TERRE HAUTE —
Ever the jokester, Cody Zeller made light of his situation when he called in to the Dan Dakich radio show Monday.
“As of right now, I’m homeless, I’m a college dropout and I’m unemployed,” Zeller said.
That will change tonight when Zeller gets selected in the NBA Draft.
Zeller and Victor Oladipo are both potential lottery picks in the draft. It will be the first time since 2008 that Indiana has had two players taken in the first round.
Eric Gordon, who left IU after his freshman season, and D.J. White were both first-round picks in 2008 — the fourth time the Hoosiers had at least two players taken in the first round.
Noted more for his defensive prowess in his first two seasons at IU, Oladipo improved his offense dramatically as a junior.
The Maryland native averaged 9.2 ppg while shooting 49.8 percent from the field, 24.3 percent on 3-pointers, in his first two seasons. Last season, he averaged 13.6 ppg while shooting 59.9 percent from the field and 44.1 percent on 3s.
As the season went on, Oladipo’s NBA stock continued to rise, but he said that he didn’t decide to forego his final season of eligibility until after the Hoosiers’ season ended with a loss to Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen.
He’s since become a consensus lottery pick in mock drafts. While most mock drafts have Oladipo being drafted either fifth or sixth, by Phoenix or New Orleans respectively, a Washington Post mock draft published Tuesday had Oladipo going second overall to Orlando.
On the off-chance that Cleveland selects Oladipo with the first overall pick, he would be the third Hoosier to go No. 1, following Walt Bellamy (1961) and Kent Benson (1977). A poll of NBA general managers and scouts by ESPN’s Chad Ford had Oladipo as the top player in the draft, although that doesn’t necessarily equate to being the No. 1 pick.
While his offense has improved, it still remains a work in progress. Oladipo’s immediate success in the NBA will come thanks to his skills as a defender. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and NABC National Co-Defensive Player of the Year will be able to defend three positions in the NBA, which could make him an immediate impact player.
While Oladipo’s stock rose quickly over the past year, his fellow early entrant, Zeller, saw his stock drop some.
There’s concern about what position the 6-foot-10 Zeller will play in the NBA. Does he have the bulk to play center as a pro, or will he be a better fit at power forward? And does he have the outside shooting touch to succeed at the four?
Zeller would have been a lottery pick had he entered the NBA Draft after his freshman season, but he chose to return to help lead the Hoosiers in another shot at a national title. But the extra year of college may not have helped his draft stock; he’s not a consensus Top-10 pick.
Some of that can be attributed to how he was deployed in Indiana’s offense. Most of his shots came inside the paint, and he attempted just two 3-pointers as a Hoosier, both this season. He missed both.
But given the chance to develop and show his midrange skills, Zeller should be a good investment, wherever he ends up being selected. And while he’ll need to keep bulking up to keep from being muscled around in the low post, his quickness in the open court will help him survive the change to the NBA.
Of Indiana’s three other NBA-eligible players, only Christian Watford will likely get a chance to make a roster, and he’ll have to do so as a free agent. The ESPY award winner for his game-winning shot against Kentucky in December 2011 isn’t expected to be drafted.
Watford considered entering the NBA Draft a year ago but chose to return for his senior season. Oladipo’s growth overshadowed Watford’s steady play; he scored in double-digits in 17 straight games last season.
“You don’t come out here and try to overdo things,” Watford said after he worked out for the Indiana Pacers. “You try to tweak everything they say you can’t do.
“I don’t regret coming back at all.”
Jordan Hulls has also worked out for the Pacers and a few other teams, but his size (6-0) could preclude his chances of making an NBA roster.
TERRE HAUTE —
Ever the jokester, Cody Zeller made light of his situation when he called in to the Dan Dakich radio show Monday.
Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex
The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.
Prettyman wants ISU to be prepared for potential NCAA changes
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ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors
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Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville
Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.
Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth
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Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco
Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.
A.J. Reed makes it 5 for 5 in college baseball awards with Golden Spikes Award
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Reed was selected Thursday as the 2014 Golden Spikes Award winner, given annually to the top amateur player in the nation by USA Baseball, making Reed a unanimous pick as the national player of the year.
MVC to shift women's basketball tournament to Moline, Ill.
The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will move 90 miles farther from Terre Haute beginning in 2016, the league announced Thursday.
Metro: ISU-IU football game to be on ESPNEWS
Indiana University announced Wednesday that the season opening game between Indiana State and IU will be played at noon on Sept. 30.
Riley 10s go 4-1, place second in state tourney
Riley’s 10-and-under all-star team finished as runner-up over the weekend at the Cal Ripken baseball Central Indiana tournament.
Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team
Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.
Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play
Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.
MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018
Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.
College report: Former Patriot runner Mundy is ‘proud to be a Hoosier’
After redshirting the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year, Chanli Mundy was eager to do one thing recently as she prepared to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Oregon. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being able to wear an IU uniform,” she said last week prior to making her cross-country trip.
Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers
Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.
Terre Haute's A.J. Reed joins Manziel as an SEC Athlete of Year
University of Kentucky baseball star A.J. Reed of Terre Haute and Florida softball standout Hannah Rogers have been named 2013-14 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to a voting by the league’s athletics directors.
“A.J. and Hannah are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have been successful in their endeavors. They are fine representatives of their universities and this conference.”
A new era: ‘Bittersweet day’ as Loyd takes over for ailing Shaw as Rose-Hulman men’s basketball coach
Rose-Hulman President James Conwell couldn’t have been more accurate Monday afternoon when he called it “a bittersweet day” for his school.
Reed adds two-way award to collection
Seeking to become the third unanimous national Player of the Year in Southeastern Conference history, Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed has been named winner of the 2014 John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, according to an announcement Friday from the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships
Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.
ISU's Odum talks about agreeing to play for Pacers' summer-league team
No team selected him in the two-round NBA draft Thursday night, but Terre Haute native and four-year Indiana State basketball standout Jake Odum agreed Friday to play for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league squad next month.
Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever
First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.
Metro roundup: Odum to work out with Lakers
Terre Haute native and former Indiana State guard Jake Odum will have two more workouts before next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Odum will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers today. Odum will have a second workout with the Orlando Magic next week before the draft.
Terre Haute’s Reed earns 4th national honor
Recent University of Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has been named National Player of the Year and first-team All-America, according to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Swift breaks ISU hurdles record, takes fourth place at NCAAs
Senior Greggmar Swift broke the school record in the 110 meter hurdles, as Indiana State picked up two All-Americans in the final day of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Swift’s five points in the event gave the men’s team five points for the meet and a 44th place finish in the nation. The women got 3 points from Mary Theisen in the shot put to place 51st in the nation.
A.J. Reed chosen as 28th Dick Howser Trophy recipient
University of Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed, who enjoyed possibly the greatest individual season in UK history in 2014, is the 28th recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations, as college baseball’s Player of the Year.
The presentation was made Saturday during a national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park, site of the 2014 College World Series.
New ISU coach Parker makes first impression
Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.
Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final
Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.
Terre Haute's Mascari earns All-American finish in 10,000 meters
Indiana State sophomore John Mascari finished 11th in the NCAA Championships in the 10,000-meter run Wednesday night at historic Hayward Field.
Reed signs with Astros
A.J. Reed’s Wednesday was already pretty good when he was named Baseball America’s College Player of the Year in the morning. In the afternoon, it got even better for the Terre Haute native. The Houston Astros, who drafted Reed with the first pick of the second round in last week’s Major League Baseball draft, announced that they had agreed to a deal with Reed. According to several sources, Reed signed his deal for $1.35 million.
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