Photo credit - Keith Allison

Pro Hoosiers: How former IU basketball players are performing in the NBA through twelve 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 twelve 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 what has been a disappointing stretch for the Rockets, they have yet to find a way to snap their losing streak. It has extended to 16 games.

Oladipo had 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 9 assists in 34 minutes in a loss to Sacramento on Thursday.

In Sunday’s matchup with the Boston Celtics, he finished with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in a 134-107 loss.

Speaking with the media after the loss to the Celtics, Oladipo believes that one of the things that would help the Rockets get back on the winning side of things is getting healthy.

“I think the main goal is get healthy. I think that’s the biggest goal so we can have our full roster. We have a full roster it’s easy to kind of dissect things from there but we ain’t got all our organs so it’s kind of tough to keep it moving,” Oladipo told the media.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 26/26

MPG – 32.7
Points – 20.3
Rebounds – 5.2
Assists – 4.7
Blocks – 0.4
Steals – 1.4
FG% – .396
3FG% – .322
FT% – .750

Eric Gordon – Houston

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.

Unfortunately for the Rockets, not a lot seems to be working right now.

Eric Gordon played in and started one game this past week for the Rockets. In a 125-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, he had 17 points in 25 minutes.

Furthering the Rockets problems, according to a March 12 report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Gordon will be out 4-6 weeks with a groin strain.

That is not good news for the Rockets, who are currently on a major slide downward. They have lost their last 16 games and are 11-26 overall.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 27/13

MPG – 29.2
Points – 17.8
Rebounds – 2.1
Assists – 2.6
Blocks – 0.5 (Ties Career High)
Steals – 0.5
FG% – .433
3FG% – .329
FT% – .825

OG Anunoby – Toronto

Anunoby has missed five consecutive games because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

The Raptors are 0-5 in those games, 3-7 in their last 10, and are 17-22 overall. They are currently eleventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Averaging career highs in nearly every major statistical category, there is no denying Anunoby’s importance to the Raptors success.

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

After missing four consecutive games due to a left hip injury, Zeller returned to the Hornets lineup on March 11.

He played 26 minutes in a 105-102 win over Detroit, scoring 15 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Furthermore, in a 114-104 win against Toronto on Saturday, Zeller had 10 points and 7 rebounds in 23 minutes.

On the season, he is averaging 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.

The Hornets have not made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season, but are currently sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 19-18. They have won three games in a row and are 6-4 in their last 10.

2020-21 YTD Stats:

Games/Games Started – 20/17

MPG – 23.5
Points – 10.0
Rebounds – 7.5 (Career High)
Assists – 2.3 (Career High)
Blocks – 0.6
Steals – 0.7
FG% – .522
3FG% – .158
FT% – .780

Romeo Langford – Boston

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Langford was recently cleared from the wrist injury he suffered during last season’s NBA Playoffs. However, due to health and safety protocols, he has yet to make his season debut for the Boston Celtics.

Juwan Morgan – Utah

Juwan Morgan has appeared in 15 games this season for the Utah Jazz, who are an NBA-best 28-10. He most recently appeared in a February 27 win against the Orlando Magic.

The highlight of this season for Morgan was 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.

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 appeared in two games for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. However, his 10-day contract with them ended with him being waived.

Recently, 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, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Vonleh 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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