Hoosiers In The NBA 2016-2017 Season Preview

NOTE: Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Hoosiers In The NBA on its new site! 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:


It seems like it was only yesterday that Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo were leading the Indiana Hoosiers to the 2013 Big Ten Championship. Now both enter their fourth NBA season with a lot to prove.

I also enter my fourth season of covering Hoosiers In The NBA, and this year the total number of Hoosiers has risen to five as rookie Troy Williams was able to impress the Memphis Grizzlies enough to earn a spot on their 15-man roster. For my preview this year, I will explain how each former Hoosiers’ situation has changed and forecast how they will do after those changes. I’ll also give my stat projections just for fun. So without further ado, let’s start with the oldest current Hoosier in the NBA:


Eric Gordon: Guard, Houston Rockets:

Last Season’s Stats:

15.2ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.7apg, 0.96spg, 0.31bpg, 1.6tpg, 2.2fpg, 41.8% FG, 38.4% 3FG, 88.8% FT, 32.9mpg. (45 games)

What Has Changed:

While a lot of positives did come out of Eric Gordon’s time with the New Orleans Pelicans, overall it was for the best that the two went their separate ways. While Gordon did learn how to become a three-point specialist during his time in the Big Easy, that was only because a terrible run of injuries ruined any chance Gordon had of becoming an All-Star. Now Gordon takes his new skill set with him as he starts anew in Houston.

What To Expect:

Gordon never fully became a three-point specialist in New Orleans because team injuries forced him to take bigger offensive roles. However, he’ll have the perfect opportunity to do that playing for a Houston Rockets team coached by Mike D’Antoni and led by James Harden. In fact, Harden’s switch to point guard means that Gordon will get to benefit from playing a ton of minutes with Harden, whose passing will give Gordon numerous open three-point looks over the course of the season. As long as he stays healthy, this might be a bright new beginning for Gordon.

Projected Stats:

13.9ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.3apg, 0.82spg, 0.16bpg, 1.4tpg, 2.6fpg, 45.8% FG, 39.0% 3FG, 86.7% FT, 29.3mpg.


Victor Oladipo: Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder:

Last Season’s Stats:

16.0ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.9apg, 1.61spg, 0.75bpg, 2.1tpg, 2.4fpg, 43.8% FG, 34.8% 3FG, 83.0% FT, 33.0mpg. (72 games)

What Has Changed:

So much has changed for Victor Oladipo in the span of a few months. First it looked like he was going to benefit from the Orlando Magic hiring defensive-minded Frank Vogel. However, that hire became meaningless when he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Yet things still looked great as Oladipo was set up to play on a championship contender alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Then Durant left to play for the Golden State Warriors. Now Oladipo must show he can be Westbrook’s sidekick as the Thunder try to move on in the post-Durant era.

What To Expect:

Oladipo has never had a teammate as talented as Westbrook or a team as good as this Thunder squad, so the expectations are high for the former second overall pick. Westbrook will undoubtedly step up his performance without Durant around but even he can’t replace all of Durant’s production, which gives Oladipo a chance to slide in and fill that role. I expect some struggles early on, but by the time the All-Star break passes, I think we may see the beginning of a All-Star career from Oladipo.

Projected Stats:

19.4ppg, 5.3rpg, 3.7apg, 1.89spg, 0.93bpg, 2.7tpg, 2.5fpg, 46.5% FG, 37.1% 3FG, 81.3% FT, 37.8mpg


Noah Vonleh: Forward, Portland Trail Blazers:

Last Season’s Stats:

3.6ppg, 3.9rpg, 0.4apg, 0.35spg, 0.33bpg, 0.6tpg, 1.9fpg, 42.1% FG, 23.9% 3FG, 74.5% FT, 15.1mpg. (78 games)

What Has Changed:

After starting 56 games last year, Noah Vonleh will have a hard time finding consistent playing time this year as the Portland Trail Blazers added Festus Ezeli to an already loaded frontcourt this offseason. Add in small-ball power forward Al-Farouq Aminu and that’s six players for only two positions.

What To Expect:

Vonleh was without a doubt the hardest player for me to forecast. It would have been easy for me to look at the depth chart and conclude that he won’t see the floor every game and may only play spot minutes. Yet last night proved yet again that Head Coach Terry Stotts  continues to try and find playing time for Vonleh (which Vonleh rewarded him by scoring 11 points on 5 of 5 shooting in 16 minutes) despite the positional logjam. For now I’m going to predict similar stats to last year but minutes could dry up when Ezeli is fully healthy.

Projected Stats:

3.1ppg, 3.7rpg, 0.3apg, 0.39spg, 0.44bpg, 0.5tpg, 1.4fpg, 46.8% FG, 32.8% 3FG, 77.2% FT, 7.2mpg.


Troy Williams: Forward, Memphis Grizzlies:

Preseason Stats:

13.2ppg, 4.0rpg, 0.7apg, 1.67spg, 0.33bpg, 1.2tpg, 2.3fpg, 52.1% FG, 42.1% 3FG, 72.4% FT, 25.5mpg. (6 games)

What To Expect:

First off I want to give a big congratulations to Troy Williams, who didn’t let the fact he went undrafted deter him from working his butt off to make the Memphis Grizzlies’ opening night roster.

Not only did Williams make a team, but he has a really good chance to become a rotation player for the whole year. He’ll get to audition the first few weeks as  Tony Allen and Chandler Parsons try to ease back from injuries and could even start opening night at small forward. How he plays the first few weeks will determine whether he becomes a permanent rotation player or an end of the bench reserve for the rest of this season.

Projected Stats:

5.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 0.9apg, 0.88spg, 0.40bpg, 1.8tpg, 1.6fpg, 43.9% FG, 34.0% 3FG, 74.6% FT, 12.5mpg.


Cody Zeller: Forward, Charlotte Hornets:

Last Season’s Stats:

8.7ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.0apg, 0.78spg, 0.86bpg, 0.9tpg, 2.8fpg, 52.9% FG, 10.0% 3FG, 75.4% FT, 24.3mpg. (73 games)

What Has Changed:

The Charlotte Hornets made a big decision this past offseason when they chose Cody Zeller over Al Jefferson to be the team’s center moving forward. Yet a lingering knee injury has held Zeller out and now the man signed to back him up, Roy Hibbert, will play the same role as Jefferson did last year as he will split time at center while Zeller tries to recover and make up for so many missed practices.

What To Expect:

While on the surface this looks like the same dilemma we all saw last year, things are a lot more favorable for Zeller in the long run this time around. Unlike Jefferson’s low post offense, Hibbert doesn’t have that one aspect of his game that makes him a clear upgrade over Zeller during certain situations. While Hibbert is still a good defender, a healthy Zeller is still better than a healthy Hibbert. While I do expect both to have an even amount of playing time early on, we will likely see Zeller gradually take more minutes away from Hibbert as the season goes along.

Projected Stats:

10.1ppg, 7.8rpg, 1.6apg, 0.91spg, 1.05bpg, 0.9tpg, 2.7fpg, 54.4% FG, 15.0% 3FG, 76.5% FT, 29.8mpg.

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Hoosiers In The NCAA: Ferrell’s Evolution at IU and Season Award Predictions

NOTE: After the success of Hoosiers In The NBA, I decided to take it one step further and cover the current Hoosiers wearing the candy stripe pants. Most of my posts regarding Hoosiers In The NCAA will be game recaps but I will have the occasional feature story. 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 #HoosiersInTheNCAA:


It’s funny how things come full circle.

Going into the 2012-2013 season, freshman point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell came from Park Tudor to join an already loaded roster in Bloomington. The Indiana Hoosiers were returning four starters from the previous season, when they had made a surprise run to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. As one of the highest ranked high school point guards in the nation, Ferrell earned the fifth starting spot and thus became the starting point guard of the Hoosiers.

Given the talent around him, Ferrell’s role was relatively simple: help set up the other scorers. Ferrell did just that as he led the team with 4.1 assists per game. In addition to his passing, Ferrell proved to be a great scorer even on a roster filled with scorers. Ferrell managed to score 7.6 points a game and even on a few occasions, such as the Georgetown game that season, take over at the end and hit the big shot. The 2013 Hoosiers finished the season earning the school’s first outright Big Ten title since the days of Calbert Cheaney (back during the 1993 season).

Things drastically changed after that first season as Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls graduated while Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo declared for the NBA draft and were selected in the first five picks.

Over the next two seasons, the Hoosiers sported very young teams relying mostly on underclassmen. As the only returning starter during his sophomore season, Ferrell made the transition from a support role to a lead role and has never had to look back, averaging 17.3 points per game during his sophomore season and then going on to score 16.3 points per game during his junior season.

Now in his senior season, Ferrell finds himself on another loaded roster with many different players who can score the ball very well. However, that isn’t the only similarity between the two teams. For the first time since Ferrell’s freshman season, the Hoosiers also have a collection of talent from every grade level, instead of a team of underclassmen. In 2013, the Hoosiers started two seniors (Hulls and Watford), a junior (Oladipo), a sophomore (Zeller) and a freshman (Ferrell) for the majority of the season. Now as we enter this season, the Hoosiers boast starting-caliber players who are seniors (Ferrell), juniors (Troy Williams), sophomores (James Blackmon Jr.), and freshmen (Thomas Bryant).

However, the biggest difference is Ferrell. No longer is he the underclassmen whose job was to help the upperclassmen. He is now the upperclassman and the team leader. With career number such as 1,379 points, 438 assists, and 193 made threes, Ferrell has an opportunity this season to place his name near the top of Indiana’s record books. Not bad for a player whose first job was just pass the ball.


Award Predictions:

All-Big Ten Team:

  • Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – 1st team
  • Troy Williams – 1st team
  • James Blackmon Jr. – 2nd team
  • Thomas Bryant – 3rd team

All-Big Ten Freshman Team:

  • Thomas Bryant – 1st team

All-American Tean:

  • Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell – 2nd team
  • Troy Williams – 3rd team

Freshmen All-American Team:

  • Thomas Bryant – 2nd team

Big Ten Individual Award Finalists:

(I don’t predict any Hoosier will win one of the individual awards this season so instead I’ll write down who I think have a chance at being a finalist for the award)

  • Big Ten Player of the Year – Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, Troy Williams
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Year – Thomas Bryant
  • Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year – Robert Johnson, Nick Zeisloft
  • Big Ten Coach of the Year – Tom Crean

Future Hoosiers In The NCAA: Indiana receives commit from De’Ron Davis

Just like how parents sometimes let their children open one gift on Christmas Eve, the Hoosiers received a gift on the eve of their season when top 50 recruit De’Ron Davis committed to Indiana. Davis is a 6-8 power forward from Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado and was deciding between Indiana and Mississippi State. Davis is the second four-star recruit for Indiana’s 2016 recruiting class, the other being shooting guard Curtis Jones out of Huntington Prep in Highland Springs, Virginia. The 2016 class also includes three-star Crown Point-native Grant Gelon, who plays shooting guard but is also capable of playing small forward.