Hoosiers in the NBA — 2017-18 End of Season Edition

The 2017-18 NBA season has come to an end.  In total, eight former Indiana University players registered statistics in the league this year.  Three former Hoosiers, OG Anunoby, Eric Gordon and Victor Oladipo, will continue on into the NBA Playoffs.

Below is our final regular season summary of the former IU players registering statistics in the NBA during the 2017-18 season.  All statistics are through the end of the 2017-18 NBA season:

OG Anunoby – Toronto

Year one for OG was a somewhat surprising success story.  While there was little doubt that he would eventually be a solid NBA player, his rookie season was a big question mark after a season ending knee injury at Indiana last year.  Anunoby started most of the season for the #1 seed in the NBA East.  He is building a reputation for defense, and his three-point shot is an improving weapon.  He put up a career high 21 points with 5 for 8 three-point shooting on April 8th against Orlando.

Games/Games Started – 74/62
Points – 5.9
Rebounds – 2.5
Assists – .7
Blocks – .2
Steals – .7
FG% – .471
3FG% – .371
FT% – .629

Thomas Bryant – Los Angeles

Bryant bounced back and forth between the Lakers and the G-League throughout his rookie season.  He saw his most extensive action of the season in April.  In the final game of the year, Bryant played 18 minutes and set career highs with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Bryant placed second in the race for G-League Rookie of the Year, shooting a league-high 74.3 percent on two-pointers on the season.  He averaged 19.7 points and hit 36.4 percent from deep for the South Bay Lakers.

Games/Games Started – 15/0
Points – 1.5
Rebounds – 1.1
Assists – .4
Blocks – .1
Steals – .1
FG% – .381
3FG% – .100
FT% – .556

Yogi Ferrell – Dallas

Ferrell took another big leap in his second season in the NBA.  From undrafted, to the G-League, to bouncing around during his rookie year, Yogi seems to have found a home in Dallas.  He averaged 27 minutes a game for the Mavs and saw spot starting duty.  There was concern when Dallas drafted point guard Dennis Smith last summer, but thus far that choice did not reduce Ferrell’s role with the team.

Games/Games Started – 82/21
Points – 10.2 (career high)
Rebounds – 3.0 (career high)
Assists – 2.5
Blocks – .1
Steals – .8
FG% – .426 (career high)
3FG% – .373
FT% – .796

Eric Gordon – Houston

Gordon completed his 10th season in the league with Houston, the #1 seed in the NBA West.  While he didn’t start most games, he averaged more than 31 minutes per game for the Rockets.  He had his highest points per game average since the 2011-12 season.  Gordon is now 55th on the NBA’s all-time 3-point field goals made list.

Gordon is questionable for Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs with an ankle injury.

Games/Games Started – 69/30
Points – 18.0
Rebounds – 2.5
Assists – 2.2
Blocks – .4
Steals – .6
FG% – .428
3FG% – .359
FT% – .809

Victor Oladipo – Indiana

Victor Oladipo appears to be a lock for the NBA’s most improved player, and the hurdle for improving was high.  Playing in the shadow of Russell Westbrook last year, he still managed to average 16 points a game.  This year he made major leaps in just about every statistical category.  His points per game improved by more than 7.  He averaged 1 more rebound and 1.5 more assists per game.  On defense he averaged .5 more blocks and 1.2 more steals per game.  Most important, he led the Pacers to the #5 seed in the East.

He led the NBA in steals per game, and should also be in the defensive player of the year conversation.

Games/Games Started – 75/75
Points – 23.1 (career high)
Rebounds – 5.2 (career high)
Assists – 4.3 (career high)
Blocks – .8 (ties career high)
Steals – 2.4 (LED NBA, career high)
FG% – .477 (career high)
3FG% – .371 (career high)
FT% – .799

Noah Vonleh – Chicago

The trade to the Bulls worked out well for Vonleh as he completed his 4th season in the league.  After the March trade the former Hoosier saw increased minutes and was able to push his 2017-18 season statistics over his career highs in several categories as a result.  Still at only 22 years old, Vonleh has the potential to make big strides over the next few years.

Games/Games Started – 54/16
Points – 4.9 (career high)
Rebounds – 5.8 (career high)
Assists – .6 (career high)
Blocks – .3
Steals – .4 (ties career high)
FG% – .444
3FG% – .303
FT% – .621

Troy Williams – New York

Troy Williams’ season epitomized the trials and tribulations of a guy on the margin trying to make it in the league.  For most of the year he played for the Rockets’ G-League affiliate, getting minimal run with Houston and struggling when he got the chance.  Williams was released by the Rockets and picked up by the Knicks in February, and he immediately made a splash in New York.  In 17 games with the Knicks he averaged 17 minutes, 7.5 points, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 49% from the field.  And then he suffered a fractured jaw and missed the final two weeks of the year.

Games/Games Started – 21/1
Points – 6.3 (career high)
Rebounds – 3.0 (career high)
Assists – .8 (tied, career high)
Blocks – .2
Steals – 1.0 (career high)
FG% – .468 (career high)
3FG% – .289
FT% – .667 (career high)

Cody Zeller – Charlotte

The former Hoosier big man struggled with knee issues for much of the season, and finally shut things down in March.  Zeller will be looking for a fresh start in the 2018-19 season.

Games/Games Started – 33/0
Points – 7.1
Rebounds – 5.4
Assists – .9
Blocks – .6
Steals – .4
FG% – .545
3FG% – .667
FT% – .718

Note:  Jordan Crawford, who also played one season for Indiana before transferring, played in the NBA this season for New Orleans.

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Main photo credit – Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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