3.1ppg, 3.4rpg, 0.1apg, 0.27spg, 0.47bpg, 0.9tpg, 1.5fpg, 35.6% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 88.9% FT, 11.7mpg (15 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Houston (L 126-109): 9 points (3-5 FG)(2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 16 minutes.

@ New Orleans (L 113-101): 0 points (0-1 FG), 6 rebounds, turnover, 4 personal fouls, 16 minutes.

@ Brooklyn (W 129-109): 2 points (1-1 FG), 3 rebounds, steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 6 personal fouls, 15 minutes.

@ New York (L 107-103): 2 points (0-0 FG)(2-2 FT), 2 rebounds, block, 2 turnovers, 6 minutes.

@ Cleveland (L 137-125): 0 points (0-2 FG), 5 rebounds, turnover, personal foul, 14 minutes.

vs New Orleans (W119-104): 0 points (0-2 FG), rebound, assist, steal, 5 minutes.

vs Houston (L 130-114): DNP – coach’s decision


Troy Williams: Forward, Memphis Grizzlies:

Season Averages:

4.8ppg, 1.1rpg, 0.7apg, 0.58spg, 0.17bpg, 0.7tpg, 1.3fpg, 48.8% FG, 30.8% 3FG, 55.0% FT, 12.8mpg (12 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Los Angeles Clippers (W 111-107): 2 points (1-1 FG), assist, steal, personal foul, 9 minutes.

@ Dallas (W 80-64): 0 points (0-0 FG), turnover, 2 minutes.

vs Minnesota (W 93-71): 2 points (1-1 FG), personal foul, 2 minutes.

@ Charlotte (W 105-90): 0 points (0-1 FG), 4 minutes.

@ Philadelphia (W 104-99): DNP – coach’s decision

vs Miami (L 90-81): 9 points (4-8 FG)(0-2 FT), 6 rebounds, steal, block, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 20 minutes.

@ Miami (W 110-107): 18 points (6-12 FG)(4-6 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 35 minutes.

vs Charlotte (L 104-85): 9 points (4-9 FG)(1-3 FT), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, personal foul, 31 minutes.


Cody Zeller: Forward, Charlotte Hornets:

Season Averages:

11.1ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.3apg, 0.53spg, 1.07bpg, 0.8tpg, 3.3fpg, 60.2% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 61.8% FT, 23.6mpg (15 games)

Recent Game Logs:

vs Atlanta (W 100-96): 23 points (9-10 FG)(5-7 FT), 3 rebounds, assist, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 3 turnovers, 5 personal fouls, 31 minutes.

@ New Orleans (L 121-116): DNP – injury

vs Memphis (L 105-90): DNP – injury

vs San Antonio (L 119-114): DNP – injury

@ New York (L 113-111): 15 points (7-10 FG)(1-4 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 23 minutes.

vs New York (W 107-102): 11 points (2-7 FG)(7-12 FT), 10 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, 2 blocks, 5 personal fouls, 25 minutes.

@ Memphis (W 104-85): 3 points (1-3 FG)(1-2 FT), 8 rebounds, assist, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 21 minutes.

vs Detroit (L 112-89): 8 points (4-6 FG), 10 rebounds, steal, block, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 28 minutes.

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Three Things The Hoosiers Can Learn From Their Upset Loss In Fort Wayne

Eleven days after the Indiana Hoosiers upset the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime, the Hoosiers found themselves getting upset by the Fort Wayne Mastodons 71-68 in overtime.

While some might argue that Tuesday’s loss negates the impact of that classic opening night victory, I actually think this could be a positive building block for a team that should still have the same aspirations as they did coming into this game. The key will be whether or not the Hoosiers learn from the mistakes that cost them their first loss of the season.

Here are three things the Hoosiers can learn from this loss to become even better later on in the season:

  1. Be less reliant on the three-pointer: Success from behind the three-point line has been a huge factor for several years in determining whether the Hoosiers won or lost. Yet it feels like this year’s team is even more reliant. Look no further than the first four minutes of the game where five of the first six IU shots where from deep. Indiana went 1 for 5 and fell behind 13-3. A similar thing happened at the beginning of the Kansas game when IU’s first eight shots were from deep. The difference then was that the Hoosiers went 4 of 8 on those shots. No team in the country is as lethal from behind the arc, but that can’t be your whole offense. Expect to see the Hoosiers run an offense more like the one shown in the second half where the ball always went through the post, whether it was a long-range jumper or not.
  2. Become more consistent from the free throw line: Granted the Hoosiers have already made a couple of clutch free throws so far this season, but the foul shooting as a whole really needs to improve. Indiana was already shooting a lackluster 70.4% (57 of 81) from the charity stripe before shooting 57.9% (11 of 19) against the Mastrodons. While Bryant’s two free throws at the end of regulation sent the game to overtime, the game was lost in part to missing the front-end of two one-and-ones in the extra period. Practice is the only way to get better, and considering the shooting talent on this roster, this team has the potential to be close to automatic from the free throw line.
  3. Take better care of the ball/adjust to the pace: In addition to three-point shooting, another staple of recent Indiana teams is the breakneck pace. However, going at a such a fast pace has made the Hoosiers very susceptible to committing turnovers either because they are going too fast or they become too impatient when the opponent slows down the tempo. It’s the second one that hurts the most as the turnovers are compounded by the fact that the other team is limiting the number of possessions in the game. Being able to adjust to a slower pace and limiting mistakes have been an key attributes of recent successful Hoosier teams (2013 and 2016) and will need to be a key attribute for this team if Indiana wants to reach its potential.

The New And Improved James Blackmon Jr. And Three Other Observations From Indiana’s Blowout Win Over UMass-Lowell

After coming off an emotional high of beating the Kansas Jayhawks in Hawaii to start the 2016-2017 season, the Indiana Hoosiers took care of business in their home-opener by defeating the UMass-Lowell River Hawks 100-78.

It was evident early in the game that the aftereffects of the overtime thriller as well as the jetlag of traveling five time zones had caused the Hoosiers to start relatively sluggish, clinging to a 16-16 tie by the under-12 media timeout. Yet the hero from the Armed Forces Classic came alive yet again as James Blackmon Jr. had 15 of his game-high 23 points during the final 11:30 of the first half to help the Hoosiers seize control of the game as they took a 53-36 lead into halftime and never looked back.

“I think there’s a confidence when they look at him”, said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean about the impact Blackmon makes on the offense.

Coach Crean also talked about the fact that Blackmon made himself become physically stronger while returning from his injury and how it has improved his game.

“James is a lot more explosive than what he was. He could always dunk and things like that but he’s playing with more force. He’s playing downhill more. He’s covering more ground.”

His new strength combined with an iron-willed determination to make up for all the time he lost last season, points to this likely being the norm we’ll see from Blackmon Jr. this season. It wouldn’t surprise me if he eventually steps into Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell’s shoes and becomes the Hoosiers undisputed leader.

However that wasn’t the only thing I noticed during my first trip to Assembly Hall this season. Here are three others:

  1. Last Saturday it was Curtis Jones’ 15 points (including some big shots in overtime) that stood out from Indiana’s freshman class. Wednesday was Devonte Green’s time to shine as he finished with six points (two of which resulted in an explosive one-handed dunk) and four steals, which makes him the first Hoosier to have that many steals in a game since Blackmon Jr. did it against Alcorn State during the beginning of last season. It’s starting to look like this freshman class could play an integral part in the Hoosiers’ success.
  2. De’Ron Davis had some clutch free throws late against Kansas, but against UMass-Lowell he scored eight points and it was how he scored those four baskets that’s important. Each came on a variety of post moves where he took his defender one-on-one and beat him to the bucket. If Davis is able to do this on a nightly basis, it would make an already potent offense even more dangerous for opponents.
  3. While it would be great to see more Davis post-ups, I’d similarly like to see Thomas Bryant take more three-point shots when they are given to him. Bryant showed off his range in small quantities last year before hitting two big ones in the early minutes of the Kansas game. He has a great stroke, but on numerous occasions he was given up a wide-open look because he either hesitated until a defender closed in on him or he passed it to another open teammate. I understand why he’s not taking these shots (play decoy and cause the defense to scramble), but sooner or later teams will dare him to shoot and I know he has the ability to make those teams pay if he actually takes those shots.

 

Hoosiers In The NBA: Ferrell’s First Week With The Nets

NOTE: Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Hoosiers In The NBA! Please try to spread the word by liking it on Facebook or retweeting this on Twitter if you enjoyed it. Of course this is completely optional but it is greatly appreciated. Otherwise I hope you enjoy this latest edition and for more coverage follow me on twitter at @QTipsForSports or just look for the hashtag #HoosiersInTheNBA:


Ferrell Impresses During First Week In The NBA

With both of their point guards injured, the Brooklyn Nets looked to their D-League affiliate to find a fill-in point guard. Thus the NBA career of Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell began.

Now a member of the 15-man roster, Ferrell had a strong first week in the Association. What was most impressive was the fact that he performed very well in aspects of the game that many scouts feared he would struggle. The biggest worry was that due to his size he wouldn’t be able to create his own shot. However, Ferrell has shot 11 of 22 (50%) from the floor and has adapted well to the NBA three-point line, hitting 5 of 11 (45.5%) from deep.

Another question was if Ferrell could actually play the role of ball-handler or would he just become an off-ball shooter. Ferrell has answered that by posting a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, quite possibly the most important point guard stat.

It’s unknown how much playing time Ferrell will continue to get when injured point guards Jeremy Lin and Isaiah Whitehead are back at 100%, but Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson seems to like what he has seen from Ferrell and may find a way to keep Yogi in the rotation.


Oladipo’s Shift In Statistics

I think everyone expected Victor Oladipo’s stats to change quite a bit this season. After all, he’s on a new team that would use him differently based on the pre-existing personnel. Yet the specific stats that have changed are very intriguing.

The biggest statistical difference is in his three-point shooting. This was somewhat expected, as the attention opposing defenses place on Russell Westbrook would undoubtedly lead to more open three-point opportunities. Yet Oladipo is not only shooting better from deep, but he’s also taking quite a few more as well. During his three years with the Orlando Magic, Oladipo averaged 3.4 three-point shot attempts per game and made 33.9% of those attempts. So far this season, Oladipo is taking 5.1 three-point shots per game and is hitting on 37.5% of those shots.

For as much progress as Oladipo has made on his outside shooting, being parked on the perimeter and playing off-ball has caused a small dip in rebounds and a drastic drop in assists. After averaging four of each during his time in Orlando, he’s only averaging 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in Oklahoma City.

Yet the biggest surprise is the one number that hasn’t moved at all: his overall scoring. With Kevin Durant gone, there seemed to be plenty of points available for Oladipo to possibly approach 20 per game. Instead, Oladipo has only scored 20 or more points in three of his 11 games and has also scored single-digit points in two of those games. Of course the season is still early, but so far we’ve seen Oladipo become more of a three-point specialist than a potential All-Star.


Eric Gordon: Guard, Houston Rockets:

Season Averages:

16.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.0apg, 0.70spg, 0.60bpg, 1.9tpg, 2.4fpg, 44.4% FG, 41.9% 3FG, 85.2% FT, 31.7mpg (10 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ New York (W 118-99): 21 points (6-11 FG)(5-6 FT), 3 rebounds, assist, steal, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 29 minutes.

@ Atlanta (L 112-97): 9 points (3-11 FG)(3-4 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 30 minutes.

@ Washington (W 114-106): 11 points (4-10 FG), rebound, 2 assists, steal, block, 2 turnovers, personal foul, 32 minutes.

@ San Antonio (W 101-99): 15 points (5-14 FG)(3-3 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, block, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 34 minutes.

vs San Antonio (L 106-100): 27 points (10-16 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, block, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 32 minutes.

vs Philadelphia (W 115-88): 16 points (6-12 FG), rebound, assist, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 27 minutes.


Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell: Guard, Brooklyn Nets:

Season Averages:

7.8ppg, 1.0rpg, 3.5apg, 0.25spg, 0.25bpg, 1.8tpg, 1.5fpg, 50.0% FG, 45.5% 3FG, 50.0% FT, 18.0mpg (4 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ New York (L 110-96): 5 points (2-3 FG), rebound, 3 assists, steal, 3 turnovers, 14 minutes.

@ Phoenix (W 122-104): 2 points (1-3 FG), rebound, 2 assists, block, personal foul, 13 minutes.

@ Los Angeles Clippers (L 127-95): 13 points (5-11 FG)(1-4 FT), rebound, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, 26 minutes.

@ Los Angeles Lakers (L 125-118): 11 points (3-5 FG)(4-4 FT), rebound, 4 assists, turnover, 5 personal fouls, 19 minutes.


Victor Oladipo: Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder:

Season Averages:

15.2ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.5apg, 0.64spg, 0.27bpg, 1.5tpg, 1.6fpg, 40.0% FG, 37.5% 3FG, 68.8% FT, 33.0mpg (11 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Los Angeles Clippers (W 85-83): 9 points (3-11 FG)(2-3 FT), 5 rebounds, assist, 2 personal fouls, 33 minutes.

@ Golden State (L 122-96): 21 points (8-13 FG)(1-4 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 personal fouls, 30 minutes.

vs Minnesota (W 112-92): 12 points (5-9 FG)(1-3 FT), 3 rebounds, assist, steal, turnover, 31 minutes.

vs Miami (W 97-85): 17 points (6-9 FG)(4-4 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, turnover, personal foul, 33 minutes.

vs Toronto (L 112-102): 18 points (6-16 FG)(1-1 FT), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 36 minutes.

vs Los Angeles Clippers (L 110-108): 18 points (6-18 FG)(2-3 FT), 2 rebounds, assist, 3 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 38 minutes.

vs Orlando (L 119-117): 12 points (6-9 FG), rebound, 2 assists, steal, turnover, 31 minutes.

@ Detroit (L 104-88): 9 points (4-17 FG)(0-1 FT), 2 rebounds, assist, block, personal foul, 23 minutes.


Noah Vonleh: Forward, Portland Trail Blazers:

Season Averages:

3.7ppg, 3.4rpg, 0.1apg, 0.22spg, 0.22bpg, 0.8tpg, 1.2fpg, 35.3% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 80.0% FT, 11.6mpg (9 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Phoenix (L 118-115): DNP – coach’s decision

@ Dallas (W 105-95): DNP – coach’s decision

@ Memphis (W 100-94): 0 points (0-0 FG), rebound, 3 minutes.

vs Phoenix (W 124-121): 5 points (2-8 FG), 8 rebounds, steal, block, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 15 minutes.

@ Los Angeles Clippers (L 111-80): 5 points (2-8 FG), 11 rebounds, assist, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 26 minutes.

vs Sacramento (W 122-120): DNP – coach’s decision

vs Denver (W 112-105): 0 points (0-0 FG), turnover, 2 personal fouls, 5 minutes.

vs Chicago (L 113-88): 0 points (0-3 FG), 5 rebounds, turnover, personal foul, 10 minutes.


Troy Williams: Forward, Memphis Grizzlies:

Season Averages:

3.4ppg, 0.4rpg, 0.4apg, 0.60spg, 0.20bpg, 0.6tpg, 1.4fpg, 45.5% FG, 25.0% 3FG, 66.7% FT, 10.0mpg (5 games)

Recent Game Logs:

vs New Orleans (W 89-83): DNP – coach’s decision

vs Los Angeles Clippers (L 99-88): 0 points (0-0 FG), 2 personal fouls, 6 minutes.

vs Portland (L 100-94): DNP – coach’s decision

vs Denver (W 108-107): 0 points (0-2 FG), personal foul, 4 minutes.

@ Milwaukee (L 106-96): DNP – coach’s decision

@ Utah (W 102-96): DNP – coach’s decision


Cody Zeller: Forward, Charlotte Hornets:

Season Averages:

10.6ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.3apg, 0.40spg, 1.00bpg, 0.5tpg, 3.2fpg, 58.2% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 65.1% FT, 22.6mpg (10 games)

Recent Game Logs:

vs Philadelphia (W 109-93): 13 points (5-7 FG)(3-6 FT), rebound, block, 5 personal fouls, 26 minutes.

@ Brooklyn (W 99-95): 10 points (3-7 FG)(4-5 FT), 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, block, 5 personal fouls, 21 minutes.

vs Indiana (W 122-100): 13 points (5-7 FG)(3-3 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 personal fouls, 23 minutes.

vs Utah (W 104-98): 12 points (4-7 FG)(4-8 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, block, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 27 minutes.

vs Toronto (L 113-111): 12 points (5-8 FG)(2-4 FT), 7 rebounds, block, personal foul, 26 minutes.

@ Cleveland (L 100-93): 0 points (0-4 FG), 4 rebounds, assist, turnover, 4 personal fouls, 14 minutes.

@ Minnesota (W 115-108): 14 points (6-9 FG)(2-2 FT), 9 rebounds, assist, block, 2 personal fouls, 31 minutes.

Five Takeaways From Indiana’s Big Win Against Kansas

The #11 Indiana Hoosiers started the 2016-2017 season off with a bang as they outlasted the #3 Kansas Jayhawks 103-99 in the Armed Forces Classic.

For many, including myself, it was the first time they got to see this new version of the Hoosiers. So with that in mind, let me give five observations, based off of last night’s game, about what the season has in store for this season’s Hoosiers:

  1. Blackmon Is Not Only Back, But Will Fill The Yogi Role Of “Mr. Big Shot”: It’s so great to have James Blackmon Jr. back, as his shooting and scoring turn this offense into something special (see observation number five). Yet, the most important fact to come out of last night’s win was that Blackmon looks ready to carry the team in crunch time and take over Yogi Ferrell’s role of “Mr. Big Shot”. Blackmon has always had a knack for hitting big shots but his confidence and demeanor last night were something we have never seen from him before. He was an assassin who continuously made big three-pointers, driving layups, and critical free throws. If he stays healthy, we might be in for a special season from Blackmon.
  2. Bryant Is The New Captain: Ever since he came to campus last year, Thomas Bryant has been one of the most passionate Hoosiers, but with Yogi Ferrell gone, I think we can finally call Bryant the “heart and soul” of Indiana Basketball. While Blackmon did take over down the stretch, there was plenty of evidence to suggest this is Bryant’s team. Bryant played whatever role was needed, whether it was scorer in the first half or glass-eater in the second half. Perhaps most telling was that Head Coach Tom Crean continuously played Bryant in the first half even after he recorded his second foul, something Crean only usually did for Ferrell.
  3. Jones Could Be The Spark Plug Off The Bench: On a night where the world expected to see #2 ranked freshman Josh Jackson of Kansas begin what should be his only season as a Jayhawk before he gets picked in next year’s NBA lottery, it was Indiana’s freshman Curtis Jones that stole the show with 15 points off the bench, including seven crucial points in overtime. Jones provided instant offense not only in overtime but also in the first half when he scored his other eight points. Jones also showed he wasn’t afraid of the big moment as he scored the final four points of the game for the Hoosiers.
  4. Morgan Has A Legit Shot At Having IU’s First Triple-Double In Over 40 Years: The last and only Hoosier to record a triple-double was Steve Downing. In his sophomore season, Downing put up 28 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 blocks against Michigan. While I am in no way saying that Juwan Morgan will have a game like that in his sophomore season, it wouldn’t be out of the question for him to end up with a statline of 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Morgan’s skillset of being such a strong rebounder and ability to handle the ball as a point forward has already given him an opening night statline of 6 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. You’re telling me he couldn’t get a triple-double against one of the cupcake non-conference opponents IU has on its schedule?
  5. This Team Might Be An Even Better Shooting Team Than Last Year’s Team: It may be hard to believe but based on what the Hoosiers just did against what should be one of the top defenses in the nation, IU’s offense might be even better this year than it was last year. Part of it will be a healthy Blackmon back and ready to prove himself. Bryant should improve as a scorer both in the post and on the perimeter. OG Anunoby will continue to improve offensively. Add all that to a roster that is full of shooters and we might be set for a record-breaking IU offense this season.

Hoosiers In The NBA: Oladipo And Zeller Earn Contract Extensions

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It was an eventful first week of the season as Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon played their first games with their new teams and Troy Williams played his first NBA game and later got his first NBA start.

Yet the biggest news came off the court as Cody Zeller as well as Oladipo received contract extensions that will keep them on their current teams for the foreseeable future .

This week I will go over both extensions and explain whether or not the deal was a good one or not. Just a fair reminder that due to the salary cap increase, these numbers will seem incredibly inflated but just know that these types of contracts will be the norm in the future. Also the weekly game logs and season averages will be at the end of the article.


Oladipo signs 4-year $84 million extension with Oklahoma City Thunder

Ever since they lost Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder have made it their number one goal to lock up all of their best talent, starting with Russell Westbrook. This week they locked up two more core pieces as both Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams were given four-year contract extensions, thus preventing both from becoming restricted free agents next offseason.

What’s interesting is that Adams ended up getting a bigger deal than Oladipo. While Oladipo will earn $84 million over the course of his extension, Adams will get $100 million over that same timespan.

At first glance this seems a little confusing but it makes a lot more sense when you look at the NBA as a whole. Adams has already proven to be a great defensive center and just came off a playoff appearance where he flashed great offensive potential. Meanwhile, Oladipo is proving to be a great defensive guard and secondary ball-handler, but his inconsistent shooting has prevented him from reaching his offensive potential. Add in the fact that great centers are harder to find than great wings and the two deals seem just right.

That being said, if Oladipo is able to reach his offensive potential over the course of his new contract while maintaining his defensive excellence, he could end up earning an even better deal down the line. For now, the contract he just signed suits him perfectly.

Zeller signs 4-year $56 million extension with Charlotte Hornets

At first I thought this deal was a little low for Zeller, but the more I thought about it, the more the contract made sense.

While Zeller is expected to take full control of the center position this season, it hasn’t happened yet (due to missing practice time in the preseason because of injury) plus he’s always been in and out of the starting lineup during his time with the Charlotte Hornets. The team definitely sees Zeller as a key piece moving forward but if someone like Frank Kaminsky for example ends up developing into an elite shooting big man, will the Hornets really want to spend more for Zeller if he’s splitting time at center or becomes a key reserve?

It should also be mentioned that Zeller will already make more than teammate team captain Kemba Walker next year (again, a side effect of the huge salary cap spike) so in a way you could say Zeller is getting a pretty generous deal already.


Eric Gordon: Guard, Houston Rockets:

Season Averages:

16.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.00spg, 0.00bpg, 2.0tpg, 2.3fpg, 42.3% FG, 35.5% 3FG, 85.7% FT, 33.3mpg (4 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Los Angeles Lakers (L 120-114): 19 points (7-15 FG)(3-4 FT), 5 rebounds, steal, turnover, personal foul, 34 minutes.

@ Dallas (W 106-98): 18 points (4-9 FG)(7-8 FT), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 33 minutes.

vs Dallas (W 93-92): 14 points (5-15 FG)(2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, assist, steal, 3 turnovers, personal foul, 33 minutes.

@ Cleveland (L 128-120): 16 points (6-13 FG), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 5 personal fouls, 33 minutes.


Victor Oladipo: Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder:

Season Averages:

17.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.3apg, 1.00spg, 0.67bpg, 3.3tpg, 2.3fpg, 34.0% FG, 25.0% 3FG, 84.6% FT, 36.0mpg (3 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Philadelphia (W 103-97): 10 points (4-16 FG)(2-3 FT), 5 rebounds, assist, block, 3 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 26 minutes.

vs Phoenix (W 113-110 OT): 21 points (7-17 FG)(6-7 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, block, 4 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 44 minutes.

vs Los Angeles Lakers (W 113-96): 20 points (7-20 FG)(3-3 FT), rebound, 4 assists, steal, 3 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 38 minutes.


Noah Vonleh: Forward, Portland Trail Blazers:

Season Averages:

5.8ppg, 1.5rpg, 0.0apg, 0.25spg, 0.25bpg, 0.5tpg, 1.0fpg, 53.3% FG, 42.9% 3FG, 80.0% FT, 11.3mpg (4 games)

Recent Game Logs:

vs Utah (W 113-104): 11 points (5-5 FG), rebound, block, personal foul, 16 minutes.

vs Los Angeles Clippers (L 114-106): 6 points (1-3 FG)(4-5 FT), turnover, 3 personal fouls, 10 minutes.

@ Denver (W 115-113): 0 points (0-0 FG), 4 rebounds, 7 minutes.

vs Golden State (L 127-104): 6 points (2-7 FG), rebound, steal, turnover, 12 minutes.


Troy Williams: Forward, Memphis Grizzlies:

Season Averages:

5.7ppg, 0.7rpg, 0.7apg, 1.33spg, 0.33bpg, 1.0tpg, 1.3fpg, 55.6% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 66.7% FT, 13.3mpg (3 games)

Recent Game Logs:

vs Minnesota (W 102-98): DNP – Coach’s Decision

@ New York (L 111-104): 3 points (1-2 FG)(0-2 FT), assist, 2 steals, personal foul, 9 minutes.

vs Washington (W 112-103): 0 points (0-0 FG), personal foul, 1 minute.

@ Minnesota (L 116-80): 14 points (4-7 FG)(6-7 FT), 2 rebounds, assist, 2 steals, block, 3 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 30 minutes.


Cody Zeller: Forward, Charlotte Hornets:

Season Averages:

10.7ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.0apg, 0.67spg, 1.67bpg, 1.0tpg, 3.3fpg, 61.1% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 66.7% FT, 19.7mpg (3 games)

Recent Game Logs:

@ Milwaukee (W 107-96): 15 points (5-6 FG)(5-6 FT), 3 rebounds, assist, 2 blocks, turnover, 5 personal fouls, 14 minutes.

@ Miami (W 97-91): 10 points (4-8 FG)(2-3 FT), 3 rebounds, assist, 2 steals, block, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 23 minutes.

vs Boston (L 104-98): 7 points (2-4 FG)(3-6 FT), 9 rebounds, assist, 2 blocks, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 21 minutes.