Pro Hoosiers: How former IU basketball players are performing in the NBA through eleven weeks

Nine former IU basketball players have or will play the game at the highest level during the 2020-21 NBA season. We will be monitoring their seasons with weekly updates.

Below we summarize their year to date performance with NBA stats and notes through the first eleven weeks of the season and provide a brief update on each player.

Victor Oladipo – Houston

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When meeting with the media on February 27, Oladipo tried to look at things optimistically even though he knows the Rockets are going through a tough stretch.

“We just got to come in here and work every day. And got to give everything we have every night. I think if we do that we will be very successful and when we get healthy as well. Right now I know it’s tough like I said before because of the 10 game losing streak or however many games it is. It’s easy to point the finger and do all those things but we just got to figure out a way to win. Point blank. Period,” Oladipo said.

In news that came out on February 28, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Oladipo recently turned down a 2-year, $45.2 million extension from the Rockets.

Since then, the Rockets have lost two more games, extending their losing streak to 13 in a row.

Oladipo is doing all he can to help the team, scoring 33 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists in a 132-114 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Speaking to the media following the loss to the Nets, Oladipo knows that the Rockets are struggling right now but is excited to see what they can do when healthy.

“We’ll see what this team is really made of when we’re all healthy. Kind of dug ourselves in a hole but we all still have something to prove, we all still have chips on our shoulders, and when we’re fully healthy it’s going to be interesting to see the damage we can do,” Oladipo told the media.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 24/24

MPG – 32.8
Points – 20.0
Rebounds – 5.2
Assists – 4.5
Blocks – 0.5
Steals – 1.5
FG% – .399
3FG% – .331
FT% – .747

Eric Gordon – Houston

The Rockets continue to struggle as a team. They are 11-23 overall after losing both of their games last week, extending their losing streak to 13 games in a row.

Gordon has sat out the last two games due to left knee soreness.

When meeting with the media on February 26, Gordon was asked about the mentality and approach going into games trying to snap a losing streak.

“Defensively we just have to be elite. We can’t just be a good defensive team we have to be elite … offensively we have to score. We have to create easier ways to get to the basket because we’re not really been doing well on that side of the end the whole season. We got to try to make things easier by having stops,” Gordon told members of the media.

More specifically, on the offensive side of the ball Gordon would like to see more ball movement as opposed to one-on-one play. He would also like to see them more active on the glass.

“I’m always a fan of less one-on-one and more ball movement. You got to make the defense work. Our problem is the rebounding part. We’re kind of small and the other teams are getting the offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds. When you dictate the rebound game that could change the flow of the game because you get more shot attempts and you could play faster,” Gordon said.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 26/12

MPG – 29.3
Points – 17.8
Rebounds – 2.2
Assists – 2.7
Blocks – 0.5 (Ties Career High)
Steals – 0.5
FG% – .437
3FG% – .328
FT% – .836

OG Anunoby – Toronto

The Raptors are 5-2 with Anunoby in the lineup since his return on February 16 for a game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

However, Anunoby missed both of the Raptors games last week because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Meeting with the media after the February 16 win against the Bucks, Anunoby knew that even though missing ten games was hard it also presented him with an opportunity to continue to learn the game while watching both teams from the bench.

“When you’re watching the game you learn things about the game like both teams you’re watching so just trying to see where I can help the team, things I could do that we weren’t doing, just make an effort to do it while I’m back,” Anunoby told the media.

Toronto is currently 17-19 and eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 23/23

MPG – 33.4 (Career High)
Points – 13.8 (Career High)
Rebounds – 5.7 (Career High)
Assists – 1.7 (Career High)
Blocks – 0.7 (Ties Career High)
Steals – 1.6 (Career High)
FG% – .479
3FG% – .395 (Career High)
FT% – .755 (Career High)

Thomas Bryant – Washington

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Bryant continues to be sidelined, as he suffered a torn ACL to his left knee during the first quarter of a 128-124 loss to the Miami Heat on January 9  that will keep him out for the remainder of this season.

The injury came at a time when Bryant was starting to play consistent basketball and was averaging career highs in both minutes played and points per game.

However, the focus for Bryant now shifts towards coming back even stronger next year.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 10/10

MPG – 27.1 (Career High)
Points – 14.3 (Career High)
Rebounds – 6.1
Assists – 1.5
Blocks – 0.8
Steals – 0.4
FG% – .648 (Career High)
3FG% – .429 (Career High)
FT% – .667

Cody Zeller – Charlotte

Charlotte went 1-1 in their two games a week ago. Cody Zeller has not played since a February 24 win at Phoenix, sitting out the last four games due to a left hip injury.

In Zeller’s last contest, he had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in 18 minutes of action.

On the season, he is averaging 9.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.

The Hornets have not made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season, but are currently seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 17-18.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 18/15

MPG – 23.4
Points – 9.7
Rebounds – 7.6 (Career High)
Assists – 2.4 (Career High)
Blocks – 0.6
Steals – 0.6
FG% – .514
3FG% – .158
FT% – .758

Romeo Langford – Boston

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Langford continues to focus on regaining strength and range of motion in his wrist after tearing ligaments during last season’s NBA Playoffs.

Prior to the Celtics game on February 11, head coach Brad Stevens gave an update on Langford.

“He’s doing a lot,” Stevens told the media. “He’s not playing live yet. He’s had a little bit of soreness that was to be expected. But that’s probably going to push him to the break, and he’ll probably be available after the (All-Star) break.”

Juwan Morgan – Utah

The Jazz had two games this past week, losing both contests. Morgan did not see action in either game.

Morgan’s most impressive game this season is still his January 29 performance against the Dallas Mavericks, which was televised on ESPN. He finished the game with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 steals in 21 minutes of action. Also impressive was his efficiency, shooting 5-8 from the field and 2-4 from three point range.

Even after losing two in a row, Utah still has the best record in the NBA at 27-9.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 15/0

MPG – 4.7
Points – 1.1
Rebounds – 0.9
Assists – 0.3 (Ties Career High)
Blocks – 0.0
Steals – 0.2 (Career High)
FG% – .429
3FG% – .300
FT% – .200

Yogi Ferrell – Free Agent

Ferrell remains a free agent after his 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers ended with him being waived.

However, Ferrell was in attendance for the NBA G League regular season, running from February 10 to March 6 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Ferrell played in and started 14 games for the Salt Lake City Stars. He averaged 15.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game in 28.3 minutes per contest. The Stars went 4-11.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 2/0

MPG – 20.0
Points – 9.5
Rebounds – 3.5 (Career High)
Assists – 2.5
Blocks – 0.5 (Career High)
Steals – 1.5 (Career High)
FG% – .381
3FG% – .333
FT% – .000

Noah Vonleh – Free Agent

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Noah Vonleh appeared in four games for the Brooklyn Nets this season after being signed on February 8. He averaged 2.8 minutes per game.

However, he was waived by the Nets on February 23.

In 339 career games played, he has averages of 4.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 4/0

MPG – 2.8
Points – 0.0
Rebounds – 0.3
Assists – 0.3
Blocks – 0.0
Steals – 0.0
FG% – .000
3FG% – .000
FT% – N/A (Has Not Attempted)

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